Monday, June 23, 2008


One of my summer assignments is "Writer's Workshop," primarily a group for adults with aphasia (language and word-finding impairments, usually from stroke). Working with these individuals has been very inspiring, but never more than today.

Today, I shared my first prose piece with the group, a short "tour" of Reno. They were all very complimentary, but one gentleman more so than the others. He told me, in essence, that I should submit it to a magazine or some other place for publication. I brushed off his compliments, well aware of how difficult it is to make a living as a "writer."

He then shared with us some of his work from before his stroke. It was beautiful; full of descriptive language and imagery. While his poetry today is also lovely, he struggles for a very long time to put together even a simple phrase because the words come so hard won. As we were talking about his work, he said something about my writing again. He mentioned how he used to write "years ago," but "then work, and you know."

One of the other clinicians was sitting next to me, and she reframed his words for me. I wish I could remember exactly what she said, but in essence, she was telling me that he was saying that I needed to keep writing because life can so easily get in the way. We never know what could happen. There, but for the grace of God go I.

This gentleman was writer too. Then he stopped writing too. Years slipped by, and one day, he lost those words he thought he would have forever.

Wow. I think I have work to do.

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