Ever since my husband had a major stroke in 2017, he has been unable to read. One problem is that the stroke left him with hemianopia, or visual field cut, a loss of the right half of his vision in both eyes. However, it also appears that he suffered a loss of reading ability owing to damage to the centers of the brain involved in processing reading.
Before the stroke he loved to read, so now we always have a book going. I read aloud to him almost every day, and one of the most profound books we have read is Dinosaur Hearted by Ra Avis.
Ra is a blogger here on WordPress, and Dinosaur Hearted has drawn from her blog posts on Rarasaur.com as well as her social media posts and other writings. In speaking of the words in this book, Ra says, “It is my hope that they will inspire tangled conversations, acts of healing, and words of compassion.”
I read Ra’s book on my own before reading it aloud to my husband, and it is a book that cries out to be read aloud. Ra is a poet. Even her prose is poetry, and hearing her words spoken out loud gives them a much more profound meaning than just reading them silently.
This is the only book that has caused my husband to ask me to stop reading so that he could ponder the true significance of the words. Many times I realized he was weeping because the words spoke to him so deeply. All I can say is, “Thank you, Ra!”
Dinosaur Hearted is a book for anyone who has experienced setbacks, a broken heart, a major loss; for anyone who is grieving; for anyone who has regrets; for anyone who has ever felt alone or unloved. It is a book, in short, for everyone.
“This book is a gentle call to happiness in a time of healing, and a reminder that – wherever you are, whoever you are – you are loved.” (From the back cover of Dinosaur Hearted)