Transitions, Trauma and
the Writing Life
Poetry and stories began in childhood. I developed a rich imagination amid moves and transitions; schools and friendships--gains and losses.
Twelve years ago my life was transformed in a most traumatic way by a brain hemorrhage of unclear origin; possibly from an aneurysm.
My need for expression was strong from the moment I regained consciousness that horrible day. I suffered from apraxia, a motor-neuron defect of speech, which caused my words to come out jumbled. And I had aphasia; a word-finding defect.
In the first months in rehabilitation, I could do little for myself. My right side was paralyzed.
As soon as I could sit at the computer at home, I began to work on the gardening newsletter I had designed, authored, and produced for my 55-plus
community for two years. Since I could no longer garden, I resigned from my newsletter, too.
I decided to take online writing courses and delved into the meaning and making
of memoir. With practice and wonderful teachers, in 2016 I self-published "Stroke Story: My Journey There and Back."
Fog of voices
a cool white bed
"How do you feel?
you are lucky--delayed ambulance--helicopter--
bad mountain weather"
This summer of bad weather
all I can is be
loss of worth and choice
in this place of respite
Through long, lost weeks, weakened
I work brain and body
in summer of no birds and gardens
until sky and mind clear
When sunlight sparkles red and yellow
and slanted daylight breaches my haven's notches
I speak, walk, in new strength
and drink from a chilly stream of courage
Laurel Ridge, Fayette County, Pennsylvania
by Mary Ellen Gambutti
published Spring 2019 The Bamboo Hut
haiga of longing
If only I could gather