I’m back. Still not enough energy to do all I want to do. Napping as much as I’m awake. I guess that’s an important part of healing, but it does take time away from writing. Anyway, I felt the urge today to share with you one minor product of my recent participation in a writing course — the conversation with my crash.

From June 14th through the 19th I attended a superb writing course at the Madeline Island School of the Arts. The staff made it possible for me to attend by finding ways to accommodate some of my special needs. On top of that kindness, everyone was wonderful in every way possible.

It was also the beginning of my walking outside for any distance. It was the only way to get from my room to the location of the food and classes. And that was really good for me.

Of course, then, as now, I spent a lot of time sleeping. But there was plenty of room as well to write. By choice I focused on “My Father’s House.”

All in all, I learned a lot, got to spend time with some bright, energetic, and lovely fellow students, to say nothing of the instructor, Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew.

Among other things, Elizabeth had us doing some writing exercises, and that’s what I want to share with you today. One assignment was to visualize an important image, and then to spend a few minutes writing a dialog with that image. Even though I promised to focus on “My Father’s House,” the image that came up was the noise of my car rolling around as it flipped into total destruction on April 15. So I wrote a conversation between “The Crash,” and “Me.” I think I learned a lesson for myself in the process of reading through it.

What I’m presenting here is the pure, unedited dialog I wrote in the five or so minutes we were allotted.


CRASH: Hear me! What a racket I can make. Have you ever heard such a cacophony? I mean – really, a cacophony.

ME: Hear? Oh … Oh My God! I …, Oh My God! … I … really – you thought I’d have something to say? Oh My God.

CRASH: Hear me. I’m rattling, banging, crashing, squeaking, squealing. I mean – have you ever heard such a noise?

ME: I know. You are totally beyond my control. Too late to find the brake. Oh My God! What are you doing? You’re falling apart. But you’re banging together. Oh My God! Who am I kidding? I don’t have time to say any of these words.

CRASH: Gotcha! I silenced you. Now your words do you no good. I’m nothing but noise, noise, noise.

ME: And you’re fascinating. Oh My God! Wow! What can I say?

CRASH: That’s the point! You can’t say anything. Whoopee! Hear me. I really have your attention, don’t I?

ME: OK, OK. Will you stop? Please stop!

CRASH: Crash, jingle, jangle, rattle, steam. What about the nice, black sound I’m making …?

ME No, you’re wrong. It’s not black, it’s gray, or purple, or blue? Or white? But heavy.

CRASH: No. “heavy” isn’t a color.

ME: But it is black. Oh hiss – no. I’m not swearing. It’s hissing.

CRASH: Just settling, my dear.

ME: I’m not doing anything. Just let them take care of me. Whew!


Posted June 27, 2015 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized


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  1. Oh Mona, I enjoyed that so much! the crash really surprised me with all its noise, I got so fascinated! I guess you did not have time to be that when it happened 🙂 LOVE it, and love the exercise. And it is so good to hear the writing spirit awakening again – I love to read more, if you want to dialog with other stuff….hmmm, feeling creative – how about a dialog with your sleep – and your body 🙂 big hug! Nina

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it — and “got” it. I like what can come pouring out when one just lets it flow. Truth be told, I have tried to find a way to get across the noise of the event. That is what stood out at the time, and in the recollection. This is probably as good as the description will get.

      Hmm … ? A dialog with sleep … I’m afraid it would just be more sleep, but interesting thought. It certainly is true that I have really enjoyed sleep since the “event.” Long, deep, pleasant, pleasing ..

  2. Wow!  5 minutes huh?  gave me pause to think who or what I would have a conversation with and the first one that came up was my dog Chi chi who died in 1961.

  3. Hi from Montana where a dear jumped in front of the car. We were traveling at 70 mph when he jumped onto the highway, looked at us as I hit the brakes, and watched her turn enough to save its life and ours. Once again, we were reminded of our vulnerability, our mortality, as were you in the Crash that created this very real conversation with the Crash. What’s happening to me – and, perhaps to you, my dear friend, as well – is a life experience that summons us into the heart. Living less in the head and more in the heart, the raw emotions and unfiltered feelings and intuitions. Thank you for sharing this conversation and the wonderful experience you had on Madeline Island. What a wonderful spot for a writers conference.

  4. Ummm…that would be “deEr”, although I’m sure the doe was “dear”.😮

    • Now you have me singing the song from Mary Poppins. Certainly glad the dear doe chose to avoid the confrontation. And yes, these events do remind us of what we need and are capable of.

      Are you coming back from Montana? How about Barclay? I guess I’ve missed a few blogs

  5. Thank you for sharing such intimate moments with your crash. Beautifully executed and I appreciate being part of your experience. I shuddered, and moaned with you. God is Blessing your recovery. hank you God!

  6. Thanks very much for following The Immortal Jukebox. I hope you will enjoy lots of entertaining writing and the wide variety of music. I usually post once a week. Please feel free to add comments. If it’s been a while since you visited come on over and see what’s new! Good luck with your blog. Regards Thom.

  7. A crash might be anything, but you have chosen to write about what really happened. I have missed you online and wondered what you were doing, but it is wonderful that you are healing. I recently researched forgiveness and have enjoyed the study. You are an unusual therapist to have done that study too.

    • Thanks so much for your caring response. I’m happy to say my chiropractor has assured me I will become pain free with a schedule of acupuncture and adjustments, along with the continuing nutrition program. In fact, I left his office feeling really good. Now there’s so much to catch up on, including blogging. I hope to get to the point soon where I’ll need less napping and have more time for creative work.

      • Sleep is a healer, but too much sleep can cause depression. I have found that I tend to sleep when I hurt; perhaps it is an escape.

      • Thanks for responding. Worth the thought. Fortunately appetite, mood, and planning for the future don’t meet the criteria for depression. On the other hand, it is a nice escape. (And my back always feels better afterwards.)

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