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Well, Shut My Mouth!

Mute. I woke up Tuesday morning with laryngitis.

I have not experienced myself as silent before. And I am full of words!

Two people in my family are expert in whispering and swallowing their words. I have not had enough empathy for them.

The doctor says no meds needed, just gargle and write notes, but no talking. I’ve been whispering, so I guess I might be prolonging the problem.

Okay, I’m giving up. No more whispering. A monumental sacrifice.

Thankfully, I have fingers and a computer, pens and paper.

It may all be connected. Stress: first, the death of a friend which hit me like sudden whiplash; next, sciatic nerve and sinuses; now, laryngitis. The body and emotions are tangled together. But God is working in my situation. Of course, you knew He would.

My poetry reading at the library was Wednesday, and it went well, but I did not do the reading!

I couldn’t. No voice. Instead, I emailed my friend Pat Oplinger in Cherokee Village, Arkansas, and asked if she would be my Reader.

That’s right. I didn’t cancel anything. I asked for help from my friend-poet who is also a singer and theater person. Actually, I don’t know anything she cannot do.

She responded, “I was coming anyway… I’m available… I’ll do it! We’ll do it!”

Relieved, I slept that night. The following afternoon, I went to the event and greeted people with smiles and hugs, but I did not read. My husband sold my books, and I signed them.

Pat Oplinger cold-read my poems. She was fabulous—stunned even me.

Afterwards, I said, “I owe you.”

“No, you owe me nothing,” she said. “I needed this. I’ve been stuck behind a computer for days. I so needed this!” We both teared up. She felt like a sister.

God at work.

Strange way for God to use me—by shutting my mouth. And God used Pat Oplinger—by letting her speak my words. They just poured out of her like water from a bucket.

I’ve heard that things sometimes must break apart, so better things can happen. Maybe this was one of those times.

How did our times and lives even intersect? Maybe five years ago she came to the Mountain Home Free Verse Poetry Meeting. A holy thing when lives intersect, but I didn’t recognize it at the time.

Spring is beginning to unwind in the trees. Another holy thing.

To top it all off, a man I respect called the evening of the reading and said, “What a delightful afternoon! If I didn’t know you better, I’d think you and your friend staged the whole thing! So delightful.”

That just took care of me. Those uplifting words.

I encourage you to edify and uplift those around you when you can. It brings joy to the heart.

I’m learning to be kind to my throat. No talking, chicken noodle soup and hot tea.

God bless you as we all leave February behind us,

Pat Durmon

Thank you for all the Shares and Comments. You are generous readers, and I love you for sharing my written words.

“Sisters,” a Willow Tree® figurine, photographed by Pat Durmon, March 2, 2019.

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