Thursday Book Feature: Essays Provide Audio Insight


Eavesdropping: A Life by Ear
By Stephen Kuusisto
Copyright 2006.

In this collection of essays written mostly in chronological order, the author, who has been legally blind since birth, discusses how he takes note of sounds most of us don’t perceive. He talks about how, as a child, he enjoyed listening to his grandmother’s radio and records and developed an appreciation for opera as well as other musical styles. He also describes how he learned to love literature through talking books. He explains how he traveled around the world as an adult, sometimes alone, sometimes with others, relying mainly on his hearing for information and insight.

Like Kuusisto, I developed a love of opera as a child, so I could relate to that. I also enjoyed his account of how he lugged his specialized talking book record player to his junior high music class so he could share a recording of someone reading his favorite poem instead of his favorite song. I also found his account of getting lost in an airport especially interesting, wondering why in the world he didn’t request assistance from the airlines in advance like I do when I travel. Even though I have some vision, I think this book does a great job of portraying the world through the author’s ears instead of his eyes.

***

Abbie Johnson Taylor
We Shall Overcome
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems
My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds
Like Me on Facebook.

***

Meeting My Inspiration Again


One sunny afternoon last week, I was resting in my recliner, listening to the drone of lawnmowers and whine of weeedwhackers as my landscapers did their weekly business in my yard. Suddenly, I heard a crash. This time, it wasn’t my garage door being smashed by a truck belonging to a patron of the day care center next door. It was a lawnmower colliding with a car in my neighbor’s driveway on the other side. I know this only because one of the landscapers, not knowing me, came to my door, thinking it was my driveway and my car.

According to a policeman who showed up a couple of hours later, the car sustained a lot of damage. I gave him the landscaping company’s phone number, and he gave me his card, saying he remembered asking me years ago if drivers were stopping to let me cross streets with my white cane. I couldn’t believe it.

In the fall of 2002, I was single and living in an apartment complex subsidized for seniors and people with disabilities. A registered music therapist, I was working in a nursing home. On a day off, I was walking home after my water exercise class at the YMCA. I’d just jaywalked in front of my building and stopped to talk to a neighbor in a wheelchair when she told me there was a policeman behind me. I turned around and there he was, on a bicycle.

Where had he come from? Had he seen me jaywalk? Was I about to get a ticket, my first ever brush with the law?

To my surprise and relief, he asked me if I was having difficulty crossing streets because drivers weren’t stopping. I told him that as long as I used four-way and other intersections where drivers were required by law to stop, I rarely had a problem. I also explained that I couldn’t see well enough to get the license plates from offending vehicles. He said he would bring up the issue at roll call and rode away.

Now, I was again flustered, even though I’d done nothing wrong this time. All I could tell him was that our first meeting had inspired my first novel. I should have given him my card, but I didn’t. He probably thought I was nuts and wished he’d given me that ticket for jaywalking years ago. In any case, we parted amicably enough.

After I posted about this incident on Facebook, someone asked if the story would continue. That remains to be seen. I may never see that officer again, but I’ll always have the memory of how our first meeting inspired We Shall Overcome.

***

Abbie Johnson Taylor
We Shall Overcome
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems
My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds
Like Me on Facebook.

***

POSITIVE PEBBLE CHALLENGE! ! !

In a world of negativity, let’s see if we can think of something positive to share. Please feel free to comment here and/or on Patty’s blog. Let’s stop thinking negative, even if only for a moment.

Campbells World

POSITIVE PEBBLE CHALLENGE!
The world is filled with a lot of negativity.
A lot of people deal with depression, anger, and rejection.
I do too.
But.
I have decided that for the next 24 hours I am going to try to spread some positivity.
I challenge each one reading this to comment and share one positive thing no matter what it is if it makes you feel good share it.
I also challenge each one of you to share this and invite and encourage your friends to do the same.
Remember, one pebble tossed into a pond makes a ripple.
If enough people toss enough positive pebbles we can make a wave.
Social media spreads a lot of struggle and strife.
Help me stop the madness one positive pebble at a time.

View original post

Saturday Song: Eifel 64–Blue


I ran across this video by accident, but it reminded me of a time when I was in high school and assigned to read Stephen Crane’s The Blue Hotel.” Blue is my favorite color, and before reading the story, I couldn’t think why Stephen Crane would give it this title. I imagined a hotel where everything was blue: blue carpeting, blue bedspreads, blue desks, blue nightstands, blue telephones, blue towels, blue bathtubs, etc. You get the picture. It was pretty odd, and so is this song. Enjoy, and have a great Saturday.

***

\***

What’s your favorite color? Do you have an object you cherish of that color, or did you have such an object as a child? I look forward to reading about it, either in the comments field or on your own blog with a link here.

***

Abbie Johnson Taylor
We Shall Overcome
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems
My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds
Like Me on Facebook.

***

Friday Favorites #2

Today, it got up to 88 degrees, so snow is the farthest thing from my mind, but I thought you would like this post from fellow author Lynda Lambert. You may be interested in purchasing her latest chapbook. Enjoy!

SCAN

Post #

Friday Favorites Series, #2

 IS SNOW on your MIND today?

After a long winter  

I’d say, Probably not!   

HOWEVER…

My FRIDAY FAVORITE REFLECTION

for this week is

SNOW

SNOW is in my  personal weather forecast for

3 reasons:

#1   My new CHAPBOOK is now completed and I am sending it out to potential publishers & editors.  The title of my chapbook is “first snow,” a collection of wintry-themed poems.

#2

31Ju5HK-6bL._AC_SR160,160_

My new

Voice Recorder is a SNOWBALL, BLUE iCE.  Now I can record my own voice reading my poems and post those recordings on my Author’s blog.  What fun!   Visit Walking by Inner Vision Blog – click here!

#3      I am getting a new hand-held CCTV that is CALLED … the SNOW.  I visited the LOW VISION SPECIALIST yesterday. This piece of equipment will be coming to me  soon.    I have profound…

View original post 84 more words

Tradition and Nostalgia Also Take the Checkered Flag at the Indy 500

I’m doing something a little different today instead of a book feature. If you’re a fan of car racing, or if you’re from Indiana, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this post in which Alice discusses the Indianapolis 500 and provides links to several renditions of “Back Home Again in Indiana.” I’ll definitely be back next Thursday with a review of a collection of essays that provide audio insight, so stay tuned.

alice13wordwalk

Tradition and Nostalgia Also Take the Checkered Flag at the Indy 500

by Alice Jane-Marie Massa

NOTE:  At the end of this post, you will find a link for the song “Back Home Again in Indiana.”

Listening to the pre-race ceremonies of the Indianapolis 500 each May on the Indy Car Radio Network and on the television broadcast does bring forth a few nostalgic tears and does “make me long for my Indiana home,” as the lyrics of “Back Home Again in Indiana” conclude.  Over 101 years ago, James Frederick Hanley (born in Rensselaer, Indiana, in 1892)composed the music while Ballard MacDonald (born in Portland, Oregon, in 1882) wrote the lyrics for the 1918 hit song “Back Home Again in Indiana,” which was first published in January of 1917.

Although this 1918 hit was first performed at the Indianapolis 500 by a trackside brass band in 1919, the first time…

View original post 1,278 more words

Graduate and Climb Every Mountain


It’s that time again, and this year, I have two cousins in Colorado who are graduating from high school, so here’s a poem I wrote and a song I’ll sing for this occasion. You can click below for audio. Congratulations to Christina, Mitchell, and anyone else graduating this year.

***

Graduate/Climb Every Mountain.mp3

***
Graduate


Go out into the world–never look back.
Reach for the top–always look forward.
Aim as high as you can.
Dream as big as possible.
Use your mind, heart, hands,
and know you can do anything.
Trust your instincts.
Energize your life.

***

Abbie Johnson Taylor
We Shall Overcome
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems
My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds
Like Me on Facebook.

***