The Personal Journal of an Ordinary Person

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An ordinary person, Katharine Brennan calls herself. An ordinary person perhaps, but with an extraordinary gift for turning the prosaic into poetry, and for distilling the moments of joy in he often painful days.

I write from the inside of myself; I save the spoken word for acquaintances. We are privileged to share Katharine’s very personal journal; she teaches us as much about the meaning of courage, and poignantly reminds us of all that life holds.

Interspersed with her own writings are brief sayings that appealed to Katharine, words of wit and wisdom from such thinkers as Dolly Parton, George Gurdjieff, William Blake, her mother, her husband, Carl Jung, and a novel called Dudley found lying in the washroom.

Losing her sigh, she sees the beauty of life clearly. Confined to a wheelchair and with her leg amputated, her world opens. In facing her approaching death, Katharine finds pleasure in the ordinary; sunrises and summer storms, conversation with friends and strangers, the satisfaction of chores and crafts. Through pain and depression her joie de vivre shines.


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About the author (1995)

Katharine Tayler Brennan grew up in Brockville, Ontario. Diagnosed with diabetes at sixteen, she strove for an ordinary life, travelling in Europe, managing in bookstores, developing her skills as writer, artist, and photographer. In Montreal, where she lived most of her adult life, she took courses in journalism and creative writing at Concordia University. She died in 1985 at the age of forty-two. Katharine Brennan's cousin, psychologist Elizabeth Parsons Kirchner, has lovingly preserved and edited these moving memoirs.

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