Mental Hospitals

Mental Hospital Incarceration

“The Middle East Cafe”

My mom took me to a psychiatrist at Upstate Medical Center-- one recommended by a friend of my brother, Fred. He interviewed me for five minutes, and then went to the bathroom in the corner of his office where he washed his hands and wiped them dry. He came back and suggested to Mom that I be placed in a mental hospital. Knowing that I needed help, but having no other alternatives, I followed his recommendation and signed in voluntarily.

In 1977, I was fortunate to leave the hospital fully engaged as an apprentice to a professor of fiber art at the university. This gave me an entirely new self-concept or identity as an artist, very different from the previous eight years training to be a scientist. Weaving had a rhythm, similar to the breathing used during sitting meditation or to the dance in Sufi Dances. But weaving led to a finished physical product.