Surviving

Feeling the warmth of the sun on a cloudy day. A glimpse into a blind billy goat's unique, ever changing perspectives.

2017 05 28: Journal Excerpt Page 11 May 28, 2017

Filed under: Essay,Humility,Inspiration,Life,Perception,Writing — DP Lyons @ 7:26 am

There’s certain periods in my life when I have been faced with difficult tasks. The build up to these times were hard, mostly because I would go through the possible scenarios in my mind time and time again. Man what a waste of time that was. I’m sure most of you know what I mean, because we’re all so much alike in this respect.

Being faced with so many new experiences, 2010 was the largest stepping stone my life had ever seen, and there I was, smack dab in the middle of it. If not for the people in my life, I would have drifted off into the land of no return, but the people were there, in my life, crossing my path, and for that, I became as grateful as a goat could ever be.

Summer was heading towards fall in a flurry of activity, and as the time continued to move forward, the learning never stopped.

Be well all, and enjoy it all.

Deon

***

Page 11

My O&M lessons with Rosemary continued to be some of the hardest things I have evrer had to do. Time and time again the lessons proved to be quite humbling, and a continuous smack upside the head with an assortment of blows from reality. I remember getting home from the lessons exhausted. Not physically, but mentally and emotionally. I didn’t like the lessons in the least. I still don’t like them, but I realize that they are probably one of the most necessary things I have ever done in my life. Nothing has ever had more of an impact on me than these. Nothing has ever tore me down to ground level like these have. Nothing has proven to be the hardest thing I have ever done, ever. Nothing compares. Nothing.

I still feel that when I’m out on a lesson, I’m putting myself out there for the whole world to see. I might as well be walking down the road bare naked with tassles stapled to my ass and earlobes. That’s what it feels like sometimes.

Sorry for that devastating mental image.

That’s the kind of mental anguish that I put my self through in my mind. I can’t stop it. Although I do feel rather good about my accomplishments afterwards. I get a feeling of gratitude also though. Gratitude that the lesson was all over with until the next one. Until the next one. There always seemed to be a next one.

Over all I felt quite awkward walking the sidewalks of Waterville. I went through, and still go through spurts of bad balance and dizziness. It seems that the harder that I try to utilize my sight, the harder it is on me. I do get quite dizzy and confused and frustrated when I concentrate and try to get some use out of my limited vision. It’s like everything is right there, just out of sight a little. If I could only reach out and pull the stuff out of the mirky muck and into some good vision, everything would be so much better. I convince myself sometimes that I can see better than I really can. It’s almost like I’m building a version of what’s really inside my mind. The version of my minds scenarios is occasionally pretty close to what actually is, but I have found out more than not that it can sometimes be very far from the correct version.

Well August brought with it a young man who had exactly what I wanted. He had the cutting edge of assistive technology in the palm of his hand. He had the vision of a sighted man, but without the vision. He oozed confidence and demanded attention without asking for it. Everything that he embodied was what I needed now more than ever. He had so many of the same qualities that Leona had. It was remarkable. He still amazes me today. Probably more today than before. I know more today just exactly what the level of knowledge that this man has.

Steve sawczyn entered my life in early August, and I have been on screech ever since. He introduced me to a world that I never imagined. He introduced me to a part of my mind that I never knew existed. He brought it all to me with the stroke of a key. He introduced me to a place in this world where people like me have a voice, a say, a place in the sun.

I would be a lot different person today if not for the introduction, or re-introduction to my pc. I don’t even know where to begin, so I guess I’ll start from the beginning.

To be continued…

 

2017 05 27: Poetry, Sweep May 27, 2017

Learning how to use the long, white cane was one of the toughest tasks I have ever taken on. The more I learned, the deeper the reality dug in. I am fortunate to have had such a great instructor, and as the lessons continue to come at me through the course of the days, I realize that she was preparing me for the rest of my life.

This poem touches on some of those emotions, those anxious moments, those stepping stones that helped me reach this day, today.,

I’ll be back tomorrow for another journal excerpt, but for now, well, here’s hoping you have a great night.

Deon

***

Sweep
Written 09 29 2012

I grab my cane and sweep along, not sure of where to go
Shadowed lights and dull grayed scenes dot the void along my way
I listen for a clue, a hint, a reminder of where I would like to be
Stray reminders of yesterday’s innuendoes echo through my cluttered memory

Sweeping aside a dark, never ending world, tomorrow comes again
Tap aside the daggered edges of yesterday’s haunting whispers
Spirits lift me up and out of the chains of a coal black, midnight noon
A chorus of invisible lullabies keeps my dreams just out of reach

A question of mind, a hopeful stare, a passing plea for patience
Unseen ripples reflect from a stone cast from an unfamiliar shore
Friendly voices from hidden smiles lend a hand with welcomed comfort
Uneasy feelings tug at emotions that were never felt before

A heart pounds from deep within a core of fiery red
Passion for life bravely beats back the barrage of darkened foe
The staff, the motion, the sweeping steps, the screaming spirit within
Glowing through midnight’s plight, embers of my mourning lead me home

 

2017 05 27: Journal Post Page 10

Another weekend is here, and for those of you who are working, it’s probably gonna be a long one. Good on ya.

This next segment was written May of 2011, and describes the goings on of summer 2010. Such a long time ago, but the memories seem closer than ever. I remember struggling with my vision back then. I remember trying with all my might to catch a glimpse of this, or a sliver of that. I remember around this period of time standing out back with Lynne, and for a second, just a split second, I was able to make out her eyes, her smile, her face, and oh what a sight it was. Those quick as a cricket snapshots will stay with me forever. It’s amazing that the last three faces I saw were my wife, my son and my grandson. How fitting is that! Grin

It’s safe to say that because of that, I am blessed.

Have a great day, and don’t forget to remember what you see.

Deon

***

Page 10

With all that I was going through, I managed to keep it somewhat together. I did lose it a few times and found my self babbling and sobbing on the pity train to nowhere. I couldn’t afford the price for a ticket on this train. I didn’t even want to know where it was going. All I knew was that I wanted to get off, and in a hurry.

The lessons that I had that hot August were the prelude of many to come. I was starting to get small glimpses of how much I didn’t know about being blind. It’s funny how sometimes my sad mental state would convince me that I had this blind thing licked, and then in the next breath I was snapped back to reality with a flurry of blows to my ego and my overall view of the situation I was in. The situation. It sure as hell was a situation. I learned from Leona that it wasn’t really a condition, but a situation. I had always been able to think my way through situations in the past, with a few exceptions. On occasion, I felt as though I could think my way through this one also.

Rosemary and I usually traipsed around a few blocks in Waterville. I had told her on a few occasions that I was afraid that the vision I was left with was hampering with the learning of cane techniques. Well I went and opened up my big mouth. The next lesson, she informed me that maybe we should try the mobility lessons totally ecluded. Blindfolded here we come!

There is no other experience in my life that has been as humbling as walking around with a cane blindfolded. I can honestly say that at times I wish I could have crawled into a hole and slept through it like the bears do. I knew though that I must prevail through these lessons and learn what I could from them. I was very scared of losing the sight that I have. I realized then, and now that if I lose what I have, it’s going to be a whole different ball game. I needed to work on my cane skills and utilize the rest of my senses to the best of my abilities. I still am weary of losing the small amounts of vision that I have left. It is always in the back of my mind. It never goes anywhere. It is like a never ending haunting reminder of what could very well be.

On my second or third lesson with rosemary, I was trying to go up and down a long, high, curving staircase in Augusta. This was again a first for me. I panicked several times and had as much difficulty doing this as I have had doing anything thus far. She could obviously see the panick stricken look on my face and decided that we needed to take a break and talk about what I was going through. I sat down and almost broke down in tears.

She asked me to tell her what I was thinking. I told her that first and foremost, I hated the cane that was in my hands and I hated having to do what we were doing, but I knew it was necessary. I also told her that I trusted her with my life at that point. I told her that I couldn’t see how I could continue the lessons unless I did. I don’t know if that struck something inside her, but there was a long pause. She then said in her stern voice, “Let’s go big guy, times a wasting.”

I could have either hugged her or smacked her, but I decided to get my ass up and continue the lesson.

We then went out in the parking lot of the building and she told me to walk a straight line. I walked for what seemed like a hundred yards and she told me to stop. She then informed me that I had turned 180 degrees and was walking in the opposite direction.

I bent over with my hands on my knees and shook in my shoes. It was at that point that all of my false ego, all of my self centered pride, all of my confidence fell flat on its face, and I was left standing there, naked, facing the rest of my life. Plainly put, I wanted to die.

She explained that everyone has a natural gait that leads either left or right. I was a right footed walker it seems.

We then worked on correcting my gait and for the most part it worked. She stood in front of me about 50 yards and told me to walk straight to her. I did, and I did. It was a great feeling. She was very pleased with my actions taken to correct my right footed gait.

We continued to work on my cane skills in the next few weeks until I left for the Carroll Center in September. Yes, I was accepted into their independent living program that was scheduled to start the third week in September, but that felt like a million years away.

To be continued…

 

2017 05 26: Journal Post Page 9 May 26, 2017

This next excerpt was written in mid May, 2011. I know that a lot of the things in these posts are repeated, but I also know that the rise and fall of my emotions also were very repetitive during those days. It didn’t take much to set me off, and it seemed the more I cursed and cried, the more I realized just how hard I would need to work, because this new life just wouldn’t let go of me.

And the struggle to learn continued.

Happy Friday to you all, and I hope you get to smile today.

Deon

***

Page 9

As I look back to that point in my life I am faced head on with the reality that the person that I was, the person that I used to be has been laid to rest. The person that was looking back at me in the mirror has taken the baggage that used to weigh me down and left town. I can honestly say that I am glad he left. Now don’t get me wrong. He will surely pop in from time to time like an unwanted relative. I can not afford to let him stay in the guest room for not even one night. I can not afford to feed this unwanted guest any more. He can not be let in the front door any more.

I still am not comfortable in my skin, but I am starting to get to know the other guy that is surely staring back at me in the mirror. I can take my time to get to know this new person. I shed the skin of a complacent, non driven soul. I said goodbye to the sight, and welcomed the new vision. I have said on many occasions that I had to lose my sight so that I could see. I believe that more and more every day.

The long days of summer did seem to take a toll on me as the time dragged by. It is funny how slow the days seem to go, but then the week was done and it seemed to have flown by so incredibly fast. A perpetual blur.

July turned into August and I hardly even noticed. Summer had always been the highlight of my year, but with everything else that was going on, well, I just didn’t even notice it.

One day Lynne led me out to the garden so we could check on things as they grew. I had put so much effort into the garden that June. It made me mad as hell not being able to see how it was doing. I had always loved watching the garden grow. It was just so soothing and relaxing to me.

Well Lynne sat me down in a lawn chair as she walked through the garden. She was describing it to me as she started weeding the lower portions where the broccoli and turnip were.

I knew that the corn was in front of me. I could see a small glimpse of the hip high stalks swaying with the breeze. It was a warm day, as so many of those days in July and August seemed to be.

I got out of the chair and down on my knees. I then crawled to where the rows of corn started, and started weeding. It felt so strange, yet so wonderful to get my hands in the dirt and start pulling weeds. I had just finished weeding the garden the weekend of the 4th when I had the series of strokes that did me in. I had worked so hard weeding the onions and carrots. The carrots. Man was it hard weeding the carrots. I hated to have to, but felt so good when the row was all done.

I did manage to weed through the first two rows of corn. Lynne stood up and hollered at me. I guess she couldn’t believe that I was attempting to weed. Attempting? Hell, I was a weeding fool. The only thing was that I wasn’t really sure if I was pulling just weeds and not the corn also. She quickly informed me that I was indeed weeding just the corn. I made it through the entire two rows and only pulled 5 or 6 stalks of corn. I was shocked and amazed at how good I did. I felt good. I felt better than I had felt in quite some time. It was as though I had proven my worth for the first time since my vision loss. I had regained a taste of my independence, and it felt truly wonderful.

I don’t ever want to forget how good that day felt to me. I want to bottle those emotions and take them out on days when I am having a hard time. I need to be able to never forget how simple and easy it was to turn around my outlook on everything. I wanted my life back. I wanted it back in the worst way.

Those first few days in August were some of the most important of my life. I had a sense that things were starting to happen in my life. I was overwhelmed at times with the onslaught of being blind, but it didn’t seem to feel as hopeless as it had during those long dark days in July.

I was still in close contact with Leona and she continued to reassure me that everything was going to be ok. Somehow I knew it would be, just by the way she told me that it would be. I trusted her with everything I had. With everything I have. It was crucial that I took her positivity and ran with it. I needed an excuse to feel confident, and she was it.

I did finally meet Steve Sawczyn and Rosemary Houghton in those early days in August. I was so impressed with Steve that I can’t even begin to tell you. Now I should tell you that he has been blind since birth, and his accomplishments through his career as an assistive technology instructor have done nothing but grow. Everything he had, I wanted. The confidence, the intelligence, the savvy, the self assurance, all of it. I wanted it all.

I also met, as I said, Rosemary, She gave me a certain level of confidence that I desperately lacked. I knew that the orientation and mobility lessons with her would be some of the most grueling experiences that I had ever encountered. I was right, and this time I hated being right.

The first couple of lessons were very strange. I felt sort of cocky and that bothered me. I could not afford to be cocky in the least. I now look back and realize that I was showing off to her the fact that I could still see, even though it was a small sliver in my right outer peripheral, which was similar to looking through wax paper at dusk. I wanted her to feel that she was wasting her time with my lessons. I didn’t need them, not in the least. I could still see. I could still get around on my own. I could still have a brain transplant too, because nothing was ever further from the truth.

The fact is, I was blind. The fact is, I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. The fact is, I needed help. I couldn’t do this on my own, and that scared the hell out of me. It scared me completely. I was completely scared beyond any doubt. Did I mention that I was also scared? Walking around with a long white cane made me more aware of my disability than any other thing. I knew that when the long white cane was in my hands and I was trying to stay on the sidewalk, that I was completely vulnerable. I was completely humbled by my new existence. I was ashamed, scared, humiliated, embarrassed, mad, pissed off, frustrated, and about 400 other internal emotions. I was in fact a blind man walking with a cane, because I was blind. I was a blind man walking on the streets of Waterville Maine in early August, 2010, and I didn’t like it. I didn’t like it at all, and there was nothing I could do to change it. Nothing. I could accept it though. I could accept the fact that I was willing to acknowledge my disability and ask for help. I was willing to start fresh and learn what I needed to learn about what had happened to me, and what I needed to do to learn to live with it. I wanted to learn how to learn to accept what I had lost, and look for things that I could learn so that I could start to live again.

I realized that it was going to be a long hard struggle, and I kept telling myself that I was going to see it through. No matter what, I was going to see it through. I owed it to myself, I owed it to my wife. I owed it to my son, and my grandson, and my folks and siblings. Most of all, I owed it to myself. I said that already, right?

I was the recipient of the fruits of my labor, and I sure as hell needed a chance.

Those first few mobility lessons were an eye opener for me of sorts. Never had I laid my heart and soul out there for all to see like that.

To be continued…

 

2017 05 25: Journal Post Page 8 May 25, 2017

The time is moving quickly, and here we are creating the memories of the day.

This next post is indicative of change, for I was rapidly experiencing change in ways I had rarely seen in my life. It’s funny how our attitudes can change. It’s funny how those things that cross our paths are usually the direct cause of the changes we see, we feel, we experience. As the people in my life crossed my path during those days of summer 2010, I began to realize that it was all for a reason, and I had better take notice long enough to reach out and grab hold of the change and use it as best I could.

Change was happening, and it all seemed as though perhaps the biggest thing that was changing, was me…

Here’s hoping you all have a great Thursday. Until tomorrow, take good care.

Deon

***

Page 8

The rest of my July it seemed like I was waiting for something. I have no idea what I was waiting for, but I felt sure that it would come. I just needed to be patient is all. I needed to trust that my life would have some purpose, and that I would find it sooner rather than later. I had gotten some self help cd’s from Paula and I spent the mornings listening to them. I tried to pay attention to what I was listening to, but I found that my mind wandered out of control. I just couldn’t stop my mind.

Leona had told me when I had talked with her that there were ways to regain the use of my computer. She told me of screen readers, and the functionality of accessible programs. All of this seemed beyond my capabilities, and I was very uneasy at the idea of me ever figuring out how to use my pc with these tools. How could I? I hadn’t even figured out how to be blind yet. How could I? This question got the better of me time and time again. I seemed pathetically hopeless. I seemed as though I was never going to be able to do anything beyond being a burden to my wife.

I would spend my days listening to my audio cd’s in the morning, and after begging for food from my wife like a hopeless, lost dog, I would either sit in the recliner and listen to her work as she analyzed calls or just crawl into bed, turn on the television, and drift off to a world were I could still see. Those first dreams after losing my vision were very strange indeed. I remember them vividly. It was as though I was in the dreams living my life as it was before.
I rarely slept well at night those first few weeks. I didn’t eat well either. I just had no appetite what so ever. I had lost quite a bit of weight while I was out of work for the month of June. I had done quite a lot of yard work and rarely snacked on junk food. I was down to almost the same weight that I was when I married Lynne. As I write this several months later, I have put some of the weight back on. I suppose that I have regained some of my life back, but I would rather have never regained this part.

Leona was keeping contact with me for the next few weeks, as she did for the remainder of her stint as my VR Rep. She did call one day to let me know that she had set up a meeting with Lori Gains, a recruiter from the Carroll Center in Newton Massachusetts. I was excited as hell to hear this and couldn’t wait for the day. I had so many expectations about the center from what Leona had been telling me.

The next few weeks seemed to drag as I was anticipating when the meeting with Laurie Gains would be set up. I was told that I would probably be able to attend the rehab center sometime in September or October. I was chomping at the bit.

I did get to meet Steve Sawczyn in Augusta in early August. I was scared as hell to meet him because he was like a rock star to me. I had been listening to his online assistive technology show with the help of Lynne. How could a blind guy do all of the things that he was doing? I was mystified that the computer was so accessible to people like me, people like him. He just seemed so damn smart to me. The fact that I was going to be able to meet with him was recharging my battery so to speak. I had so much to look forward to, and it seemed that he and Leona were the center of it all. Maybe my life did have a purpose? Maybe I would be all right after all. I mean, look at all of the positive things that were going on around me. New directions and new people were entering my life and I was smack dab in the middle of it all.

I did receive a Rune card reading from Paula some time in late July or early August and it hit me head on. So many things were so clear to me in my interpretation of the readings. With her help my mind had a new path that I really seemed to be able to embrace with ease. It seemed as though I was saying good bye to my old life, and welcoming in my new life. I really didn’t mind saying so long to my old life, because I was stuck in a never ending rut most days, and I didn’t know how in hell to get out of it. There were so many things that had happened to me that I should have been completely enamored with hopelessness and despair, but I wasn’t. I had so many things in my life that were presenting themselves to me. So many positive influences. So many directions that I could take. So many people supporting me. It really was a time in my life that I had rarely seen before. The rush I was getting from all of the possibilities was completely enlightening, as well as completely draining. I was excited as hell, and tired as all get out. My insides were in a tug of war. Back and forth. I am fully aware that if not for these new roads entering my life at just the right time, I might have easily ended up in a place that I care not to think about. I thank God that He put these things and people in my life. I thank Him every day. Most of all I thank Him for giving me Lynne to go through this with. It all seemed more clear and uncomplicated with her by my side.

The talk that I had with Paula on the phone in regards to her reading was an eye opener for sure. I had, for so many years, been trapped inside of my vision. My vision of myself. A vision that I had never really come to terms with, or accepted. I used to cringe at the sight of myself in mirrors or plate glass windows during the course of the day. It just seemed that the person who was staring back at me wasn’t the same person that I felt inside. Not at all. It was some other stranger that was holding my appearance hostage. I had never really been comfortable in my own skin. My mind had a total different interpretation of what I looked like from the inside out, and whenever I was met with my true image, well. It wasn’t met with much enthusiasm on the inside. I dealt with it though, as best I knew how.

It seemed as though I may finally be rid of the haunting perception of myself that had held me captive so to speak. Without the visual input, maybe I could forget what I look like on the outside, or at least not be bothered with it. I could finally grab hold of the person that I was on the inside and carry it out there for all to see, and not be self conscious about it. I could finally work on something that I could come to grips with. I started to become the person from the inside out. I started to become the person that I had always envisioned myself as. I had started to change, and the change was slowly becoming the next chapter, the next leg of my journey.

To be continued…

 

2017 05 17 Essay, Poetry: Old Habits May 17, 2017

Hey there.

I just finished another semester at college last Friday, and as the dust settled down, a thought occurred to me. As much as it feels like I just finished something, there’s something else that’s just about to start. It’s as if I needed to finish one thing, so I could get started on another. Ain’t life funny like that sometimes?

I guess it’s all about the task at hand, like life is one “thing” after another. Don’t you dare loosen your grip, because there’s another one coming around the corner with your name written all over it. No time for self adulations or being able to take a break. Nope. None of that, well, that is if you’re not one to grab a seat and take it easy for the rest of your life.

Granted I don’t take on things like I used to, but on the same note, it seems that things didn’t slow down much when it comes to me. I guess my memo didn’t get out on time or something.

I think we are who we are because of what we do. Perhaps you can spin that around to look at it as though what we do is because of who we are? Maybe it’s a little of both?

The way I do things totally changed these past few years. My abilities changed, my perceptions changed, my reactions to certain things, how I move through my day, how I interact with folks, it’s so different today, and to think that with each day I see, feel and react to new things, or are they really new?

A year ago I lost the rest of my sight, and the changing happened all over again, or did it just continue? The light from the window, the shine of the chrome, the sun in the sky, the contrast of white on black, it all came to a screeching halt, and as I changed again, the way I think about things, realize things, perceive things, absorb things and search for things changed, again. I don’t see my vision changing any more. I don’t see myself trying to find the light, the shine, the morning haze, the evening stars, the full moon, because even though they’re still there, and I can see them in my mind, I’ll never actually see them again.

It’s funny though how I catch myself turning to try and see something going on around me, still. Standing in the bathroom a few days ago, I heard a strange bird call outside. I leaned over to the window and looked at the spruce tree outside, or where I thought the spruce tree should be. I didn’t realize I couldn’t see it until I had looked out through the window and up at the tree. As soon as I realized what I had done, I smiled, chuckled, shook my head and turned away from the window. For those few moments, the picture in my mind turned itself into reality, and boy did it feel good, if only for a moment.

I do these same sorts of things a lot while I do up the dishes in the kitchen. When I am wiping them dry, I turn to put the dish away in the cupboards, and sometimes I reach out to grab the cupboard door handle, and I can see it. I reach out for it, and there it is, exactly where I reach, exactly where it should be. Man oh man how the mind can help to fill in the blanks.

Old habits have a hard time dying sometimes, or is it that I’m still trying to live?

The ability of the mind to see is a habit that I hope will never die.
So far, so good.

The following poem was written a few years ago, but it seems to fit in with this essay. I guess I’m continuing with the theme of April. An essay, a poem, a mark in time.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great day.

dp

***

Mindful Sight

Darkness to the left and to the right
The vision, unseen, lies just ahead
Trudging on through muddled footsteps of the mind
The glimpse of light stolen from sight

With staff in hand the journey begins
Step lightly over unseen paths
The mind wraps around it all
Announcing the unseen visions

Walk through the fear and anxious days
With eyes not seeing, the stories still unfold
The pages turn one by one
And endless chapter of a new journey begins

Helpful hints arise amidst the countless curves
The paths walked before call out with familiar phrase
Twisting there and here against the grain
Rolling on towards sunlight’s invisible touch

With memories of sighted mind
I reach for the light within
Cascading down through the limbs of life
Refreshing the heart, mind and soul

Falling forward, life tumbles on
Unknown roads and unseen faces
Call out a familiar name
Reaching out a familiar hand

Oh humbled soul, take the steps
Walk the mile of frozen fear
The book is open and lesson learned
True visions lie from deep within the pages

Sighted past, forget me not
Remind me of the colors I still see
Explain what I’ve been able to feel
Build shape from the things that I touch
Give voice to the faces dancing in my mind

 

2017 05 08 Essay, Poem: Timepiece May 8, 2017

Hey everyone.

Something that I should have done right after finishing high school is to go to college. I didn’t go to college. Fact is, I dropped out of high school during my senior year. Yup. Fraid so.

I had a few distractions going on in my life back then. Man, was that back then. Damn near forty years ago. Anyway, I did manage to go to night school in my mid twenties, and after a little studying, coupled with a little testing, I was presented with my diploma. Holding that certificate in my hands was a weird feeling. It was as if I had finally caught up to where I was supposed to be.

Thirty something or so years later, I stepped onto the campus at KVCC. A much older man was I, and the visions I had were made up of unfamiliar and unexpected exhilaration.

I was met head on with so many variables that once again, it felt like I was trying to catch up. The powerful surges of electricity soon did catch up to me , and as the tides of excitement and inspiration rose in through the narrows, I realized that it was being harnessed and distributed from a group of four people who spent much of their day generating the source of motivation and inspiration, but they also had a very unique talent that enabled them to gather, enrich and redistribute that energy out into the student body that they represented, that they represent, that they will always strive to be a part of.

This post is dedicated to the cornerstone of my experience at KVCC. They are four of the most devoted individuals I have ever had the chance to work with, to look up to, to gain higher ground with. They are TRiO, and words will never be able to express my gratitude for how they have helped me, and how they have helped those who have walked towards them.

Lisa Black, Portland Wright, Michelle Gaines and Nick Runco. You are the four markers that represent a true path to achievement. I thank you all with as much humility and grace as I can.

Nicholas? You are my commander of text, my mentor of adventure, my guardian angel of digital motivation. Thank you sir, and thank you ladies for a source of inspiration that has reached out to so many.

The following poem is dedicated to you all, and in particular, Lisa Black. I haven’t had the chance to work with you, but from what I have heard from some of the other students, you, my dear, are a gift to those who cross your path.

The following poem is my attempt to describe what I have seen, heard, felt and experienced these past 2 years as a member of the TRiO program at KVCC.

Hats off to you four, and congratulations to those who will wear the caps and gowns this spring. It’s been an honor to walk the halls with you, and as I wish you all the very best, somehow, it’s fairly evident to me that this next chapter in your lives will bring you the experiences that dreams are made of.

Can you hear that? It’s a very reliable timepiece ticking away. It represents all of you, continuing to make your mark, continuing to create your future, one tick at a time.

Hats off to you all, and I gratefully accept your inspiration.

Deon

Timepiece

The semester is over
The classrooms are bare
Familiar sound drifts down the hall
A phone is heard ringing
At the North end of King
Someone quickly answers the call

Preparations have started
Plans have begun
New students are shown where to turn
Timid eyes gaze
At a welcoming smile
Inquisitive minds start to learn

With wide open eyes, a student begins
Affirmations of body and mind
KVCC TRiO quietly make their mark
A union like no other kind

A team stands waiting
A vision is cast
The students’ dreams are revealed
One by one
The yearning takes shape
A plan of success becomes sealed

New bonds are built
Friendships are born
Foundations are laid brick by brick
Weeks turn to months
Caps and gowns march by
As the timepiece continues to tick

Inspiration is born from where it began.
The tutor, the mentor, the friend
TRiO is formed from a vision of heart
A passion that time cannot bend

Dedicated to the incredible KVCC TRiO staff
Without your guidance, help and support, where would we be?

dp
Spring 2017