Saturday is for Sharing – Phyllis Staton Campbell

Post #121

Saturday is for Sharing –

#7 Guest Author

Meet  Phyllis Staton Campbell

Guest Author

Where Sheep May  Safely Graze

 

Phyllis, We are honored today to have you on Saturday is for Sharing weekly event  on SCAN. 

The scope of your creative work in teaching, musical performance, writing and publication is remarkable. You are truly a Renaissance Woman, Phyllis.

Often, I like to begin by asking an author about their name as a way of introduction.  Our readers like to know more about the importance of an author’s name.

Q_ Do you use your own name for your writing projects or do you use a pen name?  What do you think about your name?  What do you think a name represents?

I can’t say that I have strong feelings either pro or con about the name by which I’m called. Conceited soul that I am, I always write using my name. I take pride in my work, and want the world to know it is mine. There is another writer whose name is Phyllis Campbell, so to prevent confusion, I sometimes add my maiden name, making it  Phyllis Staton Campbell.

However, each of us has another name, one that is never spoken, nor appears on a legal document. This is the face we present to the world. This name is what we are, not to be confused with what some people may think we are, although certainly it helps to form the opinion of others. “She has a name for being generous.” Only we know the truth of that name. It is what we are deep down. Are we truly generous, brave, etc, or do we simply show these characteristics to bolster the opinion of others. Think about it. Do you like your name, both of them?

Q_If you wanted to leave a message for someone you have not seen in a long time, who would get your message and what would it say? How could the message be left?

Phyllis_ It has been five years since I heard my husband’s voice, touched his hand, or felt the warmth of his kiss. Five years since I sat beside him, knowing that I could not go with him on that last step on his final journey. Do I have things I want to say, things I never said? No. They are the same things I said during those years of our marriage, but now, they seem different. “I love you,” somehow has a different, deeper meaning. “I’ve missed you,” is different from when it was spoken when one of us had been away for a short time. So many feelings are different, now that the voice is Silent, the touch is gone, the step no longer heard, the passion of youth is no more. I long to tell him so many things one more time with the deeper meaning that is in my heart. There is no conventional communication between us, yet there is that spirit of love that will connect us throughout eternity.

 

Q_ What do you look for in a personal relationship ? Tell us about your friendships.

Phyllis_ It has been said, and for me, it is true. “You may have many acquaintances, but few friends.” Don’t get me wrong, acquaintances are nice. They are the people you meet casually, in the neighborhood, at work or school, at the grocery store. You discuss the weather, your favorite sports team, perhaps a new movie release.

 

A friend is one that you may not have seen for months, and who walks back into your life, occupying the same place as when they left. A friend is there at midnight without asking why you need them. A friend knows without being told what is on your mind, or in your heart. A friend accepts you as you are, even though they don’t always agree with you. Acquaintances are for today, friends are forever.

 

Q_ What thing could you never live without? What would happen if this one thing went away?

Phyllis_ I pushed the play button on the recorder, and the day-room was filled with the notes of “All Glory Be To God On High” for brass and organ. She sat beside me, this woman, who had been the organist at Saint Francis Catholic church in my home town of Staunton, Virginia for over thirty years. I had visited the church on several occasions, and thrilled to her music. Now that talent was gone, and she was spending the rest of her life in what amounted to a state of oblivion. To our amazement her hands and feet began to move in time to the music. I gently placed my hands over hers, and the fingers were moving exactly as they had moved on the keyboard of the pipe organ. She had no idea where she was, perhaps didn’t remember her name, yet the music she loved brought a fragment of the memory of her former life.

 

Memory is so many things from the practical, “I must remember to buy toilet paper,”

to those things of the past, good and bad, funny and sad. In many ways,

memory is our very existence. For me, it is my life.

 

Q_Do you have a handicap – if so, how does that affect your life and what you do? What would you want others to know about you as a writer?

Phyllis_ I have been blind since birth. People frequently ask, “Is it better to have been born blind, or to have lost your sight later in life.” Well,” I reply, “I’d prefer neither.” This usually earns me a laugh, and moves in the direction I’d like to go.

Losing one’s sight and knowing about the loss when it occurs, can be a traumatic experience, and there’s no getting around it, but it isn’t the end of the world. Well, yes, in a way it is, because that person’s life can never be quite the same. For me, and others born blind, or who may become blind in infancy or as a toddler, blindness is the world we know. Of course, we have problems, but I sincerely believe that in many ways they’re easier to at least accept, but, hey, blindness is blindness.

 

I have devoted most of my writing, especially my books to showing the public that we, the blind, are like everybody in the world, and most important, that we are individuals, with individual likes and dislikes, and diverse abilities. I also hope that in reading my books the blind, especially those who have recently lost their sight, may see themselves and their place in their new world, in a more realistic way.

 

Q_Where can readers see your latest book, Where Sheep May Safely Graze, as well as your previous titles?

Phyllis_  http://www.amazon.com/author/psc-books-all

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Saturday is for Sharing – Musings on Saturday Morning

 

Saturday is for Sharing

 Saturday Musings ~

on the LAST DAY OF JUNE, 2018

Lynda McKinney Lambert

 

 

An essay by Lynda McKinney Lambert

 

Walk dogs – Check!

Morning Coffee – Check!

Open window for Miss Opal – Check!

Read E-mail – Check!

 

Miss Opal is my feline writing companion.

She is seated on top of my file cabinet, watching intently out the open window as she does each morning.  Like all cats, she is intrigued by the bird sounds and life passing by on this rural western Pennsylvania road. We begin our days before dawn. We rise with the crows and the red-tailed hawks that soar over the landscape outside our window. 

 

Next Saturday, I will present my first Guest Author on “Saturday is for Sharing.”

That is exciting because I have some stellar authors lined up for this new adventure.  You will love meeting my guests!

 

I am so interested in the responses to the questions I ask my guests.

Reading them and working on the articles caused me to do some musing on my own thoughts about what I do as a visual  artist and a writer/author. I work across disciplines in everything I do.

 

First, I considered my own challenge –

I am a blind person.

 

Unlike some other artists and writers who are challenged with a handicap or disability, I have never written much about the sudden sight loss that I experienced eleven years ago.

 

I was at the height of a wonderful career and my personal life was fantastic the year I turned sixty-four.

 

I worked out at the gym 6-7 days a week. My body was so healthy and I felt so good in my skin. Hi energy! Excited about life! Living my passions! High Achiever!

 

Other pleasures-

  • My teaching schedule at Geneva College (Beaver Falls, PA)). It was a career that I loved. My courses included lecturing and teaching in the Humanities, Fine Art Studio classes, and special courses in English literature.

  • My studies and teaching extended to include a month-long course I taught while living in Europe every summer. I wrote and drew in my sketchbook every day as I traveled.

  • My first book, Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage developed from my sketchbook jottings and drawings. Life was a grand adventure.

  • In my artist’s life, I was having exhibitions all over the world and had done so since 1976. Literature and art are my passions.  I was so blessed to be living my dream.

 

In a day, that all ended.  While I say it ended, what really happened is that it all changed dramatically when I lost my vision due to Ischemic Optic Neuropathy.  How does a person pick up the pieces and move on, when it seems that you have lost everything you have in your life?  The answer is one that comes slowly – over time. The answer unravels, day by day, year after year.  It has now been eleven years since my own personal disaster stopped me cold.

 

When I thought I was finished

and my life was over – 

I was mistaken!

 

I’ve moved on in my art making to new places where I might never have gone without the sight loss. However, I realize now that my mind was going into uncharted territory before the sight loss.

 

In my writing life, I have written about sight loss by creating some essays about individual works of art that I created after I began to recover. I had intense rehabilitation training – but it took a few years for me to be able to do art work again.

 

I realized that I do not want to be represented by blindness. It was not my choice and I will never embrace it. I will never “get over it.”

I seldom say that I am blind because I don’t want to be viewed through that lens.

But there! I have spoken about what I think of this disability.

I am blind.

  • Yet, I write books.
  • Yet, I make fine art.
  • Yet, I walk by INNER VISION, not SIGHT
  • Yet,  my art is in international exhibitions.
  • Yet, I win awards for my art and writing.
  • Yet, my  life is active and wholesome.

Yet, I have a voice and I will use that voice to speak through literature and art.

All’s well.

Though I walk in cloudy mists and shadow…

 

Yet, I walk!

 

 

Today, as I read the comments that one of my physically challenged guests wrote to me, I began to think more about my own visual challenges.

 

I know some visitors to my blog will read this story and will be inspired and encouraged, to face their own life situations no matter what they are.  I want you to know we all give a voice to what we all deal with every day.

 

Some of us offer hope & insight with our words.

Some of us speak to the world through our works of art.

Some of us write extensively and create works of art also.

However, we choose to do it, we put a voice to our thoughts in our creative works.

 

If you were to scratch down through the surface of me, you will find that  I am an artist at the core, and my writing evolves from art – and art-related ideas. My writing is created as I would create a work of art – in many layers.  These days, in my writing studio, I am layering words and images as I paint the pictures that come through in poetry and non-fiction essays.

 

You are not a disability.

You are not a handicap.

You are courage personified.

The world needs to hear what you have to say.

 

____________________

“Saturday is for Sharing is created by Lynda McKinney Lambert.

Copyright June 30, 2018. All Rights Reserved.

 

PLEASE pass this message along to you friends today.

Please comment at the end of this message. Please re-blog.

Thank you for visiting with me today. Happy Final Saturday of June, 2018.

All;s Well!

Visit me:  www.lyndalambert.com

 

Read more stories by Lynda Lambert at:

http://www.llambert363.blog

 

Author:

Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage: Poems, Kota Press, 2003

Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems, DLD Books, 2017

first snow : Chapbook. Manuscript completed and ready to send to editors for publication.

Star Signs: New & Selected Poems.  Manuscript completed and ready to send to editors for publication.

Editors: contact me for information & viewing.

My Author’s Page:  http://www.dldbooks.com/lyndalambert