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Stories From the Edge of Blindness

In 2002, Retinitis Pigmentosa changed my life. This is my story of a slow approach to darkness.

Month

December 2017

Stories from the Edge of Blindness is Spreading its Wings

I have been making some changes to the blog lately, as well as trying to give it more of a presence outside of WordPress.  In case you hadn’t noticed, the look of the blog has changed; I had been using the same theme I began with in 2010 and it was time for an update.

“Stories from the Edge of Blindness” can now also be found on Facebook.

On Twitter, I am @floweringink

And, if you just want to see some pictures of the cutest pugs on the planet, you can find them on Instagram.

Spread the love!  Follow, like and share me (does that sound dirty?)!!!

The Human Condition

I feel buried beneath the weight of a fog that permeates my thoughts. I am on a dangerous precipice between blindness and sight, my strides uncertain and guided by terror. I find myself again and again, tangled up in a desire to escape the person I have always been and the disease that murders my eyes with slow, but voracious determination.  I long to be extraordinary and graceful, but in wakefulness I am defective and covered in unsightly cracks.

As a child I struggled to catch up, racing and climbing on legs that weren’t strong enough, pushing against the barriers of a mind that wasn’t expansive enough.  In conversation, unable to keep up, I float away, tangled in an extraordinary web of words that sparkle and splash the edges of my consciousness.  I dream in language rather than concepts or theory.  I don’t get your jokes or understand the machinations of a corrupt government.  I drift because the landing is too jarring and too cruel.

I have mostly felt like something to be kept hidden in the shadows, to remain unmentioned and shackled.  Beneath the lights, I am beaten with rods of ridicule and pity.  How sad that she is the blind one, the fat one, the ugly one, the broken one. But I have learned to love the outskirts, to languish in the disappearing edges of expectation .  I have learned that I can be the quiet one, and in the silence there is safety and a stillness that muffles the chaos of loathing.

I know that I am not unique or special; just a shadow of a woman suffering, like everyone, from the malaise of the human condition.  It’s just that sometimes, in moments that glimmer and tantalize, I dream that I will wake up, no longer blind, no longer human.

Writing Exercises,Submission Opportunities and the Search for new Things to Read

It is the first of the month and new images will be up today for 2 ekphrastic challenges.

Visual Verse and Rattle Ekphrastic Challenge

There is also a Word Poem Challenge from Eclectica.  The deadline for this is Dec. 7, so a bit late notice from me, but totally fun and worth checking out.

Rattle and Eclectica both accept only poems for their challenges, but to Visual Verse, you can submit whatever form of writing you’d like.

I would love to know of any other similar challenges, if anyone has any they like.  Please feel free to leave a comment with some suggestions. And, if you submit to any of the challenges listed above, please let me know; part of the fun is reading how many different kinds of things the same image can inspire in other people.

I have been on the hunt for new poets and poems; a poet on a facebook group I belong to asked for suggestions from the group for Poets and books of Poetry that she could add to a wish list for the holidays, and I am totally stealing her idea.  If anyone has any poets or writers they really love, please let me know in a comment, so I can add them to my wish list.  It is going to be a bookish Christmas this year!

Stretching my Voice

I write because it is how my brain translates life.  I write fiction because I want to stretch my voice and try new things.  I write non fiction because I want to tell my story in ways that will hopefully reach more people.  I write poetry because it is my breath; it is what flows most naturally from my pen.

For me, poetry is the ultimate expression and exercise of language. It is the bones, the blood and the heart, uncovered and untethered.  Poetry is about the extraordinary power of words and the impact of profound simplicity.  When I write poetry,  all of my emotions are electrified; my euphoria burns brighter and my frustrations cut deeper.  Poetry can give life to the magic and the strength of a single word; it can transform an image just by putting the right two words together.  I have spent weeks trying to find one word for a single poem.  Obviously, it gets me excited.

Although poetry will always be what I turn to first, as a writer, I have discovered how much strength and power exists in all forms of writing. Before “Stories from the Edge of Blindness”, I only wrote poetry, but now I see that I was limiting my voice.  I have found that exploring different kinds of writing has uncovered how nuanced and varied my writing can be.  I feel as if I have a different voice for each style of writing, a different way of expressing myself that gives me creative freedom in ways I never knew existed.  It is as if I have knocked down the walls of a room I had stitched myself into, and now I can look at myself and the world in a more comprehensive way.

I am not saying I become a completely different person when I am writing in different styles; I have and always will veer toward the darkness, but I have found that when I am writing non fiction, I can lend myself more to a kind of sarcastic wit (sometimes), and write with a voice that feels more like every day life.  I have just started writing fiction and honestly, when I do it, I feel like I am floating; I can look down at nothing and slowly add color and shape and texture.  My fiction voice is still a whisper, but I am looking forward to what I will find as it becomes louder.

I think, most importantly, I have found the breadth of the magic and power that is language.  I am discovering new writers, many of them bloggers, who are showing me what incredible things language can do.  In a single morning of reading others blog posts, I can find myself, laughing and crying, feeling still and contemplative or being completely swept away.  I know that without being a reader, I cannot be a writer; I am grateful to all of the writers that transform my life every day and inspire me to delve more deeply into my own craft.

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