Helen Opie has lived in Granville Ferry since 2003, moving here from Mader’s Cove in South Shore Nova Scotia, after having arrived Nova Scotia from Charlotte County NB, where she first began to understand that she might be one who thinks she has to draw lions.
She majored in studio art at Oberlin College in Ohio because she was too dyslexic to manage all the writing of papers required in other major subjects, and went onto get an M Ed (elementary school teaching) from Boston University, again choosing a topic, children’s literature, that did not require reading a great deal of dense material.
The older she gets, the more she realizes how differently her life has been lived because of this difficulty with print, and perhaps a related difficulty in verbal thought construction. Although she can, and does, "run off at the mouth”, she is also willing to stop when asked to. She fits the ADHD adult description very well, but having developed coping skills such as pictorial list making, and her own design of a combined weekly planner-calendar, she manages to muddle through life fairly well, and with the support of many kind friends.
She is surprised to find she is as old as she is (born 1933) and is fascinated in watching how old age requires new learning. (all this digital stuff), new perspectives (even the middle-aged don’t remember World War II, or when Edward (V?? VIII??) abdicated the British throne), and new adaptation (all real typewriters were manual, and few were actually portable; cars had tire chains for driving on snow; there was no frozen food, just ice in aluminum ice trays in the fridge).
Helen's immersive artists' journal of a month-long trip on a tall ship, Aboard Picton Castle, is available now.