Search

Stories From the Edge of Blindness

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

Category

Writing

An Old Cloak

I find myself adrift between an old life and a new one, wishing for reinvention and fearing the dark corners of my heart will be discovered, laid bare against the startling landscape. I always manage to sully what is beautiful, slash deceit into that which should be pristine. I long to shed this old cloak, moth eaten and weather worn, but it is so heavy. I am faced again with the reality that no matter which way I turn, or how many masks I carefully construct, it is the same tattered image of myself that lurks in every crevice of the sky. I look to the clouds for comfort, searching for a smattering of memory, my mother’s fingers soft against my cheek, her voice singing me to sleep. I search for an identity that burned brightly, before death and blindness shattered my self confidence.

I can remember a time when I felt, not whole, but able to stand, to inspire and satiate longing. I can remember a time before this shell incapsulated me, when I could look away from the strange curves of my face, forget that I wasn’t what I was supposed to be. I remember a time when feeling different was to feel powerful. I wish I had saved the pieces of the moon that rained down on me when I was vibrant, before I became pastel and mute.

I know that one day I will have to descend from the in-between, that my old cloak will still be with me, firm across my shoulders. But maybe, this time, I will find new threads to stitch the holes, in colours that come from neither memory nor darkness. Perhaps I will find the words to shape new skylines, new textures for what lurks beneath stones and shells and rubble. For now, I remain adrift, not in the shadows, but one of the shadows. For now, I am undetectable.

Holding onto the Rain (Part 1)

I have been putting a lot of pressure on myself, feeling like this post should be epic, an explosive expression of my feelings and the unparalleled beauty of this country I now call home. But, the words are pale and fall from my fingertips in stutters. It seems that writing about joy is not in my wheel house; I have connected with the words that accompany tragedy for so long, I sometimes fear that I am only half a writer. But, life is also filled with vibrancy, and I want to write about all the shades of life, not just the dark shades; I hope even a fraction of the colours of my new home come through.

I have learned a lot about silver linings this year, about what is meaningful and what can been seen through the deepest darkness. The year began, for me, with unyielding physical pain that increased with the months, and then the world was thrust into battle with a virus that continues to run rampant. I stopped sleeping, I started eating more cake and drinking more wine. I became unrecognizable. I was quietly turning old before my time.

But, coins have two sides and one of them is always shinier than the other. Despite the pain and the virus and the weight, life long dreams came true. My book, “Things My Mother Left Behind”, was published by Potter’s Grove Press, and Joe and I moved to a place I have dreamed of living my whole life, even though I had never been here. I feel so incredibly lucky, and true to my nature, I also feel guilty for my good fortune. Perhaps I am a coin as well, always moving back and forth between the two sides of my own heart, never still, never in rhythm.

The story of our move begins with what I am more comfortable writing about, with drama, with shadows. It begins with a villain, a human vulture who bought our apartment building in Los Angeles and began to dismantle it the day he signed the deed……….

Into the Center of the Kaleidoscope

To begin with the obvious, this year has been challenging, painful, demoralizing and heartbreaking. It has also been joyful and illuminating, an adventure and a dream come true. Some days, I feel guilty for the good stuff, for feeling true joy as the world breaks into pieces. But, we have to grab onto the good stuff when we can.

For me, this year has been painful, literally, as I have been struggling with frozen shoulder, not sleeping because of the pain, and unable to use my right arm with any regularity. It has been demoralizing and I have spent many nights awake and in tears, but nothing could overshadow the dreams that have blossomed right in front of my eyes.

For as long as I can remember I have dreamed of having a book published. I never imagined I would find someone who wanted to publish my work, who would believe in what I do and put their own time and energy into making my dream a reality. I hope River knows how incredible it is that he has chosen to do this for so many writers who feel lost and uncertain. I will never be able to adequately thank him. He has been an inspiration to me through his writing and his work as publisher extraordinaire. I am so proud to be a part of Potter’s Grove Press. If you want to check out the two readings I did, you can have a peek at my YouTube Channel. If you would like to buy my book, “Things My Mother Left Behind” (Potter’s Grove Press,) you can pick it up on Amazon.

Some other Giant and Joyful news……Joe and I are moving to Ireland, in October. It is another dream come true. I have wanted to live in Ireland since I was a child. It may seem crazy, because I have never been to Ireland, but I always knew it would feel like home. It has been a really painful and trying decade for me and Joe, and this move feels like we are finally getting the chance to step into our life in ways we have long dreamed of. I can’t wait to write my first blog post from Ireland, my first poem, my first story. I can’t wait to feel dreams alive in my eyes and on my tongue. I am ready to fly into the center of the kaleidoscope. Dreams

A Vibrant Whirlwind

I feel as if I am caught up in a vibrant whirlwind, a state of elation and disbelief. To have my words out in the world, to see my book in the hands of people I care about, is a life long dream come true. I will never be able to adequately thank River for helping my dream become a reality.

Yesterday was such an exciting day for me. My book was officially released and I did my first ever poetry reading. If you didn’t have a chance to join me for the reading yesterday and would like to have a peek, here is the video.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=653076411957024

Book Launch and Poetry Reading

I know that Tuesday will be here sooner than I can imagine, that I will be holding a copy of my book in my hands, reading poems from it’s pages, still feeling as if it is all happening to someone else.

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a writer and/or one of Charlie’s Angels. It seemed like having my books in the shop windows and catching bad guys, would make a pretty rock and roll kind of life. The Angel thing really didn’t pan out, but the dream of being a writer and having a book published is one that I have been working toward for a lifetime. It is a dream that, at 51, I am seeing come to life. I don’t forget for one second how lucky I am, how all of the love and support and encouragement I have received has made this dream possible.

I hope that you will all be able to pop by my Book Launch/Reading, which will be my very first ever book launch and reading, so please be gentle! Here are some links:

The reading will be streamed through my Author Page on Facebook. 


You can buy a copy of my book on Amazon 


I will also be selling signed copies through my website 

My endless thanks goes out to River Dixon, a brilliant writer and publisher, a man who makes dreams come true!!!!

Where Sound Disappears

As I prepare for my reading on July 14th, I thought I would post the final recorded poem from the series originally published in The Writing DisorderPoetry. If you are a writer who is interested in submitting your work to journals, I highly recommend sending something to TWD; they are publishing some really fantastic and diverse writers.

Darkness and Light and “Things My Mother Left Behind”

In just 6 days, my debut poetry collection, “Things My Mother Left Behind”, (from Potter’s Grove Press), will be officially out in the world. My heart and mind, my secrets and fears, will be in the hands of friends, and maybe even a few strangers, and I will have the immense good fortune of living through the fruition of a life long dream. For me, it is a light in these dark times that gives me immeasurable hope and joy, and somehow, it feels appropriate that my first book is coming out during a time that has been punctuated by loss and sorrow, as so much of my work explores these themes.

I believe that without the darkness, there can be no light, and the light that permeates darkness is one that shines more brilliantly, offering the most sustenance. As the light of a dream come true shines into my life, I am led into spaces of reflection. I am missing those I have lost, hoping they would be proud of me. I am grateful for the love I know and have known in my 51 years. I am grateful to have been given the gift of time and language.

My greatest hope is that my book will be read and that my words will offer comfort, clarity, a sense that we are not alone, maybe even a new way of seeing. For whoever reads my book, I hope that something in it resonates, that the words find a place in the darkness, and in peoples hearts.

“Things My Mother Left Behind” will be available through Amazon on July 14. I will also be selling signed copies through my website, and I will be doing a live reading via Facebook on July 14 @5pm PST. I hope you will pop by the reading. Links and more info to follow in the next couple of days.

As ever, my gratitude for this incredible creative community is overflowing. I am humbled every time I come here, by the heart, the talent, the support and the encouragement of all the amazing writers I have come to know.

Carrie Ann Golden’s Interview Series

I am thrilled and honored to have been asked to be a part of Carrie Ann Golden’s Interview Series. Carrie Ann did a guest post here on my blog and I adore her and her writing. This truly is an incredible community and I am so grateful to be a part of it. If you are interested in reading the interview, you can so so here.

Just Over a Month

I can’t believe it, but my book will be released in just over a month. Honestly, I still can’t believe I have a book coming out. I can’t believe I even wrote a book. You get the picture. Disbelief.

On July 14, “Things My Mother Left Behind” will be available in ebook and paperback from Amazon, and I will be selling signed copies through my website. If you think you might be interested in a signed copy, please let me know. You can also still pre-order the ebook for just $2.99

I will be doing a few live virtual readings via Facebook and my YouTube channel, sometime after July 14. Details to come.

As ever, I want to thank my publisher, River Dixon, founder of Potter’s Grove Press. He an incredible writer who also makes dreams come true for people like me!

The amazing video is all the work of my husband, Joe, including new comments from Tanya Klein, aka. The Incurable Dreamer.

I have gotten so much love and support about this book and I am very grateful!

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑