Archive | September, 2012

Damaged

28 Sep

by Roselyn Perez

Those pieces which remain unshattered,
Gleam with a brilliance that dazzles the eye,
But, saddens the Heart, eats the spirit,
Like the firelight that must slowly die,
Even as its passion burns,
 
Yet this broken thing, this bird with one working wing,
Seeks to soar, smash through the latched door,
As one of fate’s many battered children,
It’s compromised, but not quite lost,
 
Every scar a point of pride,
A high mark on the test of time,
Dark horse’s universe in its prime,
Still waiting for the truth to shine through,
Life, imperfect, avant garde.

 

Roselyn Perez is the fifth of six children, all girls.  Two of her sistersas well as herself have lived with retinitis pigmentosa all of their lives.  She is 25 years old, resides in Southern California, and is studying creative writing at CSUN.  Her poems have been featured in Eclipse, Literary Journal, Think Journal, and Magnets and ladders.

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Shore of Hope

21 Sep

by Jamie Marks

When day is done
The setting sun
may not be something feared
with slender sures
and moving floors
a hopeful path appears
Certain waves
come crashing in
cresting minutes into years
it isn’t then
but if and when
that salt brings
Better tears
So once again
we come with friends
to meet on sanded boards
and hand in hand
Join gazes forward
we walk until the end
Hope is the shore of reality when we set our sights forward.

 Jamie Marks 45 years old and orginally from Brooklyn- Atlanta-Pennsylvania.  She is one of six generations of Retinitis Pigmentosa- including her great-great aunt, great grandmother, grandfather, mother, herself- her two children- Kayla-16, and Joshua- age 11.  Jamie taught special education for 15 years and just finished her second graduate degree in Vision Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT).  She and her family are very involved in the research and fundraising of Foundation Fighting blindness and have worked with doctors and researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania.  They have been able to identify their family gene, participate in specialized genetic studies, and contribute valuable date for future clinical trials.  To learn more, go to: http://www.fightblindness.org/goto/jamie12

Fellowship Opportunity for Visually Impaired Writers/Artists

18 Sep

We posted something about a fellowship opportunity at vermont Studio Center back in May 2012 and they have been kind enough to share with us yet another opportunity for visually impaired and blind artists and writers.  As you may know, our very own Jeff Flodin has been granted a fellowship at VSC which he will attend in February 2013.

The Vermont Studio Center is pleased to announce two Creative Access Fellowships for month-long studio residencies to be awarded to artists and writers who are blind or have low vision. Each fellowship, supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, includes a $500 travel stipend. Applications for the Creative Access Fellowships are due October 1, 2012 as part of VSC’s fellowship awards deadline for residencies to be scheduled in 2013.

For a complete list of the fellowships available at VSC’s October 1 application deadline, please visit our website: http://vermontstudiocenter.org/fellowships/

So Many Pots – So Little Space

14 Sep

by Andrea Kelton

Terry and I dragged three huge Rubbermaid containers out of Julie’s basement.  These storage chests were crammed full of my pots.  The heavy remains of my 20 plus year ceramics career.

I started Kids & Clay in 1987.  It grew to three store fronts on Damen Avenue.  All filled with shelves of pots, tools, equipment and memories.  When I closed in 2003, my equipment went to my stepdaughter’s house in Michigan.  I gave away pots.  Filled my one-bedroom apartment with my favorites.   And packed every inch of the containers.  My building had no storage, so Julie offered me a corner in her storage space.  

Now Julie’s moving.  My boxes can’t stay.  I could have a yard sale.  Or take the pots to a thrift store.  But I don’t drive.  Time is limited.  I could move them to another friend’s basement.  But that’s only postponing the inevitable.  I haven’t seen these pots in nine years.  They gotta go.  

Terry, a former student of mine at Literacy Chicago, recently down-sized to a studio apartment.  She’s an expert in the paring down process.  Terry helped me drag the containers outside Julie’s apartment.  We tore off newspaper and unwound yards of dry cleaning plastic.  I admired each unwrapped treasure.  Its shape, glaze and design.  I relived the joy of creating out of mud.  Thought a moment.   Then decided their fate.  To my apartment…into the alley for scavengers…or, the dumpster.  The purge took an hour.

We pushed two grocery carts full of pottery back to my apartment.  I continued the process with the stored pots in my pantry.  Some stayed.  Others made their way to the alley.

When we finished, I felt a little tired, but not sad.  I still have a generous collection-a diverse representation of my work.

And I’m on a roll.  Next purge-that bedroom closet full of audio cassettes.  They’re light enough to make their way to the thrift store.

Andrea Kelton was diagnosed with uveitis in 1974.  She opened an art school “Kids & Clay” in 1987, where she taught hand building and wheel throwing to Chicago children and adults. 

Remember . . .

12 Sep

When you’re thinking about which way to go in your life, think of this:

WE TURN OBSTACLES INTO OPPORTUNITY!

His Vision

8 Sep

by Sarah Martin

Running scared from my own shadow that stands behind the internal wall of despair.  Standing alone, overcrowded, crowding over because of the darkness in the mind.

The little ball sliding along the ground, gracefully, rippling over the grooves in the footpath, bouncing over little pebbles, specks of fallen dust, autumn leaves, brown and floating in the winter air.  Protecting the man.  The stick held tight in his hand.  Shuffling footprints, the screaming and buried movement that’s surrounded by a possessive wall that is cemented in thin air.  The small ticking sound of the ball as it scuttles back and forth, tick-tick-ticking as hits against the tall dark walls lining the street.  This at times stops him behind his own wall of despair.  How does this man exist behind the barriers?  I follow the man questioning my place and my right.  Who am I to judge whether or not he is coping.  I sense his unease as he stops feeling his hand against the deep green paint of a doorway.  His long slender fingers run up and down the smooth corner, feeling for conformation he is in the right place.  I walk past him, watching, silent, my heart racing, but also clutching at the wall.

Despair beckons the disguised heart.

Sarah Martin is in her 30’s and lives in Melbourne Australia.  She was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa at age 16.  Since that time, she has been on a journey of light and dark.  The one thing that has become clear over the past few years is Sarah’s passion and joy in poetry and exploring her world through words.

Talking With My Muse

3 Sep

by Nancy Scott

My muse and I were re-reading Stella’s piece that advised “Make something.  Make a difference.”  My muse said, “Stella’s right.  Art is a good way to stir up the world for a long time.”

I said, “But Stella can do lots of things.  I have written about all that stuff, of course.  My writing is full of my not being able to draw, sculpt, garden.  And my regular readers know I hate to cook.”

Muse:  “You do create amazing concoctions out of leftovers.  And we have gotten writing mileage out of your inabilities.”

Me:  “So when I write it’s ‘we’?”

Muse:  “Of course.  You have the time and desire, and I think deeply.  But you couldn’t have your cool identity without me.  Without me, you’d just be another lazy blind person.  Because we get published, people think your weirdness is artistic.”

Me:  “Oh really.  Well let me ask you this:  If you are the co-creator of ‘our’ best achievement, why can’t you let me write serious long pieces?  You know, the ones people get awards and money for?  I (‘we’) ramble if I go on too long, and I have that lunatic family history.  Why can’t we use it to brand confessional advantage?”           Muse:  “Sigh.  Okay.  So I’m a smart-ass.  And I’m impatient.  You want prestigious publication and fame.  I just want audiences.  We make people think, with our short cleverness.  And I’ve helped you take some interesting risks.  How many blind authors would intentionally team up with a visual artist?”

Me:  “Do you think writing is our best accomplishment?”

Muse:  “Of course.  I believe in us.  You are the one who’s surprised when people read our work.  Maybe next month I’ll let you sit on your Fall balcony and write pages of thought-provoking, empathic words without one wisecrack.”

Me:  “I can’t imagine it.”

Muse:  “Me either, yet.  But I’ll consider something longer while you dust and balance the checkbook and chat up the neighbors and figure out what to put with the tuna.  And there’s that NASA launch you’ll want to watch.  Thank God I don’t have to do any of that.”

Me:  “Don’t you inspire me in other areas too?”

Muse:  “Don’t be ridiculous.  We’ve been writing for over 30 years.  I’m a specialist.  Surely you’ve figured at least that much out?”

Nancy Scott, Easton, PA, is a blind essayist and poet.  Her over-500 bylines have appeared in magazines, literary journals, anthologies and newspapers, and as audio commentaries.  Her third chapbook, co-authored with artist Maryann Riker, is entitled “The Nature of Beyond.

**You can go to Vision Through Words May Archives to find “Make Something, Make a Difference.”