My blog post, Let’s Pretend To Be Normal, was chosen among hundreds of pieces to be published in the 2014 Visible Ink Anthology. Visible Ink is a writing program through Memorial Sloan Kettering where participants are paired with professional writer-mentors. The pairs work together on any writing project of the participant’s choosing. The goal of the program is to “promote creativity, stress reduction, and personal empowerment for people diagnosed with cancer.” My blog post was chosen along with 25 others to be performed live by professional actors, dancers, and singers. The night after the event I wrote an email to the Founder and Team Leader of Visible Ink…
I’m still buzzing from Monday night’s event. I have to say that I was totally blown away. It was awesome seeing my piece performed live. The scene I wrote about is still a vivid memory, but to have the opportunity to see and feel it once again was quite amazing. I was astounded at the care and delicacy in the interpretation that each of the pieces received. Your team, the actors, the dancers, and the vocalists clearly dedicated much time and effort in order to craft such beautiful and artful interpretations. The music, dancing, singing, and spoken word were so, so moving. I thought my piece, in its written form, perfectly conveyed my feelings but to my amazement the live performance really drove it home.
Judith, what I am even more grateful for was the opportunity to participate in an event that doesn’t celebrate the nonsense of “heroism” or “survivorship” or “bravery” of cancer because I feel none of those things. To me, Monday’s event felt like a public grieving. It was like a collective “hmmmm, I feel you.” A group hug, an acknowledgment of what I’ve been through and how terrible it was. It was humane and it felt real. I’ve learned that every stage of cancer is in some way isolating. All I ever want is to be near another warm body. Near someone who doesn’t forget who I am as a person and doesn’t treat me like I’m fragile or weak. Facing these fears, feelings, and emotions is so hard but on Monday, it felt like we all confronted them together.
It was just beautiful.
Click here for the video.