Surviving

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

2017 08 01: Page 46 and a Half August 2, 2017

Ok then, and here we go, again. This following page isn’t from my journal, but rather from the series of lesson overviews I wrote back when I was taking the O&M lessons. This particular overview describes the last lesson of the original structure I worked from following my initial vision loss of 2010. This overview is rather long, and I apologize for that. I didn’t want to cut and chop the original piece, and figured it was best as it is.

I thank you for your patience, and hope this finds you doing well.

Best to you all, and away we go, again.

dp

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Page 46 and a Half
2012 05 14 Mobility Lesson Overview

Let me start this lesson overview by saying that this will probably be my last written lesson recap , as my orientation and mobility program is winding down. It has been a long, hard, difficult and grueling twenty or so months since I first held a mobility cane, and there has been a lot learned. I have overcome and worked through many different obstacles in this time. I have been shown how to deal with different dilemmas, and have been taught the skills necessary to take on the world and be an independent traveler. I have been shown how to work through difficult situations, and I have been praised, as well as reprimanded, when the time was right. I have learned how to take my fears and worries and nightmares, and turn them into a tremendous opportunity for growth and maturity. I have been blessed to have been given the opportunity to turn the frightened, vulnerable person from those dark days in early summer 2010, into a capable, independent individual, who just happens to be blind.

This last lesson proved to be one of the most difficult things I have ever done. It proved to be some of the best learning blocks I have been able to be a part of. It proved to be one of the best days with my cane I have ever had.

Several weeks ago, Rosemary told me of the lesson that she had in mind, and left it up to me to come up with a plan of attack, and to carry out the lesson on my own.

The objective was to plan a trip from my home, to the Apple store, located in the Maine Mall in South Portland, where I was to meet up with Rosemary. At first, I wanted nothing to do with this lesson, and cringed at the thought. These initial reactions were the norm for my ordinary past characteristics to something of this magnitude. Over several days of thinking about the chore I had been handed, I continued to fall back on the promise I made to myself when this journey of mine came to be. I remembered that I promised myself that I would not walk away from any challenge that presented itself to me, no matter how much I wanted to. This promise has proved to be more than beneficial to me on many occasions, as I have been confronted with many obstacles and situations that I would have normally run away from. Once again I was confronted with another difficult task that I could not afford to veer away from

Trying to lay out the lesson in my head proved to be rather confusing at first. I guess I try to figure it out in one fell swoop, and without being able to jut down notes, or map out the lesson on a piece of paper is quite trying at times for this soggy melon sitting on my shoulders.

The first thing I needed to accomplish was to learn the schedules of the three different buses that I needed to use on the lesson. The first bus, the KVCAP bus from Waterville was fairly familiar to me, as I had taken that particular route a couple times in the past few months. It was determined that the best time would be the 8:30 bus, which would put me at the Concord Coach terminal in Augusta at approximately 9:15 that morning.

After calling the Concord terminal, I was able to plan the second leg of the lesson, which would have me on a bus, departing from Augusta at 10:15, and arriving at the Portland terminal at around 11:25. This part of the lesson had me a little worried as I failed to fully prepare for the transition from the Concord Portland terminal, out to the Portland city bus stop, which was the starting point of the last bus leg of the lesson. I also had to do some last minute preparations for when I arrived at the Maine Mall. When I say, “last minute”, I literally mean it, as the last leg of the lesson was not fully initiated until I arrived at the mall.

The calling, and planning by me was done rather sporadically, in that I did not follow each step of the planning in an orderly fashion. I ended up zig-zagging from one step, ahead to another step, then back a couple to one of the earlier overlooked steps. I was a little upset that I let my planning get distracted, but I suppose that by having the end product reaching the initial goal, well, it all worked out in the end.

In the future, I should be able to better sort out the planning, and make sure that each step is done in order, so as to not have the burdens of loose ends cause any grief during the actual trip.

After getting a ride from my wife to the Concourse in Waterville, I hopped onto the 8:30 bus to Augusta with no problems. There was one other gentleman waiting for the same bus, and we struck up a nice conversation.

I informed the bus driver that I was going to the Concord Coach terminal, and asked her if the bus drop off point was in front of the doors, or would I have some maneuvering to do in order to get inside the terminal. She informed me that she would be able to drop me off directly in front of the terminal entrance. She did, and I entered the building with no issues. After strolling carefully through the open room of the terminal, I was asked by the head clerk if I needed assistance. He directed me to the counter, where I purchased the ticket for the 10:15 bus to Portland. I asked him if it would be possible to have some assistance when I arrived in Portland, as I needed help to get out to the bus stop to catch the Portland Metro bus to the Mall. He told me that he would call the Portland terminal to let them know, and also let the bus driver know. I felt perfectly at ease with this information, and settled into a seat to wait for the departure time.

The next hour was filled with sounds of travelers arriving at the terminal, in anticipation of taking the Portland bus. It did get rather loud and busy inside the terminal, and this did create a little anxiety for me. I have always gotten excited in situations such as this, and without the visual input, I felt a little uneasy by all of the commotion going on around me. Please understand me though, when I say that the level of anxiety that I did feel was very small compared to how I would have been just a few short months ago. I have learned with my lessons, and am able to take charge of my emotions, so as not to let them overwhelm me as they have done so many times these past two years.

The bus departure was announced over the loud speaker, and I could tell where the passengers were leaving the terminal towards the Portland bus, so I got up and started maneuvering towards the doors to the bus. I was approached by the head clerk, and he told me he would be happy to help me get out through the doors, and onto the bus. I told him I would appreciate the help, and was told to wait in the lobby, as he had to go out first and help the driver load the bags into the storage compartments of the bus.

I did take a few steps towards the doors, as I could see the contrast from the light outside. As I approached the doors, I was asked by a passenger if I would like some help outside. I accepted his offer, and made it out to the bus, and in line to board. The driver of the bus came up to me and introduced himself to me, and then offered assistance to board the bus. Once again, I accepted the offering, and soon found myself in the front seat, immediately behind the driver. I sat down and took a deep breath, and felt relaxed, as I had an hour to go before I arrived in Portland. This would supply me with ample time to regain any lost composure, but it also gave me time to recapture some unwanted anxiety, as I was still unsure of the next part of the lesson.

The bus pulled into Portland on time, and as soon as I exited the bus, I was approached by an employee of the Concord Coach’s Portland terminal. He introduced himself to me, and said he would be able to help me out to the Portland Metro bus stop. I felt like I had cheated some how, as this seemed to be a little too easy. I had major concerns about this portion of the lesson, and having him sighted guide me all the way out to the bus stop, well, it was a very good feeling, and I think I shook his hand eleven times as I thanked him.

As I stood at the bus stop enclosure, I felt a sense of accomplishment. I felt a sense of pride. I felt like I was a million miles from home. I felt a little like an out of place wandering nomad, looking for the next ride to take him to places unknown. It felt exhilarating, and scary, and unbelievably electrifying. I had been in Portland so many times in the past, but this was the first time I had felt like I was really “in” Portland. I felt a little overwhelmed with all of the sounds and smells and as I stood there, I realized that at that particular time, I was experiencing the end results of all of the hard work I had done in all of my lessons. I was being rewarded the fruits of my labor. I was being handed something new, and for the most part, I knew exactly what to do. It felt good, and new, and strangely appropriate.

As I waited for the 11″35 bus to the mall, a young girl came up to the bus stop. I could hear her drop her heavy suitcase, and immediately asked her if she was taking the bus out to the mall. She said that she had been on the bus from Augusta with me, and that she was taking the bus out to the airport, and wasn’t sure if it was the same bus that I was waiting for. The bus stop apparently had a placard on the inside wall that contains the bus routes and numbers of the bus line, and as she studied the information, she told me that indeed, we were waiting for the same bus. I smiled as another piece of the puzzle fell into place.

She told me that she was heading home to New Mexico, and had just finished her year at Colby college. I told her that I lived nearby Waterville. She seemed a little preoccupied, and restrained from talking to me, so I ended the conversation.

As she told me that she needed to go back to the terminal to get some change, the bells from a nearby railroad track sounded. Once again I was hit head on with just how far from home I was, and how vulnerable I felt. This feeling didn’t last long though, as the sound of the approaching bus took charge of the moment.

The bus pulled up to the stop, and the doors opened, with the driver shouting out to me, asking me if I was going to the mall. I smiled and hollered yes. As I approached the bus, he informed me that there was about a foot gap between the curb, and the bus entrance. I thanked him as I climbed on board. As I handed him the fare, he informed me that there were seats open right away on the left. I quickly smacked my way to an open seat. Just as I sat down, I felt a large bag plopping onto the seat to my right. It was the young girl whom I had been chatting with at the bus stop. I smiled, sat back, and took another deep breath. Another piece of the puzzle had been firmly put in place, with just a couple more to go.

The bus ride to the mall was full of all types of audible excitement. The sounds of the air brakes, the city traffic, car horns, sirens, and the sounds of the passengers in the bus, it all sounded wonderfully busy to me. It sounded as though I was listening to a movie. It sounded like I was heading to the mall, and as I smiled again, the bus loud speaker bellowed, “Macy’s, Maine Mall, next stop.”

The bus stopped, and as I got up and moved towards the front of the bus, the driver asked me if I needed help exiting the bus. I smiled, and politely told him that I didn’t. He again told me that there was about a foot gap between the bottom step, and the sidewalk. I thanked him again, and smacked my way down the steps, and out onto the sidewalk in front of Macy’s.

I swept and took several steps until I found the wall of the store, where I turned, took another deep breath, and smiled as I reached into my pocket for my digital recorder, and my cell phone.

I had recorded all of the information that I would need for the trip on my recorder, and quickly found the recording for the Mall Security phone number, which I called. I told the officer on the other end that I had arrived at the Macy’s stop of the Metro route, and that I needed assistance to get into the mall, and to the Apple store. After ending the call, I leaned onto my cane, and wondered if Rosemary was near the area, watching and waiting. I smiled again, and chuckled under my breath.

A couple minutes later I heard the faint sound of keys jingling, and wondered if it was one of the security officers approaching. It was, and as I took his arm, I smiled again. The last piece of the puzzle took it’s place. The finished product, nearly complete. I was on my way into the Mall, and to the Apple store

As we arrived at the store, he asked me if there was someone I was supposed to meet, and what they looked like. As soon as I described Rosemary, I heard her voice behind me, to my left. At that point, I started celebrating in my mind. The confetti and balloons started falling, and as the master of ceremonies congratulated me, I took another deep breath. I had made it. I had successfully thought out, planned, and carried out my last mobility lesson. The hardest lesson of all. The most gratifying lesson of all. The ending lesson of a long line of mind bending, twist turning, gut wrenching stepping stones of the past twenty-one months.

I thanked the Security Officer, shook his hand, and turned my attention to Rosemary. she asked if I was hungry, and I assured her that I was. We made our way to the area of the mall where the food court is located, with her sighted guiding me through the Mall.

We ordered a sandwich and found our seats, and as we sat there and ate, I couldn’t keep from wandering back through the past few hours. I kept going over the lesson, step by step in my head. I tried to stay focused on our discussion, but I found myself still sitting on one of the three buses, making my way to Portland. I felt wonderfully good, and as I took one more deep breath, I was able to take in all of the sounds of the Mall. I had grown up nearby, and had been in the Mall a hundred times during my youth. I knew exactly where I was, and exactly how I got there, and it felt satisfyingly wonderful.

We talked and ate our sandwiches, and then made our way back to the Apple store, where we got some information on some of the apps that are available for their products. I also got the chance to play a little with a new iPad. The store was alive with the sounds of technology. My heart was racing, and I tried to take it all in.

As we left the store, and headed outside to Rosemary’s car, I actually got a small sorrowed feeling that the lesson was finished. I realized that we still had an hour and a half ride back to Waterville, but the lesson felt like it had come to an end.

The ride home was full of discussion about the lesson, the past year and a half, and all of the things that blended into it all. Rosemary told me several times how proud of me she was, and how confident I looked as I stepped off the bus at the Mall. I suppose after hearing this from her, and from others, that it might be starting to sink in that I do have a strong appearance to other people. That how I appear to be on the outside is perhaps slightly similar to how I feel on the inside. Perhaps the scared little boy is starting to look and feel like a competent, capable, strong willed man. Perhaps I may fully take hold of these feelings in the future, but I must hold tight to that scared little boy on the inside who is constantly seeking experience and maturity. I need always remember where that scared little boy has been, and all that he has felt, and been scared of, and overcome, and held passions for. I can safely say that all of what that scared little boy has to offer, will always have a place in the life of the man that stands before the mirror these days. I can never let myself forget how far I have come, and will hopefully never lose focus on how much further I still have to go.

I realize that my journey is not so different than most peoples, in that I have to wake up every morning and live it, no matter what may come along the way. I take on the day, one step at a time. I live my life, one sweep of the cane at a time. I am like all the rest in that respect.

I remember back to the days that followed my sudden loss of vision, and I reflect back on how alone and fearful I was. I remember how much of my life I wanted to trade off. I would have given anything to have been able to work out a deal with God to trade all of my woes, misfortunes and just overall crappy luck for another day of sight. Just one more. That’s all I wanted.

I realize today that my life is right where it is supposed to be. All of the twists and turns that have led me to this day are for but one reason. I have learned what I needed to learn this past couple of years. I still have much to learn, and will take it on, one experience at a time.

I also feel that I needed to learn about other people as well. I needed to learn how to really feel gratitude. I needed to learn how to ask for help, and graciously accept it when it was offered. I have learned how to step back and feel the complete electric charge of pure humility. This, more than any other feeling, has helped me to overcome, and conquer my tightly twisted emotions that had been such an unanswered part of my life. I am able to feel those same emotions these days, and ride them through the experiences that have enabled me with so many wonderfully different learning moments.

I have so many things running through my mind as I write this overview. It is hard for me to put most of it into words, and as I try to get them into this document, I drift back and forth through time.

I realize that my future is at best, uncertain. I also realize that if I continue on the same paths of the last twenty or so months, I will be better prepared to handle the uncertainty of my future, one sweep at a time.

I can never properly express my humbled thanks to the Division for these learning opportunities, and for having such a wonderful instructor as Rosemary placed in my path. I am where I am today because of her devotion, steadfast drive, determination, and wonderfully natural guiding instincts. I am blessed to have been given the chance to work with her, and have grown quite fond of the comfortable feeling of knowing that she has always been just a few steps behind me, ready to teach, ready to praise, and ready to steer me straight.

I realize that every time I leave the comforts of my home, I will embark on a new mobility lesson. I realize that all of the variables of the day will continue to come cascading in on my world.

I also realize that I am no longer fearful of the unknown as I once was. I am ready, willing and able to tackle the rest of my life, one mobility lesson at a time.

To be continued…

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2017 06 22 Journal Excerpt Page 36 June 22, 2017

Here I go again on another emotional trek. It seems that’s mostly what I did back a few years ago. I lived a little, I felt a lot. It’s pretty safe to say that a lot of what I was feeling was so different, I wouldn’t have been able to put a name with the emotion. Fact is, if faced with those same emotions today, I probably still couldn’t pin a name to it. I lived it though, and learned a great deal from it, from them.

 

This next excerpt took me back to a place that I’ll never ever have to worry about forgetting. The level that this page grabbed hold of me was unforgettable, and the lesson learned was priceless.

 

I hope you’re having a great day, and I’ll catch up with ya later on.

 

Be well.

 

Deon

 

***

 

Excerpt describes summer 2011.

 

Page 36

 

With each O&M lesson came different situations which proved to supply me with different experiences. As my written overviews detailed the lessons, they allowed me to go back and explore those experiences from my own unique perspective. So many lessons accompanied so many memorable moments.

 

One of the most memorable of the bunch was the time when I didn’t care much for where the street ended. There I was, walking my way down the sidewalk, when all of a sudden, I took three or four steps onto a lawn. I turned to face Rosemary and asked her what the hell happened, and why I was standing on grass. I imagine she was smiling as she looked at me and told me to figure it out.

 

Well, I turned a quarter turn, then another, then another, and again asked her where I was. The panic slowly subsided, only to be replaced with a level of confusion that I had rarely faced.

 

She was very determined not to help me figure it out, and so as I turned where I stood, I tried to figure it out. The audio clues continued to come at me, but I couldn’t put them to any good use. I looked up to find where the sun was, then listened again to the sounds. Cars going by, children playing, a dog barking, they all mixed into my head like a chef’s salad, and for the life of me, I couldn’t find the ranch dressing.

 

Finally, as I slowly started to remember where we were, the neighborhood, the pieces of the puzzle began falling into place. The children were out at recess at a school that was at the end of the street where I had been walking. The traffic was running back and forth, which I knew was Pleasant Street. The sun was, for the most part, in the eastern sky, for it was fairly early in the morning. The grass? The grass? Really? Now, let me think.

 

And think I did, until a smile crept across my face.

 

Rosemary asked me what I was smiling about, and I began to tell her what I thought had happened to the wandering goat.

 

I had reached the end of School Street, which had the school on my right as I approached the street corner, the School Street and Pleasant Street corner. This particular street corner was not raised up from the street, but was flush with the street level, which explains why I didn’t detect it with my cane. I swept right past the tactile mat at the corner, not hitting it with my cane, and proceeded to walk right across the street without knowing it. Rosemary had walked up beside me as I approached the corner to make sure there was no traffic coming along Pleasant Street. There wasn’t, so she let me walk across the street, through the opposite sidewalk, which was also level with the street, and up onto the lawn of an apartment building, where I finally realized something was wrong and stopped.

 

This was one of the most awakening moments of my mobility experiences. I will never forget it, and as I write about it right now, those same emotions came rolling in. Remembering back, I am pretty sure that I had become completely caught off guard, mostly because my concentration had been broken. The sounds of the children outside playing at recess picked me up and carried me away. This was the second time we had been around that same block that morning, and I guess you could say I was feeling a little cocky. I was so self assured that there would be no problems to think through, no obstacles to work through, no dilemmas to have to problem solve through. It was just me, my cane, and my misplaced ego against the great big beautiful visual world.

 

Man how 8 seconds can change your attitude.

 

To be continued…

 

 

2016 04 13 Poetry: Fingertips April 13, 2016

If I didn’t know it, I’d say it looks like another April the 13th. Am I right? Let me see.

Hmm.

Yup! I knew it! Good old April 13! And how are ya doing my old friend?

I’ve seen a few of these, and the way it looks from here, I’ll probably get a chance to see a few more.

I’ve seen a few pages of text in my life too, with more than my share appearing under my fingertips these past few years. So many words, so many lines, so many different ways a piece of writing can move and flow. There’s no telling where my writings are gonna go half the time, and the other half, well, I couldn’t begin to tell you how they ended up where they did. Writing for me is an adventure. It’s probably more of an adventure than it is for those who read it. I’ve told you before that when I’m done with a piece of writing, and I go back and read it, it’s like I’m reading someone else’s writings, because it just sounds unfamiliar to me. Call me brain dead, and I’d tell you you may just be right, but it is what it is, and as I go back and read through the stuff I write, it’s like taking a journey down an unfamiliar, friendly road. Is that possible?

Anyway, this is poem number 13 that I am submitting for my poem a day challenge for the National Poetry Month of April.

I just thought of that Three Dog Night song, Pieces of April.

Man I love that song, and I thank you for stopping by my blog. Have a great rest of your day, and I’ll catch ya tomorrow.

Now, it’s on with the show, or the poem, or the submission, or is he ever gonna stop?

Grin

dp

***

Fingertips
A poem by DP Lyons

A monitor stays dark.
A screen reader comes alive.
The keys slowly begin their mystical chorus.
Letters quickly find their way, their place, their meaning.

Fingertips dance effortlessly across the sea.
One line of text forms quietly, complete.
A second line collects in the shadows, following close behind.
Margins begin to rise and fall with the rolling tide.

Merging with text, definition begins its methodic pace.
Punctuation falls into place with calculated precision.
Consonants carve through the trade winds, unfurling those ancient sails of script.
A story has begun.

 

2016 04 04 Poetry: I April 4, 2016

Another day, another dollar three eighty five. Oh my. Look at the shiny coins.

Squirrel!

Ok then. I’m back, and I’m focused, or am I?

Have you ever thought you knew what you needed to know, only to find out that you were incredibly wrong? Yes, this has happened to a goat I know on a number of occasions. Actually, on numerous occasions, or is that the same thing?

It’s April 4th, 2016, and don’t look now, but you’re probably eventually going to end up heading towards something that you are totally unprepared for, and it’s probably going to sting, a little, and maybe a lot, but there’s only one way to find out, right?

This poem below is one that I just finished writing a few minutes ago. It’s quick, to the point, and although it continuously seems to avoid the point, it eventually took me to a place I have been a few times, but ended up being completely unfamiliar with.

And then, the day keeps coming atcha.

Thanks for stopping by one more time, and I do hope you keep on finding the courage, the strength, the faith that you’ll end up exactly where you’re supposed to be.

Take care, and here we go, again.

dp

***

I

I’m sorry
I didn’t know
I didn’t think
I didn’t realize

I wasn’t paying attention
I wasn’t looking out
I wasn’t expecting it
I wasn’t ready

I ask for forgiveness
I ask for understanding
I ask for compassion
I ask for guidance

I will try harder
I will try again
I will try one more time
I will try and try

I’m slowly catching up
I’m really working hard
I’m giving it all I’ve got
I’m almost there

I can almost see it
I can almost feel it
I can almost hear it
I can almost sense it

This isn’t the right one
This looks completely different
This seems out of place
This isn’t what I was expecting

Am I in the right place?
Did I make a wrong turn?
Have I misunderstood?
Do I look confused?

I made a mistake
I apologize
I’m sorry
I,

 

2015 02 24 Constructiveness February 24, 2015

Constructiveness

Hello. My name is Deon, and I’m a writer. I haven’t always considered or called myself a writer, but these days, it’s fairly apparent that most of my constructiveness is done so using a keypad and a screen reader. Is constructiveness a word? If it isn’t, it should be.

I’m still not used to the sound of calling myself a writer, and I’m certainly not used to the feelings associated with it. Fact is, I’m a rather shy person, and whenever I receive praise for my writings, or for anything, I can sense my ears getting red. Yep. You heard it. My ears get beet red whenever I get embarrassed, brought on by my pathetically shy state. I suppose I’m not as shy as I used to be when I could see, but characteristic traits have a habit of sticking to us like glue, and stuck to me it has.

I am a writer, and before that, I was a regional salesman, which is a glorified name for a truck driver who sells stuff to people who need the stuff and have money to buy the stuff. I was pretty good at it, and was the top salesman for my last company a couple years in a row. The company had over thirty regional sales reps, so once again, I was pretty good at it.

I’ve always done well with things that I have taken part with. I suppose I owe that all to my folks and my siblings. My brothers and sisters all excelled in whatever they tackled, which provided me the inspirational drive that has stayed with me to this day. Always try to throw faster, run faster, swim faster, jump higher, and if you don’t, keep practicing until you do. Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be done? No blue ribbons or trophies for just trying. At least not back where I came from.

Like I said, I’m a writer, and I love to write. I have written long stories, short stories, poems, essays, stuff I don’t know what to call, and I have enjoyed every second of it. It was a little slow in coming, that is after I lost my sight. You see, I had to learn how to touch type, which was something I used to cringe at whenever I heard my wife suggest I learn. Finger cramps, wrist cramps and hand cramps weren’t anything I looked forward to, and the four fingered, hunt and peck system I used up to then seemed to work for what I needed to do.

Boy did that mind set change.

With a rehab and independent living skills program opportunity dangling there in front of me, I had to learn how to touch type, and learn I did. Within a couple weeks I was banging away like a finger tapping, key punching fool. I was actually surprised how easy it was to learn. I suppose that my mental attitude had a huge part to play in the learnings, but either way, my life as a writer was born.

I have written a few miles of text in four plus years. Around corners, up hills, down across bridges, and it all ends up right in front of me on my pc screen, with JAWS hollering out the detailed adventure.

One other thing I’m not used to doing, and feel totally uncomfortable with is critiquing of others writings. Unless it’s a very familiar material matter that the writing is about, then I will add my advice with details that transpire with the writing. As far as writing styles, formats, and anything to do with the English language, count me out. Sorry to say it, but I have never liked the learning of English. Sentence structures, nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs and the likes have twisted my mind up like a butter pretzel. I know the language fairly well, and I do ok with the writing of it, but to try and tell you that this should be over there, and that shouldn’t even be here, well, I’ll just quietly sit and listen, while I try to learn.

The first time I had one of my writing pieces critiqued in a constructive manner just about destroyed me inside. I felt like someone had broken into my home and robbed me blind. No pun intended. I felt as though everything I had ever written wasn’t up to standards, wasn’t appreciated, wasn’t, or shouldn’t ever be displayed in any public forum again for as long as I lived.

But then again, that’s just me.

It did take some time to be able to look past the criticism, the critique, the painful experiences, and find the lessons that were hidden inside the critique. Once I was able to step back from my emotions and approach the critique from other’s perspectives, I was able to grow and evolve. I like to use the phrase, absorb, adapt and advance. That’s what my writings, along with being blind, have taught me. Almost as a prize fighter does, we absorb the blows, learn how to better shuck and jive our way through the situations and take control of said situations when and if they should arise again.

As I said, I am no critiquing noble or anything, and I probably will never lay claim to such a thing, but I do know how hard it can be to receive at times. I do know how much we put ourselves out there when we write. I know how deep into spirit and soul our writings come from, and with such strong emotions wrapped around those amazing penned words, I know how cutting the critique can be at times.

I hope that with each incident, I will grow and become more aware of the lessons that are inside each well thought out comment made towards my writings, and I will always try to take advantage of each situation and make the best of it.

From a truck driver’s writing perspective, I hope that I’m able to keep on writing for the rest of my life, as it has brought me riches beyond belief.

No matter where you go, there you are, so please, please, take full advantage of it.

Thanks for stopping by, and God bless all of you. Take care.

dp