Shrimp Baby Emerges is the name of this colored-pencil drawing. I completed it over ten years ago, just before starting to write the first draft of my memoir manuscript The Autobiography of a Sea Creature, the story of my life in the aftermath of infant surgery without anesthesia. I see that I am a bit tentative about coming out. Only one arm is free and I’m basically hanging onto my shell. Flushed, am I ready to tell my story? Maybe I’ll go back inside. There is, however, a tiny impish smile on my face.
This next picture drawn two days earlier, Star Baby, looks as though I’ve taken up residency in a sea shell a la hermit crab. Maybe this picture shows that I’m a halfee–part human and part marine animal. Or maybe it shows that even though I’m human, I’ve retained my ocean origins. Or, I’m completely human and wrapped tightly in a blanket. In any case, the tiny smile on my face and my happy eyes show that I was in a good place emotionally. I felt peaceful, even prideful for having survived the surgery, hence the star!