Random Thoughts About Stuttering, and Me

Most of my life I self-identified as a stutterer. Today I see myself as a writer. Apples and oranges, you say? Perhaps. Today my drive for effective communication may be derived by limitations imposed on me by my stutter. As a child, I was simply not capable of effective oral communication. Today, hopefully, I am able to effectively communicate by writing.

To be clear, as a child, my stutter was so pronounced my blocks might last a full minute. The facial expressions on those in my audience were compelling. Mostly, those faces reflected disgust and pity. Those seemingly incapable of pity reflected confusion.

Within the context of my current stutter, my near fluency today is a byproduct of mental gymnastics in choosing words and formulating sentence structure. For most, the mental process of word choice and sentence structure formulation is a learned discipline. For me, it is second nature. No, more apt is that it has become a core characteristic of my nature. As natural as is breathing.

My mild manner is also likely a byproduct of my stutter. Treated unfairly as a child, I learned anger was not helpful. Perhaps, anger was not even justified. Compassion for the plight of my audience may well be a gift from God. Whilst stuttering, I felt as bad for them as I did for myself.

Of all the examples of unfairness in the world, few are starker than the meanness of a child. Life has yet to impose on them a filter between mental processes and vocalization of their thoughts. They do not possess sufficient perspective to allow them to anticipate the impact their behavior will have on others. Nor do they see their impact as a reflection of themselves. When it comes to meanness, they will give as good as they get. Their emotional outbursts are spontaneous. This is not a fault in their character. They are not bad, wrong or acting improperly. They are children, expectedly acting childish. The first time a child hears a stutterer, it is appropriate for them to laugh. Stuttering sounds funny! Though rarely will a child laugh at a stutter a second time.

As a child, when I was around physically impaired people I was embarrassed and was shy to be near them. Especially, I was fearful of interacting with them. My stutter may have influenced my feelings for the impaired, but I expect my emotions were actually on par with most other children. I believed then that people viewed me as I viewed the physically impaired. Today, I feel no unease in these situations. In some manner we are all impaired. Are we not?

My stutter is a blessing to me. It helped me become a writer. Writing helps me better know myself. Knowing myself helps me better understand others. Being understanding and empathetic of others helps me be a friend. My stutter has made me a better person, than I might have otherwise been.

We all have potential to burst forth in Glory provisioned by a loving God. We are all children of God, from Whom all Blessings Flow.

So sayeth Wint, the stutter!

Posted in Experience, Strength and Hope (God), Opinion, This and That | 4 Comments

The Man in Your Eye

When I look in your eyes who do I see,

The person you love looking back at me,

Confident, brash, cocky yet wise,

Blessed and favored, is the man in your eye.

 

The man I see is nothing without you,

Broken I’d be, there’d be nothing to do,

I’d chuck it all, might lay down and die,

If I couldn’t be the man in your eye.

 

The man in your eye is happy to be,

Loving you, while you’re loving me.

God blessed me with all that I need,

Me loving you, you loving me.

 

Gotta be close to see that it’s me,

The man in there is who I should be,

You hold me up so high I can fly,

God so loves, the man in your eye.

 

The man in your eye is happy to be,

Loving you, while you’re loving me.

God blessed me with all that I need,

Me loving you, you loving me.

 

When first we met, who was I to be?

A mirror for you, but let’s not look at me,

Didn’t know to ask who I’d become,

But slave to love, and escape there is none.

 

The man in your eye is happy to be,

Loving you, while you’re loving me.

God blessed me with have all that I need,

Me loving you, you loving me.

 

Love ya’ babe, Wint …

Posted in Love, Song, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

You and Me, Yin and Yang

Who is yin, and who is yang,

My protest is muted, yours is bang,

Look before leap, for this I’m renown,

You figure it out on the way down.

 

Is someone wrong, anyone right?

Is someone day, anyone night?

I know exactly what I said,

I didn’t ask you, before going to bed.

 

I’ll not be mad later this night,

Love will turn wrong to right.

This will not just go away,

And will return another day.

 

-Wint

Posted in Experience, Strength and Hope (God), Love | Tagged | Leave a comment

Unmaking of a Man

A man may not consider what makes him such. And, at least in part, is thereby made.

A man may consider what makes him such. And, at least in part, is thereby thwarted from being made man.

A man looking outward, judging what is felt inward, will be empirically disabled by lack of emotional insight into what he thinks he sees.

Men, by and large, do not consider what makes them so. Rather, innately, they behave as men.

Men are in general solitary, and congregate by happenstance. Men thrive on companionship, yet rarely look for it.

Man, like a knife’s edge, dulls in time. Unlike an edge, an aging man may not be sharpened.

When old, man is a honorary title. Man, when old, is boy-like, each being scared by experience. Man is scared due to experience, and boy is scared by lack thereof. For each, topping a tall ladder and turning loose is scary. One for what might be, and one for what has been. It is for this reason, old men should refrain from topping tall ladders, lest they be unmade.

So says Wint

Posted in Experience, Strength and Hope (God), Opinion, This and That | Leave a comment

You and Me, Yin and Yang

Who is yin, and who is yang,

My protest is muted, yours is bang,

Look before leap, for this I’m renown,

You figure it out on the way down.

 

Is someone wrong, anyone right?

Is someone day, anyone night?

I know exactly what I said,

I didn’t ask you, before going to bed.

 

I’ll not be mad later this night,

Love will turn wrong to right.

This will not just go away,

And will return another day.

Wint

Posted in Love, Poem | Tagged | Leave a comment

Sick and Tired, One Day At a Time

While his tortured mind could not grasp the actuality of it, Lee was, in all actuality, sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, one day at a time.

Being sick and tired is devastatingly disabling. While it may seem these are awfully big words for such a short sentence, these are powerful topics due sober and insightful attention. One does not get to be “sick and tired” by being either physically sick, or tired. Being sick and tired is a combination spiritual and mental condition. Perhaps I would go even as far as to say it is a spiritual or mental disorder. No one drives another to being sick and tired and no one is capable of recovering another form this condition, excepting the person who is sick and tired. And they, of course, must first become sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Hindsight, as they say, is twenty-twenty, and Lee’s had become so over the last thirty or so years. On a day he went to an NA meeting, cognizant of the fact no one knew he was going to any meeting, he was now in hindsight able to see he had grown sick and tired of being sick and tired. At the time, he was confused as to why, he actively internalized and considered his confusion, and he went anyway. The import and significance of this step was not lost on Lee. Recognizing the inherent self-commitment in his act, he went. This was a standout, “leave a mark” kind of moment in Lee’s life.

When on a journey, with a goal in mind, a person is in constant motion, metaphorically speaking. They are either moving towards their goal , or they are moving away from it. There is no pause button as life is being recorded, which it obviously always is. It is not recorded one day, one hour, one second at a time; no, it is recorded real-time! All the time!

As Lee stepped from a borrowed car, being acutely aware of that his outward actions were reflecting of an inward commitment, he strode with confidence to the door of the “Keep It Simple Stupid” NA club and was prepared for the consequences.

Saying “we make our own luck” is an argument against luck to begin with, right? Well, for brevity’s sake, Lee claims luck that Danny was there that day. For it was Danny’s acceptance and attention that he needed, and it was what Lee got. One might say it was Lee’s six foot two, two hundred pound, body frame that drew Danny’s Excited attention, and he gave it with enthusiasm. “Do you like to play softball?” Danny asked. Having received affirmation that Lee did indeed like play, “Want to?”, he ask with a smile. So started the next leg in recovering a life, which was, up until then, being wasted.

Suddenly, I … I mean Lee, no longer felt sick and tired, but rather felt pumped and ready to run life’s bases. Over the coming months and some years, no home runs were hit, but some triples and doubles, and lots and lots of singles, were. It was only after a “chance” encounter with my future wife, that Lee, I mean Wint, hit a home run. I’ll leave that story for later.

… Wint

P.S. When I say this, for gosh sakes don’t presume I have a clue as to the reality of, well … most anything, and certainly not God. But, let us “Praise God, From Whom All Blessings Flow”! For, even in my ignorance, I know there is a God, no matter the inanity of my expression. I know well Grace when I experience it, and when I see it in, and from, others. It is by such that I have my wife, and my life.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Reflections

The blue Ford F-150 like an anchor was heling drown him in debt. An ache in his belly was real enough, though not nearly as deadly as it felt. With no prospect change, he was driven by only one thing, getting the sick off. Heroin being a stern task master would be served, and there was no substitute, excepting dilaudid. Each were dear, in both cost and desire.

Lee had always found puzzles entertaining, but this puzzle was tiresome in its routine. Finding money, perhaps the hardest, was but the first piece. Once forty dollars was managed, the price of a paper or a dilaudid, connecting was the next. Having picked up, getting fixed was near immediate and euphoric. The respite in getting fixed was, while brief at best, faciliatory to effective next steps in a meager existence. It allowed clarity of thought and grand planning. This temporal lucidity was by its nature short lived, but nonetheless nurturing. In this ephemeral state, Lee was able to effect circumstances towards actions that proceeded to the next fix. So was his life consumed by this repeated pattern, with no prospect of change.

It was in this state that Lee was drawn to an ATM location that he had been casing for some days. Having never before in his life stolen anything, today he was contemplating the only avenue seemingly left to him for acquiring the cash needed to next get the sick off. Having taken a parking place well suited for surveilling patrons as they extracted cash, he set to his task. The task at hand was to steal money for some unsuspecting easy touch of a victim. As the parade of patrons passed, his resolve and conviction to his plan ebbed. The guttural shame of what he was about became oppressive. The picture of the consequences of his actions were inescapable. The shame he would bring to his family, the accompanying scorn, the likelihood of jail, the consequence to his victim, none of these were of sufficient detriment to stop him. What stopped him dead in his tracks? He was too self-aware to be a thief. He was a son, a brother, a child of God. He was by nature a gentle loving human being and being overtly hurtful was simply not in his make-up. His emotions in that moment were emasculating. He felt a total failure. He felt incapable of successful actions, whether wholesome or crooked. So by, he became defeated by self-infliction.

It would take some years more before Lee became a sane and productive member of society, and this was but a brief moment in his life. It was however one that left its mark. For the entirety of his remaining years, this moment in time would be a beacon of hope for him, bringing light into an otherwise dark outlook for prospects. At least he could say he not a thief. While he might have caused untold damage in the lives of many, he either paid his way, or made up for it. When you have nothing, maybe because you nothing, even this is something.

1981_lee

Lee (Wint)

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment