Friday Guest Post

I want to thank the people who took the time to guest post on my blog. These past two weeks my mind has not been in a writing mode. With the help of K.M. Allan, J.A. Sullivan, Paul and Susan, you’ve kept this little blog of mine going.

I cannot thank you enough.

On a personal note I am now off Oxycodone and because of that my writer’s mind has returned. Life will return to normal next week as I return to my blog and my second novel.

Get ready for some really cool hospital stories.

Until then I would like to introduce a favorite person of mine who will be sharing her thoughts on my Friday’s post.

I remember the day I met Susan. I was reading a post from a blog that I follow. I remember commenting on the topic and decided to see what others had to say.

It was a popular blog with lots of comments but when I came to Susan’s I stopped.

Her words drew me in. There was something in the richness of her voice that filled me with a need to hear more.

When I visited her blog I found myself surrounded by her poetry and her stories that allowed me to see and feel her adventures.

Her words had wings and in no time I watched as they hovered above playing their games of hop scotch and hide n seek.

In no time a friendship followed. Her inspiration and advice took away the fear of my upcoming operation.  It was an easy decision to ask if she would like to guest host but I must admit I worried she would pass.

Let’s just say it was a happy day when she accepted.

Please visit her blog and see for yourself the magic she creates. She will soon become one of your favorites just like she is mine.

Susan, take it away:

 

The Heaviness in my Eyes

“We are called to be here for each other, it’s that simple and that complicated”

‘James Diaz, Editors Comments from Anti Heroin Chic December 2018.

When Bryan asked me to be a guest on his blog, I was excited, honored and a bit nervous, and then I read the above quote from James Diaz, and the nerves dissolved.  I instantly thought of Bryan and how generous he has been with me and with so many others.  I thought about what a huge compliment it is that he asked me to be a guest in his blogging home, and the nervous feelings were overtaken by feelings of gratitude.  James is right.  We are called to be here for each other, and it is my honor to be here for Bryan while he is becoming better acquainted with his new knee.

Now, what to write about? Do I write about writing?  Poetry? Blindness? Do I wing it and do the stream of consciousness thing, like I often do on my own blog?  Maybe a mixture of flavors is best?  I think I will just see what happens and hopefully I won’t disappoint my host or his readers.   

I write a blog called Stories from the Edge of Blindness, so titled because I have a disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa – I know, it’s a mouthful.  Basically, it means that I am going blind from the outside in, or more technically, I have about 15 to 20 degrees of peripheral vision, whereas a normally sighted person has 100 to 120 degrees.  I don’t want to give a lesson in RP, but thought I should provide some background.  There will most likely be a bit of blindness in this post.

I have been feeling the heaviness in my fingers so keenly. I can’t get my mind focused and finding the words seems a constant struggle. My thoughts drift to what I can’t do; I feel resentful of everything that makes me different and the burden of a disease that makes simple things so much harder.  I lack confidence in my ability to make sense of the words, to create something with them that doesn’t feel stale or insipid.  These are the fates, I suppose, of every writer.  As to the fates of blind people, I can only speak for myself.

Sometimes, when I feel myself slipping away from my writing, when my mind feels blank, I realize that that heaviness I think is in my fingers, is really in my eyes, and the empty page is the product of a defense mechanism in my mind.  Seems like a bit of a tangled web, but it all leads back to my personal belief that the feeling of struggling to find the words is not writers block, but perhaps a lack of readiness to write about a particular topic or face something you would rather leave in the darkness (no pun intended) for just a while longer.

Admittedly, I write a lot about blindness, but it doesn’t come easy.  Although it is a sort of constant companion, it is full of ghosts that I can’t deal with all at once. My particular disease puts me in a space that is in between sight and blindness, so it makes it easier to deny when my mind just isn’t in the mood to accept reality.  But then something creeps up and pulls my feet out from under me (often literally) and I am confronted with the shapes and contours of my blindness.  And my eyes put the weight into my fingers, making them heavy, keeping the words at a safe distance, until I am ready to fully open my eyes again, to truly look at what it is I can’t see.

RP is a confusing affliction.  I am blind, but I can see.  The world is washed away by nightfall, but the sun can also blind me, painfully, in an instant.  If I go out during the day without a big hat and sunglasses, I can’t see anything and the sun exposure can render my eyes aching and useless for days.  It is light sensitivity to the extreme.  Seems simple, put on a hat and sunglasses when you go outside; that part is simple, but what makes me resentful is that my disease takes away my options.

I was walking my dogs the other day, suited up with a large brimmed black hat and oversized dark tortoise shell sunglasses, and ran into a friend.  She came bounding up the street with her lovely golden retriever, taking in the sunshine, no hat, no sunglasses, no barrier to the world.  She looked so happy, comfortable and confident.  I knew she had woken up, gotten her dog ready and walked out of the house into the sunlight, without a single thought but enjoying the morning.  We walked around the block with them, and as they flowed and I stumbled, it hit me that I had been stuck in this loop of resentment about not having the same choices as other people, and it had been keeping me from focusing on my writing.

It seems ridiculous.  What’s the big deal about having to wear a hat and sunglasses?  The wearing of them isn’t a big deal, it’s the have to part that deflates me, the fact that I can’t just leave the house without a thought but enjoying the sunshine. But, the good thing, is that when I finally allow myself to see the loop and find my way out of it, I almost always start writing again.

I think the loop can be anything.  We all have them.  We all have things that we aren’t ready to face or to write about, but that isn’t writers block, it is simply being human.  As writers, we face ghosts in ways I think others don’t.  I think it makes us brave and strong.  And, I think that when we get stuck in the loops and need to step away from the words for a bit, that’s ok.  No one can look into the faces of their ghosts all of the time.

Susan

 

28 thoughts on “Friday Guest Post

  1. Bryan, I cannot begin to express how much I adore you. I am so grateful to have you as a friend, a teacher and mentor. It was a privilege to fill this Friday slot for you, but I can’t wait for you to come back and start telling us all about your new knee and the hospital antics you got up to. Thank you for giving me this amazing opportunity and for everything you bring to my life.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Reblogged this on Stories From the Edge of Blindness and commented:
    It was my pleasure and honor to be asked by Bryan to be a guest on his blog while he has been recovering from knee surgery. Bryan is an extraordinary writer and a truly good person, who I am grateful to have as a friend, teacher and mentor! He will be back next week and if you by chance haven’t had the pleasure of reading his blog, pop over and check it out; you will be so glad you did!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s the having to….I get it completely. The truth is however that nobody else, like the friend you mentioned, notices or gives any thought to your attire or anything else. You are who you are and they either take it or leave it. I would bet that most people who know you take it and don’t give it a second thought.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Steve, this was sort of in line with your post this morning, don’t you think? And, yes, my friend is going to read this and feel surprised. I think to her, we were just hanging out with the dogs doing what we do. She had no ideas she was helping me see and therefore escape the loop….for now anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Really powerful post Susan – both personal and relevant to us all. It’s interesting to be aware of the things that stop us from writing, and really interesting to look at them from the perspective of someone who has such a specific struggle. It’s as though we can write once we’re clear of the other things that are in the way and so the process of being a writer is sometimes about clearing up ourselves. That’s the process of writing – but it’s also a part of life, I guess…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!!!! I have really been loving your comments and the dialogues you start. Maybe, as writers, we get closer to life than most, if we allow ourselves. I may be getting too heady now…..

      Like

  5. Susan, you have helped me press on when I was ready to give up writing! I had just started! If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have tried!

    You were so wonderful then! You were ‘my’ light! And you’ll always be that ‘light’ that guides others, when they need a little nudge, to find their way! You do so beautifully!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You make it easy Susan! I honestly believe: you are a shining orbit in this blogging sky! Without you? It just goes dim! Until you appears again, then it’s all beautiful and shiny again.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Bryan – you had a wonderful choice of bloggers while you were recuperating and it sounds as if you are doing great. Susan, this was a beautiful and insightful post – it gave me cause to pause. I follow a blogger who sees about the same amount as you do and writes about her experience of navigating around with her seeing eye dog Munch. Zena is a school counselor and writing a book. I admire both you for your strength and perseverance. Here is Zena’s site if you would like to visit: https://thesecretblind.wordpress.com.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh that’s great then Susan – here I thought I was introducing you to a kindred soul, mostly since you both have such positive attitudes. I love her adventures with Munch … he is such a fun character and I am sure her upcoming book will be successful.

        Liked by 1 person

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