Sunday, April 24, 2011

Theresa Senato Edwards, On Reading

"I’m not sure if I can say something about reading that hasn’t already been said. But here’s a bit of a story: I worried when I was a little girl. I had OCD and didn’t know it at the time; in fact, no one knew about OCD in the 1960s. So I worried, and one way I could let go of my worries was to have my mother read them. This was an exercise that my mother insisted I do when she could see a blank muteness forming in my little-girl face.

First, she would ask, 'What’s the matter?' Of course, I couldn’t respond. Then she would say, 'Well, write it down!' So I did. But the magic didn’t just come from writing my fears down on paper; it came when my mother read what I had written to her. Just remembering her say, 'Is that all? Oh, that’s normal; don’t worry about it' brings the power of reading back to me today. When my mother read what I had managed to quietly write to her, my most disturbing uncertainties that sometimes left me sweating like a woman in menopause seemed to dissipate into her calming face.

So for me, as a little girl, reading was just as important as writing. Even though I felt better after I released some of my woes onto paper, it wasn’t until after my mother read what I had written that the magic of words began and the ruminating that went on in my young brain stopped, at least, to help me through that concern, until the next one came along."

Theresa Senato Edwards’ first book of poems, Voices Through Skin, will be published June 2011 by Sibling Rivalry Press. Her second book just completed, Painting Czeslawa Kwoka ~ Honoring Children of the Holocaust, is a collaboration with Lori Schreiner. Work from this can be found online at AdmitTwo, Autumn Sky Poetry, elimae, Trickhouse, and BleakHouse Publishing. Theresa teaches and tutors at Marist College, is scholar-facilitator for the New York Council for the Humanities, and blogs at TACSE creations:}

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