Marti Healy's Breathings
Reading Marti Healy’s words is a breath of fresh air on a morning walk, a pause to think, time to sit and converse with others, to be captivated by one’s dog, a spider web or an opossum. She told me, “.. it’s in these tiny moments of life that we can find meaning for the bigger stuff, I suspect. “
Breathings is a book needed in our times. There is no mention of politics, of famous people (with a minor exception), technology or devices. In each tiny story, there is a lesson without preaching and a moral without sermonizing. Marti shared, with me, “I just seem to notice the messages in things. They sort of reach up and take my hand….Perhaps this is one of the things I am meant to do in life: notice the messages … pass them along.”
We live in a time when on facebook users defriend others with different political ideas. We live in a time when the first act of a newly elected Congressional representative was to use obscene language iregarding the President. We live in a time when rioters shout, scream and beat those with diverse views, vandalize and burn buildings, target churches, synagogues and Jewish owned businesses, and when killing police is on the agenda..
So I treasure reading Marti’s small stories, filled with thoughts, not shouts, little conversations (not beatings) with people known and unknown, revealing kindness to people, animals and even insects, such as a butterfly with a torn wing. At the end of one of her short works, we breathe in the air of thoughtfulness, benevolence and the best in our humanity.
These 62 musings are also a pleasure to read because of their exquisite and evocative writing. Marti loves words, observing life around her in a manner interesting and poetic. Captured in 600 words or so, they are bite sized and focused. The topics are daily moments with almost a magical touch, a link to other worldliness. Marti told me, “I suppose I do listen for the whispers and look for the shadow stories and the fairy footprints in things…. I am quite sure that the world is a much more interesting place if we can believe the miracles and the magic of things.... And that there is beauty to be found if we look for it.”
I loved Marti writing about finding her old roller skates, remembering its key around her neck. What memories she brought for me, remembering the days when I would tear up and down the sidewalks, skates attached to my shoes and the key to tighten the skates swinging on a ribbon around my neck.
Breathings is a collections of “tiny stories” from previously published newspaper columns of Marti’s, selected because she liked them. Some of the atmosphere is Southern, and, as we are almost neighbors in South Carolina, I know the moist summer air and the night herons in Charleston but even if I didn’t live here, Marti would be able to bring me into her world because her writing is that good. She explains these stories, “… are small, self-contained, bits of message....for the ‘thin places of your heart’ …something that I hoped would be a small respite for [the potential reader] in today’s often over-ambitious, sometimes unkind world. My intent is that these ‘tiny stories’ will speak to the reader’s heart and lift them up in some way or give them a tiny bit of peace or smile or time-out or just a breath.”
Each story, she tells us, “represented the thin places of myself the breathings of my own heart. I hope they resonate with yours.” They do, Marti, and for that I along with many of your readers, thank you.
After one of Marti’s walks, I picture her coming home for a meal of a homemade bowl of soup and/or a salad with Scratch Made Apple Muffins, sweet and hearty and made from scratch, of course. An honest muffin great for snacks, breakfast or as a side with soup or salad.