Pris has described herself as a clinical psychologist and sailor/traveler until Chronic Fatigue Syndrome forced her into a much restrictive lifestyle. "Many people think CFIDS is just about being 'tired'," she explains on her blog (http://www.poeticinspire.com). "CFIDS affects concentration, short-term memory, the ability to learn new things, causes dizziness, balance problems, visual problems. . . tinnitus, muscular 'roaming' pain, noise sensitivity, sore throats and voice loss, killer headaches, TMJ, difficulty following conversations and that dreaded 'brain fog' to list the main symptoms. . . "
Those of us who know Pris from HaikuHut know the ferocity of spirit and love of writing that keep her participating in our online haiku community. Because the outdoors and 'nature' is no longer so accessible as subject matter, she has turned to self-portraiture. Some of these have appeared in the spring 2006 issue of Simply Haiku and a collaborative work, Turning Away, was featured in the Autumn/Winter 2006 issue Haigaonline.
The images that serve as the basis for the self-portraits include old snapshots from her album and current photos taken with tripod, webcam or mirror. She has even gone so far as to stick her own head in the scanner (a topic of ongoing merriment at HaikuHut).
What has always amazed me about Pris's self-portrait haiga is the unflinching way that she confronts herself in mirror, camera and album, focusing her astringent wit on a brain and body that no longer function as they used to. The illness, as she has written, has transported her "to a place I no longer recognized." That is especially evident in this current series of haiga. As you can see even in the thumbnails, the colors are unsettling, even discordant, and the manipulation of the photo-collages takes us into surrealist dreamscape.