Finding A Way Back To My Senses

A New Adventure Book By Sharon Watts

In her new book, Back To My Senses, Sharon Watts puts her post-9/11 feelings on paper. An artist by trade, Sharon turned to writing as a way to heal from the trauma of losing her one-time fiancé, a firefighter, who died while saving others in the North Tower.

While grieving is a natural emotional reaction to loss and pain, this book reflects Sharon’s personal process. Lisa Dawn Angerame was moved by the truth of her personal experience. While no one can or should grieve alike, this book is a way to find the similarities amongst us rather than the differences, which seems to be the biggest need in this post-9/11 world.

Lisa Dawn Angerame: Sharon, your book is called Back To My Senses but on the cover the word "Adventures" is there underneath, half hidden. Can you explain this?

Sharon Watts: The cover is based on assemblage art I made using a cropped 1950s children’s textbook called Adventures in Science and I love it peeking out, because despite everything life throws at you, the spirit of adventure should never be completely buried.

LDA: You are an artist and a late-blooming writer. Why did you feel compelled to share your stories?

SW: The older I get, the braver I feel. While the actual writing was done only for me, after it sat on the back burner a few years I felt that a quick stir and offering it up was the thing to do. I am somewhat introverted, but wondered if there might be a universal message in here as encouragement to slow down, be still, and pay attention to the little things we learn through reconnecting with our senses. Also, I wanted to write about meditative activities – those that we don’t normally think of as such.

LDA: It is interesting that you specifically say you are not a 9/11 widow yet you struggled to deal with the death of someone close to you, Patrick Brown, a firefighter/yogi. Do you think that you were not entitled to grieve as much as someone who was married?

SW: We sometimes roll up all manner of previous sorrows, guilt, estrangements, and laments into the grief that comes with the finality of a loved one’s death. We long to make sense, and labels help. Everyone knows what a widow is. At the time of 9/11, I wasn’t completely sure what or who I was. Knowing and feeling something are often truths that want to be reconciled.

LDA: Have you reconciled the who and the what?