I was visiting with Tree last week and she said something that I may have taken offense at. No, offense is not the correct word. Perhaps, pesky is more apropos. We were talking about therapy assignments and the grating nature of them in-general. I was saying how a certain journaling assignment was distressing. Her comment “Well C, that’s because you’re not a writer. You're just not very good with words.” Hmm, okay I thought that stung a bit. The thing is she is right. I am not good with words. I am not good with most any kind of words. Does that mean I’m not a writer? I have horrific handwriting. No one could read it even if they wanted to. I have a very hard time with the volume of my voice. I have been told more often than not to be quiet. I struggle with knowing what words are appropriate for any given situation. I can’t spell to save my life. I am horrendous at BOGGLE, scrabble, bananagrams or any other alphabet stringing games. I can’t even finger spell. I nearly had to give up ASL just because when a person is finger spelling I can’t follow. Luckily, for me most deaf folks are forgiving. I am whole heartedly dyslexic. Numbers are just as bad. Everyone in the room who has dyscalculia and dysgraphia raise your hand.
However, I love words. I love ideas, etymology, linguistics and how we use them to communicate. We tell stories, legends, history all with words. I find it fascinating and amazing. I love how in some languages they're are words that can’t translate. I am amazed that someone in the beginning of time picked up that first burned stick. Maybe they put their finger in sand, or blood and started to communicate. I think those first people had so much to share. First in pictures, or hand prints on walls. Then in scratches, lines, suddenly three lines together meant something. On and on until now. Until me, where I am sitting in a room connected to the whole world. With a box that is made up of letters, lines, dashes and dots. To me that is miraculous.
I am a reader. I absorb history, fiction, nonfiction, and random facts like a sponge. I was that kid the one who could be found hiding in the stacks for hours. I read the encyclopedias, dictionary, and almanac. It was how I escaped. I had only one true safe place, my mind, my imagination. When my body could not escape my mind took me away. Books were vital. I felt so alone. Stories kept me alive then. They kept me alive through cancer, chronic pain and illness. Books have at times been my only friends.
I believe that stories are important. I believe that all people have stories to tell. Now, I don’t like some people’s stories. I do find though that even people I dislike, find disturbing, disgusting, or that I hate. They do teach me with their stories, their words. I think that as humans we have been given great responsibility in the use of words. They are so powerful. We cannot only use our senses but we can describe them. To use words, to teach, to comfort or to harm.
As a person whose voice was stolen. I want to say that I may not be a writer. I may not be a speller, or an alphabet stringer togetherer. I don’t really want to be a writer, or a grammatical error righter. I want to be storyteller. I want to be a communicator. I want to be a sponger of stories.
I am changing this blog to that my story. Some of my story is dark. It is painful to share. I believe though that if I put it out there or here? Into internet land that perhaps I can begin to connect to it. To know that it is mine. No, I don’t journal my every thought. I have never thought anyone would care. That anyone would believe. I now know it isn’t about anyone else. Just me. I love you Tree, thanks for making me think. I know that you meant that I have had the same journal for six years. I know that you know me and that I also have more collages in said journal.