Your Hero (es)

left-foot_thumb.jpgDecades ago I read My Left Foot, the memoir of Christy Brown. As Reid Gagle says on an online site —  “Christy Brown is a spastic quadriplegic born to a large, poor Irish family. His mother, Mrs Brown, recognizes the intelligence and humanity in the lad everyone else regards as a vegetable. Eventually, Christy matures into a cantankerous writer who uses his only functional limb, his left foot, to write with.”

Christy became my hero. I identified deeply with his yearning for written self-expression, despite his disabilities from Cerebral Palsy. He became a symbol for me of overcoming whatever one’s obstacles are to own one’s story through the written word.

The seed was planted back then for me to open the Christy Brown School to help other’s tell their story. People went to special schools for dance, painting, music, drama, I reasoned. They would come to the Christy Brown School for written self-expression — journaling and creative writing.

Life happens. I never did get to open that school, but the same yearning that drove Christy has never left me, nor has my desire waned to help others overcome, like Christy, whatever they need to in order to write.

Eight months ago I launched Self-Expression Salon from the seed of my Christy Brown School vision. Thank you for being a member.



1. Your hero (es)

2. When a hero of yours inspired you to take action in your life

3. When a hero disillusioned you

4. A seed you planted that came to fruition in a way you didn’t anticipate (including with your writing)

5. Someone who sees you as a hero

6. A recent seed you have planted


    • Joan on December 28, 2012 at 6:15 pm
    • Reply

    Thanks for this assignment of writing about my hero. He was a very active world traveler, but used a wheel chair his whole life. He started a seminary, and inspired me to reach out to people of different nationalities, races, and religious traditions.

      • Joan on December 28, 2012 at 6:37 pm
      • Reply

      I’d love to know more about your hero. Perhaps you’ll write something more about him and I can make it a blog post.

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