"I drew then because I had to know that I could still draw," she says. "After that, I could say," she draws a deep breath, " 'OK. It's going to be OK.' "
Matters unrelated to her art have taken her attention this summer. She's still staying in Maryland, where she's been practicing animation, and she's been coming up to New York only to deal with a few matters. She's met with her lawyer, who is visiting the city, because he wants to prep her for her official testimony about what happened at the checkpoint. She will either give it at the Israeli Embassy, or via video-conferencing. A lawsuit could come down the line, but for now, the focus is on Israel's criminal investigation of the person who shot her and the people who ordered it.
"I guess I can be grateful to the IDF for giving me the chance to see the world in a new way."
She has also met with the New York–based Center for Constitutional Rights, which is considering hosting a show of her work. She says she's excited about the possibility, but has mixed emotions: "I'm happy all these things are happening, that people are listening to me and looking at my work," she says. But she knows the attention is because of who she is. "I have just the right ethnicity and nationality for this to be a bigger case," she says. If the person hit "were Palestinian," she adds, "it is very unlikely they would get the same response. It's just the way the world works."
There are any number of reasons her family could want a ruling from Israel's own investigation in her favor, not the least of which would be a resolution of the tens of thousands of dollars they have spent on medical care so far. The Israeli Ministry of Defense is refusing to pay her hospital bill, saying the injury was her fault for participating in what it terms a violent demonstration, she says.
More immediately, the paint on her left lens is starting to peel off, and she will have to touch it up. This leads to discussing a more delicate problem she's facing: whether or not to get a prosthetic eye.
Her socket is still healing, and in a few more weeks, she could be fitted with a fake eyeball, which would move in tandem with her other eye but not dilate.
"My doctor doesn't understand me," she says of her oculoplastic surgeon. Maybe she freaked him out when he was examining her with a light: "It's strange—I could feel the heat in this eye, and he tells me it's something about my blood vessels now, and they're healing and sensitive to heat. But what I like about it is that this one is sensitive to light, and this one is sensitive to heat. Isn't that cool?"
Her doctor, apparently, wasn't as enthusiastic. When she told him that she might not want a prosthetic, he suggested she might want to talk to a psychiatrist.
"I tried to tell him," she says, "that I feel like it's for other people. He said, 'But people are going to look at you, instead of your eye that way,' and I said, 'You see? It's for other people!' " She has no problem getting a new tooth to replace the one knocked out by the tear-gas canister, she says, but "the moment I see myself with two eyes is going to be very strange."
The one-eyed painter, who does have a prosthetic eye, has convinced her to keep an open mind. "I don't want to scare people," she says, "but I don't scare people now." She speaks of a compromise: "Some people get a plain white one, and wear a patch." Playfully, she wonders on her blog whether she could get "an eye for every occasion" or one with a built-in "spy camera."
When you see everything as your art, your vision is already different. On her blog, thirstypixels.blogspot.com, in the post titled "Cyclops," she writes, "Having one eye is really just a design problem."