I had a post-diet treat Saturday morning: I made myself French Toast and had it with delicious pure Maple Syrup. Yum! And whilst eating it, I watched a keynote address from the stuttering conference that I missed.
The speaker was Richard Holmes and I loved him and his presentation. For one thing, he spoke as poorly as I do. For another, he became a speech language pathologist and an award-winning speaker with Toastmasters. He’s walked the walk and he’s immensely personable. Two things I particularly liked about his presentation, were these:
1. On how we stutterers can be fluent sometimes and at other times a disaster: “Think of speech like skiing: On the slopes of life, there are ‘green circle’ (beginner) runs and ‘double black diamond’ (competitive expert) runs; you’ll be awesome on some runs, challenged on others and a disaster on a few.”
2. On our attitude to speaking: “I decided to think of myself as a speech ‘warrior.’ Only the warriors who were truly prepared to fight to the death, who were unafraid to die, could perform at their best. Fear inhibits your skillset, so you have to be unafraid to stutter to speak well.”
He ended by saying: “Who you are, apart from your stutter, is more important.” Yes, I know: Duh! But coming from him, after so fine a presentation, felt like a benediction.
Also, the waves of passion about my wonderful life here with Winter fires and pets, space, land and friendly neighbours recurred often throughout the day.
After watching the speakers that I missed hearing during the conference, I went for a lovely walk with Her Highness before leaving her here with Fred and Ethel whilst I went to play Rummy with Shelly and Kevin at their house. We had a great time and lots of laughs and they said they hoped I’d come back to play games again. And I will!
Sunday began dreadfully! Clearly, there is more wrong with me than just stuttering.
I heard a loud bang. I thought the cats had knocked something over, but there was nothing awry in the house, so I looked outside and saw one tiny feather blowing in the wind. Did a bird hit the window?
I opened the front door and saw a Thrush in bad shape on the lower stair, so I stepped out and tread on another Thrush, killing it. I heard the crunch of my crime and saw it go into death throws and die. I felt sick. I came inside, crying and hyperventilating and went into a seizure before living through the worst hour of my life in a long, long time.
Thankfully, the other Thrush lived and flew away once recovered. But what pain I am carrying today. I keep hearing the noise of the crush. I killed a beautiful bird. I can’t shake my horror.