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Thank you for bringing light to this most important issue. I have found such magic in bringing voice and sound to the written word, not to mention healing and comfort. I use read-a-loud technique in bringing life to my most intimate thoughts, writings and stories, and sharing them with strangers and the public at large, in an attempt to help them recognize that we are all indeed one. I read-a-loud my biggest mistakes and regrets to heal and forgive myself and the few in the audience who relate to my confessions.

My annunciations, tones and cadence have been the bridges that I build to the fragile, the infirm the comatose, those in dementia on Hospice awaiting their transition. My words become their wings to set them free from their gnarled bodies which no longer serve them. Hearing is the last of the senses to go, no matter what state we are in.

I read-a -loud to adults, mothers, fathers who became parents at too young of an age and never finished school, or got too caught up in their addictions in an attempt to soothe the pain of the traumas they experienced as children. They never learned to read and are now too ashamed, to admit it to their children. Reading-a-loud to them brings worlds and places that many of them could never even imagine on their own and describes feelings and emotions that they are too embarrassed or proud to admit or express.

People learn in many ways. Mental illness can bring difficulty in simple tasks, such as focusing on reading a book. The mind cannot be still, but the mind can listen when read to. There is also the intimacy of sharing ones voice and caressing the ear of the listener with the breath.

I sometimes fear that reading-a-loud will become lost and overcome by yet another new electronic device or social media. Reading-a-loud is communal and we need it, especially now as we get more divided and pushed further apart from each other. Keep the magic alive.