Although the study of Transformative Language Arts is still emerging and defining itself, ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances have been writing down their stories in order to find peace for hundreds of years. As a result, we have hundreds of first hand accounts of circumstances like surviving abuse to survival at sea.
In the coming years we will continue to find examples of this. Recently, I watched an episode of 60 Minutes. One of the stories highlighted veterans recently home from Iraq and the issue of post traumatic stress disorder. Apparently the armed forces are better at training how to kill than with training citizens how to make the transition back to civilian life. One man, Jesse Odom, said he dealt with what he saw and what he did by locking himself in his room with a six pack and writing into the wee hours of the morning. As a result of those writing sessions, those “purification rituals,” his book Through Our Eyes is being published this Memorial Day weekend. It is being heralded as a raw account of what our troops go through on a daily basis in Iraq and is sure to become a record of the experiences of a generation.