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Matti Salminen

You might say that I am a writer.  But you could also venture further to say things about me that are harder to define.  You might say that I am a person living with schizophrenia—but what does that mean anyway.  I do not believe that any one label such as writer or schizophrenic does me any great service.  Any person, to whom you give much attention, will surprise you with a multitude of idiosyncrasies.  Hopefully, if you look deep enough into their spirit you will also find contradictions to your original impressions of that person.

Within all of us there are contradictions that we hold onto for the very sanctity of our lives.  And it is because of these contradictions that we must spend so much time in reflection. 

Writing has become my most cultivated means to reflection.  My work as a writer has transformed me as a person.  And I can honestly say that because of writing I have turned my life around.  Because writing has so affected the quality of my life I persist to sit down in my rocking chair every morning to sift through the things that are on my mind.  I also go to a writing mentor’s house once a week to learn the art of writing poetry.  Each of these helps me to dig through the nooks and crannies within my soul to understand how my contradictions can share space.

With work we can use our inability to completely harmonize our mind and soul and world to inspire great works of creativity.  The act of searching, through creative practice, is necessitated by our discord with societal values—by our contradictions—and by our need to work through all of this. 

Turning my life around through writing has afforded me a perspective on imperfection for which I am eternally grateful.  Thanks to writing I can proudly declare that I am a schizophrenia survivor.  And I like it very much that the value which writing has added to my life, in-turn, adds to the resonance of my words.