Sharon's INSPIRATIONAL Short stories of Faith and Romance can be found HERE or visit her
Facebook Page, which also has the links in the comments.)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

WAG 5 writing assignment

“WAG #5: Life In Motion”
Sometimes it’s good to approach writing like taking a photograph with words. On
the other hand, it’s important to remember that a scene is always in transition.
For this week’s adventure, sit in a good observation spot and notice how the scene
in front of you changes from one minute to the next. Has the light changed? The sounds?
The people? What’s different now compared to when you first arrived? Is there anything
you can see (or hear, smell, etc) that is changing right in front of you? Be creative


So that’s the writing assignment for this week. Truer words were never spoken. Nothing is more consistent than change. Life is constantly in motion and if we don’t roll with it, we’ll be left behind. And I speak from experience. As many of you know, nine years ago I lost my vision after a long bout with progressive blindness. You wanna talk change?
I was a legal secretary, used to reading small print, typing orders for judges, preparing affidavits to establish child support payments. I spent my weekends horseback riding and painting, my passion. For two solid decades, my vision came and went. “Now you see it--now you don’t.” Life became a deadly game of hide and seek, fighting for my vision as well as my sanity. And after one final operation. Poof! Lights out…
Devastated, I enrolled in a sixteen week program for the blind and visually impaired where I was taught mobility, personal adjustment and the use of a computer with adaptive software—converting text into synthesized speech.
How could my life have come to this, I wondered, my first day at the rehab program. I sat glued to a chair, hands clenched so tight on the wooden arms my fingers went numb. I was afraid to move for fear of killing myself. There were steep cement steps all over the building. I visualized tumbling down those steps in slow motion, arms floundering, hysterical screams spewing from my mouth until I landed at the bottom with a heavy thud. Then I’d die a slow and tortuous death from a broken neck. Icy fingers of fear skittered down my spine. Crazy flashes raced helter skelter through my brain like a freight train out of control. Just as I was about to scream to escape these nightmarish scenes, I heard a loud tap followed by a hard smack on the wall, heavy footsteps and the unmistakable sound of a white cane sweeping the floor. And the footsteps vibrating off the wall were heading my way.
The next thing I knew my feet were stomped on, the cane thrashed across my legs and the footsteps came to a halt. “Did I step on someone?” his voice was loud, but what I perceived to be young.
“Ah…yeah,” I said, curling my still-smarting toes far under my chair.
“Sorry,” He said, picking up right where he left off, same ritual. Tap, hard smack on the wall, dragging of heavy footsteps, the swoosh of the cane sweeping across the floor. My stomach lurched. Is this what my life had come to? Would they do that to me? Make me use one of those dreaded white canes? I felt the walls closing in on me. No way could I accept such a life of isolation and segregation. No way.
But as the sixteen weeks passed, I learned to roll with the punches. Part of the reason I was reluctant to enroll in a program for the blind was because I thought clients would be uneducated. I was a professional after all. What could I possibly have in common with these people. I was wrong. They were ordinary people…with extraordinary people…just like me, thrust into circumstances beyond their control. I met doctors and teachers, paramedics and engineers. We bonded in a way words could never express. It was a challenging journey filled with heart-wrenching pain. We laughed and we cried. Through this program, I found the courage to move on. I learned what I was made of. What didn’t kill me made me stronger.

Sharon Donovan

11 comments:

Nixy Valentine said...

Fascinating story and so full of emotion. Well done!

Iain Martin said...

Change indeed, Sharon. You do a good job of uncovering some of the many things that are different for you; your words are strong and descriptive. Have there been any changes that you didn't expect?

Sharon Donovan said...

Thanks for the kind words, Nixy. And thanks for doing this writers adventure group. Iain, life has been one continuous change, an emotional roller coaster. But what I never expected was connecting with friends all over the world. This change is a blessing and a cherished gift.

Chris said...

I can't image how hard it is for you. You've come very far even with that set back and I think your courage really shines through.

J. M. Strother said...

What a compelling story, and packed with emotion throughout. It is amazing how you have adapted to change. The strength of your character shines through.
~jon

Sharon Donovan said...

Thanks for the kind words Chris and John. Life is truly a continuous change, isn't it?

Laurean Brooks said...

Hey Sharon,

I've read your story before, but this time it really came alive. Your vivid description? I can only hope to be half as good.

You're going places, girlfriend. Keep it up. Like me, you write for therapy. Having others read and enjoy our yammerings...well that's just an added bonus.

This was beautifully written and heartwrenching. I love the way your words move me.

Lulu said...

I can't begin to imagine what the transition you were forced to go through was like. No one can, until they experience it themselves. But you have opened a window just a tiny bit and given people a glimpse into a world that is theirs, but not theirs. This was a beautifully written piece and a great explanation of how humans cope with whatever life throws in front of them. Thanks for sharing.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hey Laurie! Thanks for dropping by and thanks for your inspiring words. You are so right, my friend. Writing is such great therapy, a way of letting go. And like you in your book, life is a long and winding journey, filled with change and new doors to better things. Best of luck with your presentations. You'll do great! I'll be with you in spirit.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Lulu. Thank you so much for your encouraging words. Isn't it the truth? We really never know what life will slam our way. I guess I learned the hard way that you can never say what you will do in a situation until it hits you in the face.

Nancy J. Parra said...

This was a brave and beautiful post. All the senses came alive and the story really put me in your shoes-plus a nice ending.

Thank you!