How do you tell your small children their mother has been killed and will not be coming home? How do you cope with your fear and sorrow when your son develops mental illness and disappears? How do you go on after working your way out of poverty only to find your life upended by tragedy?
And most of all, how do you keep touch with your true self in the midst of all existence brings? Dr. Richard Messer, professor emeritus of English, has spent a lifetime striving to maintain his openness to life and to others in spite of enduring what "wasn’t supposed to happen to my family."
In his latest book of poems, "Dark Healing," published by Fisher King Press, Messer brings the perspective of someone who has come through a great storm on a mountain and is looking back down at it, a metaphor he said is often used in grief counseling. The poems trace his journey through shock and despair to functioning and eventually back to joy.
State of the State Conference on Ohio equity, diversity slated
The 18th annual State of the State Conference on equity, diversity and opportunity in Ohio will be hosted by the University on March 20. About 200 people from across the state and from all walks of life will gather to hear from leading advocates and to discuss critical issues in a variety of workshops and seminars. The conference runs from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union.
The day will feature two nationally acclaimed keynote speakers. Matt Roloff, noted actor, author, farmer and businessman, best known for participating with his family in the reality television program “Little People, Big World” on TLC, will speak at the noon luncheon. Toledo’s Baldemar Velásquez, acclaimed labor activist, social justice leader, and founder and president of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, will give the closing address at 3:45 p.m.