By Helen Webb
Music, dance, and writing are alike in that all use the hands as facilitators of expressing thoughts of the mind and emotions of the heart. In my youth I took piano, flute, tap, ballet, and ballroom dancing lessons. For my seventieth birthday, I treated myself to belly dancing lessons. I can enjoy and appreciate a wide variety of musical and dance experiences but it is writing which gives me the greatest pleasure.
Before the days of computers and cell phones, one communicated with out-of-town relatives and friends with notes and letters. Long-distance phone calls were expensive and a true treat. Consequentially I learned to write thank you notes and letters at the age of six. Later I corresponded with many camp friends from Virginia. After college, love letters were the most fun to write. In 2018 letter writing is a thing of the past. Nevertheless, writing is not dead!
I write for myself. Feelings, hidden deep down in the bottom of my heart, slip up to my brain, flow down my right arm and out my fingers on to paper. The word picture changes back and forth as the eyes and brain see the emotion from a different perspective. As I read and reread the words, the emotion escapes into the air and is resolved. The hidden feeling has been acknowledged.
Since joining a writing group about three years ago, I have released numerous toxic feelings: feelings of worthlessness, of resentment, of inferiority. Feelings of happiness and hilarity in the everyday activities of life intensify as they appear on paper. My younger brother played the piano much better than I. When upset, he would sit at the piano and play. First playing loudly and fast up and down the keyboard then gradually ending in a peaceful tune. Watching him, one could see the emotion being released. My writing does for me what Walter’s piano playing did for him.