2 May

by Jeff Flodin

I like to tell stories.  I like to tell stories of how I used to struggle so much with blindness, of how I fought it at every turn until I received the grace of acceptance and that has made all the difference. That kind of thing makes for a nice story.

At the end of these stories, I reach a conclusion.  The conclusion wraps up the loose ends of the story and spells out the lesson I learned while living whatever it was that has turned into this story.  It brings symmetry and balance and puts a pretty bow on the whole thing.

In writing stories, I am seduced into thinking that I am reporting my past, writing about things long ago and far away.  “That’s how I used to be; I am different now.”  And I get compliments about how far I’ve come.  I get affirmed and I get validated.

It’s easy sometimes to think that the past is behind me, that, with these stories, I am reporting my history.  But my history is my present.  I am still in the midst of this.  I still have eyesight.  That means I still have eyesight to lose.

And that means I’ll have more stories to tell.  And I have found a voice as a blind person, a voice that I never had before.  Stories are what I can create out of this poker hand that life has dealt.  I can write about what life on life’s terms means to me.  I can’t change it but I can write about it.

Losing that last glimmer of eyesight scares the hell out of me sometimes.  But I’ve come this far and I’m doing better now than ever.  Maybe it won’t happen, maybe it will.  Whatever happens, it’s sure to make a damn good story.


Shared from Jeff’s blog, Jalapenos in the Oatmeal (Archive12/3/2012).  Jeff Flodin and Stella De Genova are facilitating the second creative writing workshop at Second Sense blind service organization.  Jeff will be sharing his writing tips, experiences and knowledge with participating writers.  He’ll also discuss the therapeutic benefits of writing and have everyone think about writing from negative and positive perspectives.


2 Responses to “Storytelling”

  1. krishna kumar May 7, 2014 at 12:35 AM #

    Jeff, that’s a good one. Even I too have faint eyesight with which I’ve somehow managed these 9 years. After reading your essay, I’m inspired to spin stories from my experience with blindness.

    • Jeff Flodin May 7, 2014 at 8:22 AM #

      Thank you, Krishna, for taking the time and making the effort to comment on this essay. Stella has told me you plan to submit some of your poetry to Vision Through Words. I am looking forward to reading your poetry and I hope you enjoy writing it. Thanks again for your encouraging words.

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