Thursday Treasures #5: Reading

July 12, 2018

Post #106

Thursday Treasures #5,  by Lynda McKinney Lambert

 

Note: For today’s Thursday Treasure, I went to my other blog, “Walking by Inner Vision,” Read it here!

I looked into my Archives at Walking by Inner Vision.  I started that blog in December 2009 because I wanted to find a way to communicate with others after my 2-year struggle to be able to use a computer again.

I was trying to recapture my life, after an unexpected  life-altering event.

Today, I’m  publishing an article I first published on February 19, 2010.  I’ve revised that essay  for my readers here at SCAN.

 

Reading: The Stuff of Life

I am reading

 The Power of Myth

by Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers.

This book was on my book shelves for a number of years. It is a larger book that is easily noticeable. I often picked it up and looked through it, waiting for a time when I could sit down and really learn from these two remarkable men.

 

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During my teaching years at Geneva College,

I often thought about what I would do

 

“When I RETIRE”

 

My profession required extensive reading. I loved to read and

I devoured books and periodicals like there was no tomorrow.

However, the reading I did for my courses was always centered around what I taught in my courses.

I longed for more  time to read outside my course materials and requirements.

I thought ,

Someday I will  be able to do that, when I retire.

I began working  towards that magical future time when I could read to my heart’s content with no goal of ever teaching the material. I wanted to  read  just for me. I would read to satisfy my inner longings. I would read for myself alone. I would read for the sheer joy of reading.

I prepared for my retirement, for years!

My book collection was a treasure  trove of books  gathered  & put on shelves in my home library.

The book treasures  awaited my day of liberation when I could begin reading them. I could spend my retirement days with a precious book in my hands, and have no concern about time or interruptions.  I imagined this new freedom, every day.

I anticipated the time when I no longer had to spend time on the road, traveling to classes, or taking trips for business purposes.

I would not have to organize classes or  take students on international study trips. And, no more endless meetings around a table, talking about strategies, evaluations and future plans for student development.

In my envisioned retirement, I would no longer write conference presentations, faculty reports,  or attend  professional development sessions.

I would merely be reading my accumulation of books from my library shelves. I’d be content.

 

My retirement collection contained books of poetry, art, and great literature  – many of the books are by authors I was not teaching in the classroom.

Some are by my favorite poets, and some are poets I want to read but never had time because of my intense teaching schedule. Of course, I had a collection of hundreds of books from which I created courses. But, my treasured books for retirement were different.

Each book, a treasure, carefully  selected and collected.  

 

What I did not  know was  that a CATASTROPHY  would STOP me COLD!

 Ischemic Optic Neuropathy

  changed my plans. I experienced sudden, permanent, and profound sight loss.

 

All of my  reading is now through technologies either on my computer or on a special machine provided to Blind and Handicapped  people. While I am thankful to be able to read this way, it is certainly not as satisfying as holding a real book in my hands – feeling it’s heft; its unique smell; and the sense of touch from my fingers on the binding or the page edges. And, listening to someone read the book takes away almost all of the quiet and personal imagination that is so much richer.  I will never get used to a professional voice reading a book to me. The voices inside my head, in my imagination, have been abducted by those voices on the machines. I hate it!

 

Despite all of my personal emotions at the drastic changes in how I read, I am still very thankful for  books provided as sound recordings by he National Library of Congress.  I am able to order a variety of books I would like to read, but the books by contemporary poets are quite few. I still love academic books by academics and in the poetry section they simply are not there!  The books from NLS come directly to my house and are sent through the postal service to  my mailbox.

 

Because I love the feel of a physical book, some days, I struggle to read one of my books by using a CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) which is a magnification device. I can only read a very small portion of text at a time, but I am grateful that I still have a small amount of vision so I can actually SEE some text.  I still love the feeling of a real book in my hands, even though my ability to read it as I sit on a comfortable sofa in my library is no longer possible. I’d give anything to snuggle with a quilt on a winter’s day with my book in my hands  and my mind and imagination taking flights of fancy.  There is no replacement for those delights. No machine can do it.

I am thankful for this retirement time  away from the bustle and frenzy that was my professional life up until ELEVEN  long years ago.

However, the loss of eye sight brought new vision to me and I can see some things I would never have known existed if I had not lost most of my sight.  My daily walk is quite different now. But, it is a precious life, nevertheless. I can hear nuances in a voice that tell me exactly what a person is thinking – not what they are saying. I am not distracted by their  expressions now.  I am far more aware of perceptions than I ever was when I had full sight.

As I edit this essay, my two dogs lay nearby and my 2 cats come into my office to sit in the open window each morning. We greet each day together, and it is a good life. My retirement is satisfying and I have even had the time to write books and poetry.  I just completed the work on my 3rd book,  a full-length book of poems,  (Star Signs: New and Selected Poems) and my first chapbook, first snow, is ready for publication, too.

As I write. my 2 dogs  are asleep nearby.  Our 2 cats spend a lot of time in my writing office and like to sit in the open window to survey their world.

Good books and contented dogs & cats bring joy to my life.

READING  is the stuff of MY life.

____________________

 

Thursday Treasures is brought to you by the author, Lynda McKinney Lambert.

Copyright July 12, 2018. All rights reserved.

SCAN is the sole property of Lynda McKinney Lambert.

Guest writers may not always reflect the opinions of Lynda Lambert, but this blog is designed to feature authors and artists who have a positive world view.

SCAN is a QUIET PLACE of Inspiration. We love all things ART, NATURE and Literature.

 

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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