Living Life in a Train Wreck No Longer

by Sharon Hamilton

Launch of Wandering Thoughts by John Oross

Over the past five weeks the Guild has launched five books into the literary universe. Whether prose or poetry, fiction or non-fiction, memoir, fantasy, alternative history, real history, or a blend of many genres, they all have one element in common: the authors live, one way or another, in every page of their books.  Wandering  Thoughts  by  John Oross,  the final book in the fall 2023 series, demonstrates that element poignantly and movingly.

John Oross comes to us from places most of us have never been. Or, more accurately, some of us have visited some of these places during our respective lifetimes, but few have been in all of them.

John is one of us. He is a writer, a long-time member of the Guild, and has served on our Board of Directors. Throughout his life he has encountered adversity, through homelessness, memory loss, divorce, and bankruptcy.  As I reflect on John’s life, I’m reminded of Bill Massey, who launched of Poets and Pioneers through the Guild two weeks earlier. Massey spoke of the challenges he has faced as a farmer using traditional methods in the brutal onslaughts of climate change. “How do I cope?” he asks himself. “I write a poem,” he answers. So does John. So do I. So do all of us writers. We write because we must. It’s how we cope with what life brings our way. As I wrote earlier, John is one of us.

This past Sunday afternoon, John opened his soul to explore themes of equality and unity, emphasizing their transformative power to ignite conversation and expand minds to new possibilities.

In John’s words, “Change begins within each of us through respecting our cultural differences, forgiving our collective transgressions, and working toward equality and unity of purpose for humanity…[Through writing], I have gone from living life in a train wreck to understanding that life is a journey of the soul.”

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