18 Comments

I remember you telling us about stream of conscious writing during your workshop at Stella's Spanish villa ( don't mention the cockroaches!). I used it many times as a strategy when teaching reluctant primary school writers- they loved it! I also know something of the feeling of being imprisoned in one's own body. You wont remember but I survived a near fatal car crash in 2004. I clearly remember being told at the time that my body would eventually heal, but that it could take 2 years- which felt like a lifetime. I also remember a male nurse telling me that my battle would be with my mind as I lay unable to to move very much at all for nearly 3 months.He was so young & yet so wise. He also told me that my dignity was hanging on a coat peg outside the door & I would collect it on my way home & I did.! You will too. You have so many people willing you through this Hanif. Love & Best wishes Jane

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Dear Hanif and loved ones, could I help by sitting and typing up the dictations? I live in Rome and would be happy to help you all.

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Hanif,

I only came to know about you a few days ago from a retweet on Twitter. I have quickly become a huge fan and can’t wait to read your books. Your daily updates have touched me on a very deep level. I have tears as I write this. I have worked in rehab for over 30 years. I have been a witness to the shock, pain, struggle and suffering such a devastating injury can cause.

The daily task of navigating a completely new world can be overwhelming. I can say from what I have learned from the wise teachers my patients have become, take baby steps and the smallest accomplishments become like climbing a mountain. I love that you and your loved ones are painstakingly writing. I look forward to the daily installments. Sending much love and hope for progress and a new life.

Maryanne

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This is startling writing

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Beautifully written. I work in a neuro rehabilitation unit, so am no stranger to witnessing the random cruelty of life. I wish you the very best for your recovery.

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Hanif-

I do not understand life.

I deleted my Twitter account a month ago and didn’t know you’d been injured until I saw the New York Times this morning. I emailed a mutual friend and wrote, “…but OF COURSE he’s still writing.”

We met approximately 1,000 years ago at Young Playwright’s Festival in London, 1987, when we were both impossibly young.

I am furious to hear this happened to you, of all people. If ever I’m granted an audience with The Management, I intend to give it a piece of my mind about this travesty. In sharp tones.

In 1987, you knew what you were about. I did not. I’m a slow learner. I always wondered what was it that I lacked that made me incapable of work.

I was spared jealousy of you, because you write so beautifully. But I compared our external lives and always found myself wanting.

I’m happy to report that when I miraculously lived till the age of fifty, I started writing again. I no longer compare my life to yours or anyone else’s. I am just thankful I’ve reached an age where I can give myself permission to work.

I still struggle with the craft. I wrestle with it. But I’ve discovered that it’s much easier to write than to think about writing. So most days I do.

I started reading your posts. I want you to know you reached me, across the pond and the ether of the internet. I’m thinking of you and in particular your wife. I’ve experience with caretaking and it’s no joke. The only thing worse is being a patient.

This should not have happened. Period.

And thank you for writing in spite of it. I grumble about the internet but today I’m so thankful for the gift of it, and to be able to follow your generous missives.

Excuse me if a version of this comment is already posted. I hadn’t signed in and can’t find it, so am posting again.

Sending you my deepest appreciation. I’ll be thinking of you and yours. And thanks to Samuel Beckett, who comes to mind:

“I can’t go on. I’ll go on.”

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Otter.ai is good free voice to text software. An app to put on a phone or PC. It sometimes makes hilarious transcription errors but it records the voice too so you can play it back and check the errors. Free in 30 minute increments.

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Jan 9·edited Jan 9

thank you, it is precious to read what you are thinking and going through, to hear your voice. thanks for sharing. it shows us hope, art, love.

thanks so much, all love.

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Dear Hanif,

I’m not a writer, I’m just an ordinary reader who enjoy reading your work, as it always touches me on a deep emotional level. Not only do I derive great pleasure from the ways in which you craft your words and convey the experiences of your characters, but the psychological impact of your writing contributes my sense of self. For someone like myself, who is constantly struggling to find a place in the confusion of crossing different cultures, your writing offers provides me with the tools to unravel my confusion and find my voice.

You are brave and your words, even from your sick bed are refreshing. Your humour pierces through the pain and makes me smile - it conveys an optimism which we all need in this grim and shallow world where the driving force for ‘living’ seems to be seeking celebrity status! I implore you therefore, without compromising your health, to keep writing for the sake of our sanity! Thank you.

Wishing you a speedy recovery and looking forward to your writing,

Best wishes,

Dorrie

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I wish you the best possible recovery from all this, Hanif, and that very soon you find your hands again, or they find you. This passage here speaks volumes - so many of us do it, that weaving around with pens trying to make a place for the words to come - and we'll rejoice with you when your new place is to be back at your desk again:

'I will sit at my desk in my swirly Paul Smith pyjamas, and after an hour something I could use might have emerged.

I won’t know what it is, but when I read it through, something usually attracts my attention. I guess this method is now known as free writing or free association. You start with nothing and after sometime, you find yourself in a new place.'

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Can only wish fortitude in this recovery. Your words keep shining through to many of us.

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Oh, words to weave the wind. We can only sit with you and listen. You’re a force of nature, dear Mr. K. This is so hard. But your voice shines through, even without the manual ability to take that line for a walk. May you be well dear Writer, may you get those pens back on the leash XX

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Strange. A few days back I was looking at the script of some words I had written and thought. If humans hadn't transferred their thoughts into sound and then recorded them in script language wouldn't be there to communicate. Courage to you and Carla

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Reading your process for writing is very similar to how I begin my painting.

Wishing you a speedy recovery.

Marguerite

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Your writing is beautiful.

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