Reading with Ariel
I hope readers of my blog will forgive me: I have not posted anything this week, because I am narrating the audiobook of “Trapped: My Life With Cerebral Palsy”. Doing so is heart-wrenchingly difficult.
The audio producer kindly asked me if I would like to read. The word “like” suggests enjoyment, fulfilment. So when I said ‘yes please’, that was fine, and doubtless they see no reason for me to be unhappy about it. Of course, I would do it, even if they asked me again, I would give the same answer, but that does not mean it has been easy.
Writing about the painful episodes of my life – that would be from the age of five to about forty-two, then – is one thing. There is something reassuring in writing that conveys meaning which, while it may have to be spelt out, nevertheless maintains a dignified silence. Articulating the same passages with sound, brings a whole level of new pain to the experience which can hardly be appreciated by those who do not have to endure it. Actually, I am familiar with being told what to do, and my obedient persona complies easily with requests to repeat difficult passages. These are the worst, of course, because they are the hardest to get right, to do calmly, and so have to be done again. I pray continuously, not to break down and weep. I ask for help from my guardian angels. I clench my fists hard and beg, and swallow and wait and hope for the next storm to pass, because there are timetables to meet. Because there are only so many times I would like to cry about this, again.
It has something to do with feeling humiliated, and having to expose truths and lies that I have held beneath a dignified silence for so long.
Whatever way I might have chosen to play this, there were always going to be disadvantages and benefits. I learn, the storm passes, and a smile is always waiting to lift me up. Thank God.