Tag Archives: coach

This Writing Life…

Twenty-eight pages. That is a good day of revision. One of my goals with this long narrative is that each chapter can be published as a stand-alone. Today, I feel that this chapter is complete and could carry the weight of story all on its own.

Best writing for today:  “I didn’t know I had so much blood inside of me. Feeling dizzy, I tenderly lowered myself onto the glass, lying on my back as if I were used to a bed such as this. I stared at the ceiling while waiting for Mrs. Heights to come help. The ceiling was the same gray cement color as the floor. There were thick cobwebs in the corners, and the ceiling seemed lower than I remembered. I watched as a spider dropped and trembled on a thread above my face. I was afraid of spiders. I tasted bile and my body began to shake.”

I know every writer has their own system, their method to “warm up” to write. I have a beautiful fountain pen with deep purple ink and I love both the sound of it scratching on paper and the way it feels as I write in my journals. It isn’t writing in a creative manner, I’m actually copying poems from my past journals into one place. This process connects my mind to my heart, my heart to my hand, my hand to pen and finally, pen to page. It is a quiet process. And slow. I have a permanent purple ink stain on my finger where the pen rests that looks like a deep bruise. This is one of those warm ups into writing.

Family Adventure = Bowling at Big Al’s. My gutter ball was so slow that it stalled in the gutter and I had to flag down a staff member to walk onto the lane and retrieve it for me. My youngest son beat us all in the first game. My disabled son won the second. I lost every time. I consider myself the entertainment factor for bowling as I roll it down the lane carefully so I don’t hurt my neck.

Water = forget it.

Core Strength = I held in my stomach most of today.

Guitar = it hurts to play. I can strum, but not pick and am only decent at three cords to date.

New Dish = Chicken Tortellini – Kosher, of course. Coated in salt, cracked pepper, olive oil, rosemary and a titch of lemon juice.

New Discovery = I enjoy my mid-life hot flashes. My feet are always cold and having this new internal heating pad doesn’t seem such a bad deal. At least for me.

Staying Bright.




Seeing with My Heart

My oldest son was virtually blind his first year. He had bilateral, centralized cataracts in both eyes, so his world was, at best, a gray, hazy landscape of unfamiliar shapes. I walked him through his world with sensory input in mind. We would pause beneath a tree along our path and I would rub his hand against the bark.

“Bark,” I would say. “Tree, I mean.” No, no, no. “Rough.” There that was a better description.

The same would happen at bath time as I would splay his fingers across a towel.

“Soft,” I whispered. He would smile. “Towel,” I spoke. He shook his head.

By the time he was 18 months, he had his first of many surgeries on his eyes. This one in particular made an impact. The doctor placed in his eye an innocular lens, a fake camera to the world so his brain could understand these messages I had been trying to offer him. After two weeks with a steel patch, he was able to open the one eye and see color. See me.

I always thought he understood my presence. Even without vision. While “blind”, he smiled and wildly waved his hands when I entered a room. I thought he always knew when I was there. More important, I thought he knew when I was not.

That first night with his new vision was traumatic. For me and for him. I placed him in his crib at 7 p.m. as usual, after stories and songs and rocking. I turned out his lights and started to exit and he screamed. I patted his back to calm him. He kept screaming.

He did not know darkness.

He did not know my absence.

This was a new journey of security and trust.

Six weeks later, his vision was restored in his other eye. It took a year for him to adapt to darkness, to sight, to distance and space.   Thirteen years later and I doubt that he has ever adapted to absence from me. OK, that is most likely the ego-need of a mom speaking.

The amazing thing that I have found about my son is his intuitive nature. He knows things. I can’t explain it. I think part of this is because he developed his other senses far beyond the scope most of us utilize. He had to do this in an effort to navigate his world. In his limited/disabled youth, he is wise. I always tell people that I am far more disabled than he.

I think that vision is a gift. I also think that the lack of it can be a gift as well. As long as we can “see”, whether that is with our ears or our eyes, it matters not.

We mostly need to learn to read this world and “see” it with our hearts. This is the journey that I am on, nearing my half century of life.Zach

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