Thought Wheel

Ann Chiappetta

Just When I was Feeling Down …

| Filed under blindness Guide dogs Poem Relationships writing Writing Life

Hello folks, just when I thought I’d never manage to step out of the pity party pot, someone offered me a hand and helped me get past the worst of it. Actually, it was more than one person, so read on to find out more.

A month ago I injured my right ankle. I was turning a corner with the left knee ACL strain and the left foot fracture from 2015 had healed. I still feel pain but for the most part the rawness is gone. Anyway, I somehow managed to hurt the right foot and ankle. The pain is horrible, the lack of mobility is worse. It was all getting to me and I began feeling unmotivated and blech. I am limping and back to the support cane. The mornings are the worst, too. The injury stiffens and it takes an hour and pain meds to even take the edge off the pain. At these times I am the bitch mother and I cannot even talk without fire pouring from my mouth.

One can just imagine how unpleasant it is to be around me, and my family has been forgiving and tolerant. 🙂

Now that I’ve established how miserable I was, and still am, to some extent, two things happened: a visit to an assisted living facility with the dogs and the husband and an absolutely stellar review of Upwelling by a person for whom I hold in very high regard. The first part with visiting the ALF pushed me past my pain, forced me to put my own suffering aside. Thanks to Jerry and the dogs, we brought smiles to seniors. Jerry knows how much it means to me to help others and let Verona take on her role as a therapy dog. I think Jerry is beginning to like it, too.

The visit renewed my resolved to work past this injury, to be patient and do my best to heal.

The second gift was reading a beautifully written review of my first poetry collection by the editor of Dialogue Magazine . It brought me to tears, the thankful kind, very different from the tears of pain and frustration I’d been crying beforehand. I am so thankful to be reminded that I do matter, that others respect and like my work and that just when I thought I wasn’t going to be able to push past the struggle, I received two beautiful and meaningful reminders.

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 0


| Filed under blindness Guide dogs writing

Lost in the Parking Lot
(c) 2017 Annie C.
The realization that I am completely and utterly lost rushes through me like a hot flash. The rain changes everything, what was familiar is washed away in moments. Damaged retinas cannot make sense of the rings of light reflecting off the black asphalt. The downpour muffles the sounds I use to orient in the parking lot. I could very well be only ten feet from the door but at times like this, it is terrifying.

My dog is huddled beside me, I stopped asking her to help me 5 minutes ago, when it was clear she wasn’t able to lead me inside. Her docility was one of the reasons why she made a good guide dog but now the very same part of her temperament caused her to avoid making decisions, especially in the rain without her harness.

I remove the hood from my head to listen for a door opening, footsteps, traffic on the parallel street, or the rush of a train so I can figure out where we are. My white cane trails the parked cars and I turn into the empty space in-between two cars, hoping this is the walkway leading to the back door of the apartment complex. The cane tip touches the asphalt and like a divining rod, I hope to find the familiar. It hits a curb and I know it is not the right place; I go back to the row of cars and stand there, frustrated. My dog shakes off the rain.

Then, behind me and to the left, I hear the back-door open and the relief floods through me. By the sound, I am about 8 or so spaces away. I walk toward the spot and then a flicker of dim light flashes in the little window of my vision and I recognize it. My dog pulls me in the same direction and I sweep my cane forward ahead of us. The tip of the cane touches the metal drain and then, thankfully, the door. I fish out my keys, and then we are inside and my dog shakes off the water. As we walk to our apartment door, the frustration subsides. All it cost was five minutes of paying attention and a wet dog.

To Touch the Sun, Well, Almost

| Filed under blindness writing

A solar eclipse is almost upon us and the northern hemisphere will have the best view, according to experts. I love astronomical phenomena, and I am so excited to be able to feel and hear it, thanks to the eclipse soundscapes project. To learn more about the project, go here

Thanks to some astute engineers and tech-savvy folks, visually impaired mobile phone users will be able to feel, in real time, the movement of the heavenly bodies as they converge and then pass one another. This is done by the vibrations in the phone, using pixels and other arcane things I don’t quite understand. It is 21st Century magic and that’s all I can say. My fingers and phone are ready. After the eclipse, us VI folks will most assuredly report on our experiences, me included, so stay tuned and maybe turn on some tunes like The Police, David Bowie or the 2001: A Space Odyssey soundtrack to set the mood.

Reflections on Writing

| Filed under Fiction Poem writing Writing Life

Hello all,
Thanks for continuing to read about these exploits in the written word. I will be continuing the revisions for another short story soon. Until then, picture me busily tip-tapping away at the wireless keyboard planning the 2018 release of my short story collection. I want to thank those who took the time to comment on “Mind, Body, and Spirit” and for anyone who has followed me so far; I often find myself thinking I am the proverbial sandwich board advertiser for my writing, which, of course, I am, being way too poor to hire a professional marketing company to sell my books. Just today, in fact, I was attending an afternoon of food and fun at an intimate post-grad reunion with colleagues and professors. I thought, what would it hurt to bring a few copies of my book and some post cards? My intuition paid off, as a guest was an English teacher, who liked my poetry and I gave him the book hoping he would use it with his students.

The thing is, at first, I wasn’t sure where I could insert this shameless self-promotion or even if it would be appropriate. Then, when the right opportunity arose, I almost didn’t take the chance. Thankfully, all went well, and the self-marketing paid off.

I am very concerned with being one of those people who folks want to avoid because of being too pushy or egotistical. I want to share my art but don’t want to shove it into reluctant laps.

I think this afternoon was a challenge for me for two reasons: I discarded my insecurities and brought a copy of the book and promotional post cards and I found the courage to promote my work

I think I did the right thing and hope the intuition and Muse continue to direct me.

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 0