Editor's Note Vol 5: Iss 1

This collection of work comes from a Group Health Writer’s Conference. Participants were asked to write for 10-15 minutes, creating a “Quick Write” piece to share with their group and with us. These short stories, told in a few minutes, tell stories deeply personal, heartfelt, and heartwarming; stories of becoming whole, finding self, finding home, and helping patients to become whole—emotionally if not physically. These are stories of loss and hope; stories of humanity. The images reflect that humanity: a flower from a loved one and a mother’s “worship flower,” a footstep in the sand, and more.

 We tell our stories and create images to express our human experience; we read stories and gaze upon art to share in that experience, to learn from the experience of others, and to revel in our own humanity. I hope you enjoy these brief revelries.

—Max McMillen, ELS

Leg Warmers

Prose, Volume 5; Issue 1

She was sitting on the exam table. Long and lean, a dancer’s body.
Bright green leg warmers (it was St Patrick’s Day).
Her eyes big, sad, and puffy from all the crying.
Her friends were there but in the background. They seemed less alive in their silent gravity.

She was crying on and off, hiding her face but then looking right at me.
Wanted to “not need the drugs,” to do it on her own.
We talked about what had been going on. Depression, panic nonstop.
About bad weather in her brain, her strength and courage for coming in.
We all laughed at needing warm clothes and an umbrella until the shitty “brain storm” passed.

It could have been me in her place.
It has been.
So ashamed to be crying/anxious/needy/imperfect.
But I cannot find the path out for her.
I can only offer recognition and admiration for the strength it takes just to keep going.

I talked a lot, too much probably, but our eyes met.
Mine said, I know you, I’m sorry you have to suffer through this, I see you’re in pain.
Her eyes said, Thank you.

If only I could be as gentle to myself when my own brain “storms” full of self-doubt and that enormous bubbling over of grief.
Not to fix or cure but just to see.
She was so sad and yet she looked so alive with her big red eyes and her bright green leg warmers.

Comments (2)

  • Mar L

    Mar L

    09 February 2017 at 20:21 |
  • shawn blakely

    shawn blakely

    07 February 2017 at 21:19 |
    Brilliant! It's amazing how much is communicated in this short piece.

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