Cartoon of the experience of the bloggers hearing Bob read a blog post.
Drawn by Aileen Trang
Nearly every Friday at noon,
Bob takes the ELLICSR bloggers on an adventure without having to leave the comfort of our seats. At our weekly blog club he reads his latest draft out loud, often prefacing it with a humble “just something I wrote on the
train in this morning”. But we all know he’s about to take us on a vivid journey through our
imagination and emotions, far away from the bucket chairs in the ELLICSR Library.
As he pulls up his notes on his tablet, we tuck ourselves into the perfect, comfortable position, ready to let Bob pull us into his next great story. There's a certain magic in hearing him read his post out loud. With each word he speaks, the room falls deeper into silence and stillness until we’re fully enveloped in his vision. The timbre and tone of his voice takes us back to a moment of his life, using the perfect words to convey exactly what he experienced. We don’t always know where he’s taking us - the mystery often feeds our enjoyment - but we know by the end it will all become clear.
In the past we got to hear the quacking and splashing of ducks enjoying the morning sunrise and feel the thrill of a snake getting a little too close for comfort when he shared
Hiding In Plain Sight. We heard the cacophony of commuters on a crowded GO Train and saw two women gesturing at the other end of the car when he read
I Hear You: Reflections on Reflective Listening. We felt the tension inside a dreary tent rise with the storm water outside as he read
Gloom to Bloom, and felt the tension break with laughter as the camper flashed his colourful pack of lifesavers to his buddies.
Inevitably, as he reaches the end of his blog post, the walls, bucket chairs, and friendly bloggers around us suddenly come back into focus. We pause for a moment to reflect on where we’d just gone, and take a deep breath to bring us back to reality. Bob has never let on that he’s noticed the gobsmacked expressions left on our faces as we think about how grateful we are to be taken on such a vivid adventure in our imagination. Nor has he acknowledged the conflicted looks as we wrestle with the twinge of envy we feel over his incredible ability to wield words so flawlessly.
Bob, your writing has inspired all of us to be better storytellers. More importantly, your stories have inspired us to be more mindful of our life experiences. It has truly been a pleasure to work with you and we wish you all the best in your retirement. We will miss you!
- Geremy, Christy, Rob, Aileen, Menaka, and Alaina
Check out all of Bob's blog posts by visiting his