WAT’S UP – Adam Sawatsky

You don’t have to lose your vision to gain insight

I’ve lost my voice. It was taken by a tickle in my throat that’s left me sounding like a wheezy pre-pubescent boy.

The first time it happened I was scared my voice would never return. I had just started working in TV and assumed my career was over before it really began.

The artistic director of the Victoria Spoken Word Festival has never lost her voice, but Missie Peters understood my concern. She imagines it would be the equivalent of her “losing my identity.”

The writer-performer did lose another sense temporarily – her sight. Peters says an eye infection during an Australian vacation left her “basically blinded” because she couldn’t wear contacts and didn’t pack her glasses.

At first, the experience made the extrovert become “more quiet and insular.” Eventually she was forced to reach out to strangers for help with the simplest tasks. Peters says the situation “made everybody beautiful. I couldn’t see their physical imperfections and was only aware of their inner beauty.”

Although she lost her sight, she gained an insight.

The Aussie eye infection inspired her writing. Peters says she now uses self-imposed limitations to expand her creativity.

The example she gave me: “Imagine if I asked you to write a song. You’d probably feel overwhelmed. But if I said ‘write a song about just cheese’ then you have something specific to work with. Or if I suggested you write a poem without using the letter ‘E’.” Peters says it can take you to creative places you’d never usually go.

I’m trying to do the same now that I’ve lost my voice for a second time. Instead of being constricted by the situation, I’m choosing to be open to the possibilities it’s presenting. Because I can’t connect with people by talking, I’m listening more intently and seeing more clearly.

Although the sound coming out of my mouth is a quiet whisper, the ideas in my head are exploding loudly.

Adam Sawatsky reports on arts & lifestyle weekdays

on CTV News Vancouver Island.

On weekends he hosts Eye on the Arts on CFAX 1070.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Celebrate Victoria Pride Week

The Victoria Pride Society has organized some stop-notch virtual entertainment, including the Virtual Pride Festival on July 5.

Children’s author honours Oak Bay sisters murdered by father

Proceeds from children’s book go towards child abuse prevention in Greater Victoria

Sidney Museum and Archives reopens brick by brick with Lego exhibit

Museum joins other reopenings including Sidney library, Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea

Vancouver Island Symphony, Kerplunks up for Western Canadian Music Awards

Winners to be announced via live stream on Sept. 25

10th annual Nanaimo Fringe Festival to be held online due to COVID-19

Festival will feature six productions by local, regional and international artists

Nanaimo’s Kismet Theatre Academy closes after eight years due to COVID-19

Bonnie Catterson founded the school in 2012 as ‘a place for the oddballs’

Home dance videos to be part of this year’s Infringing Dance Festival

Crimson Coast Dance Society seeking ‘backyard dance’ submissions to compile into video

Ucluelet loses one of town’s oldest art galleries

Mark Penney Gallery shuts down due, in part, to Hwy. 4 closures and COVID-19 pandemic.

Vancouver Island drummers pay belated tribute to Neil Peart of Rush

Canadian Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drummer died of cancer at age 67 in January

Yukon poet kjmunro headlines Port Alberni’s virtual Words on Fire

Monthly spoken word event continues virtually at Char’s Landing

Most Read