Two Groups 

The other day we went to a writers’ group.  I wondered if I would feel intimidated by those who have published and sold more books than I have.  Not so, the presenter, James Bruner,  has written two mysteries and has a third underway. James explained that he worked with a hybrid publisher (where you buy their services) for his first book, and how he self-published the second.  His motivation for writing was to preserve a special place (Maine) and time for his children to appreciate and understand.  But when I asked him how many of his six children had read the book, he did a little dodging!  Clearly, the pleasure of writing and selling books had taken on a wider meaning for him. This is what engaged me.  I’m sure our author expresses himself well in print, but it was James’ presentation that captured my attention.  He paced the small podium, precariously close to its edge, his body danced and gestured in his excitement, his hands, face and voice spoke as many volumes as his words.

We know James is a good storyteller because he embodied it, storytelling overflowed from every pore.  Undoubtedly there was an element of performance to it – there were books for sale after all – but he gave of his essence and for me that was the allure.

Since coming to Florida, I have attended a low vision support group.  I’ve had low vision for well over twenty years, and when I was first diagnosed sought out such a group. The only one in my area involved people twenty or more years older than me confronted with a different set of issues than  those of a young mother raising small children. Since I now have a group, I guess this just goes to show that growing older has its benefits. There’s always too much to cover in the support group meetings.  Advances in technology can enrich the lives of people who have low vision – but you have to be advanced!!  So we are becoming familiar with Google Home , Siri and Alexa, talking books, electronic magnifiers, computer and ‘phone apps, speech recognition software, and much more. Although it’s sometimes overwhelming, it can also be exciting to someone who has some remaining sight.  But my new friend does not.  She’s older than I am and started losing her sight at age 5.  Although her family wanted to take care of her, she  prefers to live alone.  With little other than the perception of light and dark, she sews  beautiful blankets that she gives to people in need.

Recently we went to an event together.  Once she was settled in the car we asked her how she was doing,

“Great” she said, “I’ve just been camping!”

I can’t avoid being drawn to her, she is all essence!

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