Psychic Whispers

Psychic Whispers

I am alone in my home office when I hear the words, “Contact the teacher.” An inner voice, like someone is in my head. I take a slow, deep breath.

To my left, a wall of windows faces a small lake. Loud duck squawks and birdsong filter in through an open window.

In an instant, a mental image appears of a writing class I visited in Marina Del Rey, California. When was that? Twenty-five years ago? More?

I recall the teacher. Attractive. Around ten years older than I was. A friend invited me to attend, and I was moved by the stories I heard. Students wrote from real life experiences in present tense, as if they were speaking into a microphone, narrating their lives as they lived them. It was personal. Intimate. Engaging. And the closest I’ve ever come to taking a writing class.

What was the teacher’s name? I remember he wrote a book called, Writing from Within. I’ll google it.

Found him. His name is Bernard Selling. I am looking at his website now. He’s written quite a few books since then. Think I’ll email him.

Dear Bernard, I sat in on your writing class years ago. I am an author myself now, and I recall how your classes touched me. Blessings, Kira

Hi Kira, Always happy to have had a positive impact. I’ve written three new books (two books, one workbook) updates of Writing From Within. For an experienced writer like you, I suggest Writing from Deeper Within. Thanks for the hello. Bernard”

I dial my friend Jacquelina.

“What’s up?” she asks.

“I was working alone when I distinctly heard the words, ‘Contact the teacher.’”

“You mean like Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams? ‘If you build it they will come.’”

“Yes. There wasn’t any sound, but I heard the words distinctly.”

“Do you know who the teacher is?”

“Bernard Selling, a writing teacher I met decades ago when I lived in Venice.”

“I have been wanting to focus more on my writing,” she says.

A day passes. I am sitting at my computer when I hear, “You’ve got to teach what he teaches!” This time the words are emphatic.

Dear Bernard, Have you ever trained others to teach your technique? My friend Jacquelina and I are both interested. Kira

Hi Kira, Thank you for your interest in teaching my writing method. I would be happy to mentor you and your friend through the process. Just let me know when you are ready to begin. Bernard

One month passes. A number of girlfriends express a desire to get more serious about their writing. With little effort, I organize a writing class with Bernard and women in three different time zones. We plan to meet every other Sunday by phone. My initial thought is to set it up so we can video chat, but no one wants to be on camera. I set up a conference call instead.

Fast-forward six years. The writing class continues to meet every two weeks. Students come and go. Jacquelina and I stay with it. With Bernard’s masterful approach to authentic writing, our writing and our confidence are transformed.

I feel privileged to manage this class. Whenever we have a new student, I work with them first to introduce them to Writing from Within. It’s like planting a seed; then watering it and watching it grow.

Oh, here is an email from Bernard.

Hi Kira and Jacquelina! You have each expressed an interest in teaching my Writing from Within method of writing. The significant thing from my point of view is that my work has a chance to live on. You could teach and eventually train others to teach. Bernard

Is Bernard offering to pass the torch? That’s humbling. We can teach individually or we can teach together; we can give classes or workshops or webinars; we can teach in the states or overseas; we can train other teachers. So many possibilities!

The phone rings. I know its Jacquelina.

“Did you get the email from Bernard?” I ask.

“That is why I am calling,” she says.

I hear the smile in her voice and smile back.

© Kira Rosner

*This story first appeared in Fresh Start Moments: True Stories to Ignite Passion & Purpose Compiled & Written by by Bob Danzig

Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma

The water began dripping through the ceiling around six a.m. The drip became a waterfall and we lost power. I spent the next five hours emptying buckets, while my mother sat holding the radio close to her, trying to hear the newscaster over the static caused by the howling winds.

Halfway through the ordeal, the eye passed over and it got eerily calm as the winds abated. Then, the other side of the storm wall hit and it began all over again.

By mid-afternoon, exhausted neighbors came out to view the damage. Windows were broken, their metal frames twisted. Trees were uprooted and lying on their sides. Those that remained upright had been snapped off like toothpicks. Pieces of the roof were scattered . Air conditioners that had been mounted on the roof had been flung off. Some landed on cars.

For the next week we were in survival mode – a combination of new friendships and fatigue. One generous neighbor had a propane stove. She and I made soup and went door to door with a ladle. A friend brought over a few cases of emergency rations. We distributed them to neighbors along with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Another family procured a barbecue and using fallen branches for firewood, we salvaged what we could from our freezers.

Finally, the Red Cross set up camp and began handing out meals and ice. But the elevators were out of order and elderly neighbors could not walk down the stairs. Suffice to say, I spent my days going up and down stairs, delivering water, meals, ice, and whatever else I could.  A few mornings I actually woke up crying, frustrated by my own limitations and concerned for the many who may have been forgotten. Towards the end of the week, the health department began going door to door. What a relief!

By the seventh day, we were grateful to get the power back on, except no repairs had been done to the roof. A group of handsome firemen came by with rolls of plastic and covered the tops of furniture. That was fortuitous because a night or two later, it rained buckets indoors and out.

We were on the top floor of a four story buidling. In every room, water poured from the seam between the top of the walls and the ceiling. My mother went to a friend’s apartment on the floor below while I wrestled with the incoming water.

A few hours later, soaked in grey water and depleted, it occurred to me that I had better check on our neighbor’s apartment. She was in Canada and my mother was taking refuge in the flat directly below hers. When I opened the door, there was a lake in the living room. I just stood there.

Suddenly, a man I’d met after the hurricane appeared. Then he vanished.  Moments later he returned with a WetVac and began playfully vacuuming up gallons and gallons of water. I was in the doorway watching him when one of the neighbors walked by. “Wherever did you find him?” she asked in awe. “He’s not real,” I replied.

For weeks, water continued to be a problem. The laminate wood floors lifted so we tore them up and lived with cement floors, and the walls began peeling. Fortunately, a group of  storm chasers came by with fans and heaters to abate mold problems. Florida is hot and humid so that was a huge blessing.

Throughout it all, my mother lived in gratitude. She never once focused on what was wrong, only on what was right.

One morning a neighbor told me he was leaving and would return in a few days. When I saw him again, I asked if he had decided not to go. He informed me that four days had passed. You know those invisible lines between days, indicating Monday is Monday and Tuesday is Tuesday? I lost the lines. The sun rose and set, but I could no longer grab hold of any sense of division.

I had an injury and went to visit a lovely retired nurse.  After she attended to me, we sat and visited. She said that since I’d come into her home a ring of angels had been flying around her face. Personally, I think they arrived before I did.