The Power of Writing

A Parallax Community Post submitted by Katie Sudkamp on 2012/01/27 at 4:32 am
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The Parallax is an intriguing story that provokes the mind into a different way of thinking. A way of thinking that actually involves writing; writing about your feelings, thoughts, and actions. Each of the characters in the book discovered the healing power of writing.  As an author, William Allen White used this “power” to grieve over the loss of his daughter and to come to the understanding that life in words has so much meaning. I found it very interesting that such a simple thing as writing down the thoughts from your mind could be so powerful. Many people keep journals but who really lets their mind take over and allows themself to write continuously? For me, this was a hard concept to grasp. Today, most people, including myself, have a million things on their mind every minute. Letting my mind just relax and to try and forget about my worries for the day provided much more of a challenge than I thought it would. A challenge that I am ready to take on so I can feel for myself the benefits of the written word. I have only partaken in this adventure a few times so far and already I am feeling the healing benefits of it. When I sit down to write, I let all the thoughts in my head flow onto paper and instantly I feel better. Somehow, seeing all my worries and thoughts on paper make them seem less daunting to me because my mind is no longer exaggerating them into concepts that are bigger than reality. I feel refreshed and like the characters in the book, a weight is being lifted off my shoulders. I strongly encourage those of you contemplating starting this adventure to go with your instincts and take on this initiative. Without a doubt, I believe you will feel more connected with yourself and with others around you.

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70 thoughts on “The Power of Writing

  1. The Parallax, essentially a story within a story, certainly helped me gain a new perspective. In this busy world, it is easy to overlook emotional needs. We hustle through the work-week reaching deadlines, crunching numbers, and attending meetings but often times hurt others along the way. We hurt others and sometimes ourselves by failing to see situations through a different perspective. Before reading this book, I had not realized that simply “writing” can be a form of therapy for an individual. The characters throughout the story were able to lift a burden off of their shoulders through writing from a different perspective. Carissa’s story about her grandfather’s battle with Alzheimer’s especially struck close to home for me. I have watched my grandmother battle Alzheimer’s for the past 7 years. I have also watched my grandfather unconditionally love her, but unable to see or understand the disease from her perspective. This disease definitely takes a toll on the entire family and I believe that being able to see the disease from my grandmother’s perspective would help anyone involved in a situation like this one. In addition, the mention of the 9/11 events brought back numerous memories. At the time, I was only in the seventh grade but I can still remember details of that gruesome day – from my perspective. Picturing the event through numerous perspectives around the world helps one to see the events of that day with a new understanding. Gaining new understanding through different perspectives helps one develop and strengthen emotional intelligence. Some may make excuses such as, “I do not have time to write.” However, writing with a new perspective will help one develop and strengthen emotional intelligence and in essence, will make one a better leader.

  2. The story definitely helped me realize the benefit of reflection. I think everyone should take the time to write out their thoughts. This can help people process events in their life, as well as what’s going on inside their own head. This is especially difficult in college, as all of the duties involved make it hard to find time in the day to reflect.
    At one point in my life, I had a lot of stuff going on and it was hard to think straight. I started writing everything down that I could think of – literally everything that popped up. It was a very liberating experience, and it really helped me work through a lot of stuff. I think this book emphasizes the importance of self-reflection. It also shows that doing so can improve one’s understanding not only of life in general, but of one’s self.

  3. he Parallax has helped me to further understand the therapeutic importance of writing. Writing not only enables us to improve articulating our thoughts into words, but it works in deeper ways. When we experience hardships and write about our thoughts, emotions, and feelings, we are able to in a way let go of these worries that are so burdensome and hinder us from experiencing joy. Although initially writing about our dark struggles may be painful and difficult, in the end we can be liberated from these things. For example, when my grandmother passed away, I was devastated as I was not able to spend time with her before she passed away. I recall writing in my journal everything I had been feeling at the time. There were a lot of tears and heartache as I was journaling, but after letting out everything, I felt so much more at peace with everything. Reading The Parallax helped confirm that writing can be very beneficial for all of us emotionally and mentally.

  4. I have always heard about the power of the written word; until now however, I was not able to fully understand the full scope of this power. After reading The Parallax, I decided to practice self-reflection. Writing continuously was hard at first because I was over thinking the process. Eventually I was able to let go and really let my worries flow onto paper. The impact writing has had on my life is amazing. I feel much more relaxed and my social interactions are much more effective. My worry and anxiety carries over to my personal life. Self-reflection allows me to communicate more effectively because I now have the ability to analyze other view points either at that moment or later during my writing.
    Also, I used to rely solely on exercise to relieve stress. Writing is a great outlet, and I would hope everyone at least tries to utilize this great tool.

  5. I completely agree with Katie’s post. I too felt the same way that my mind was constantly running and thinking of a million different things at once. I didn’t know that writing out how you feel and what situations you had been through could be so therapeutic. The Parallax was very well written and showed this aspect tremendously. I thought in order to write out your feelings you had to be a writer, but in all actuality, anyone can write. I found it hard at first to have the time to sit down and write out what I felt, but when I did, everything kind of just came out at once onto the paper. It definitely felt therapeutic, I felt like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. I am happy I took this class and had the chance to read this book. I would recommend the book again, especially to someone who is having a hard time with a certain situation because this book explains how writing out how you feel rather than bottling it up can help them in their lives.

  6. I always heard that writing can help in dealing with emotions; however I never really understood it because I never tried it. After reading The Parallax, I now understand how writing does make an impact on someone’s emotions. By writing we are able to express what we want without any fear of having someone judge our feelings. The book has great examples of exemplifying how writing can change ones lives. It shows how people thought writing was useless ended up having the most impact from the exercises at the conference, such as Kyle from the book. Overall this book is a great read and has an inspiration to our social and professional lives.

  7. The Parallax and its focus on the power of writing brings to light truths that as a species and a society we have known for a long time. But we are resistant to it. For whatever reason, within our historical development as humans, sharing thoughts and feeling (even with ourselves) has been viewed as weak. Yet Frank has become weak and helpless in his struggle to avoid and suppress his past.

    While writing is probably the easiest way to have self-reflection and discover things about ourselves we tend to block out or shun, things like psychotherapy and intimate conversations with others I think is way we can accomplish this as well…it’s just much harder to have a comfort level with others that we rarely have with ourselves. Frank is the perfect example of this. He has hidden behind a wall his whole life never confronting the idea he created that it was his fault his father died. He never shared this with his wife of 25 years. When he finally did gain the courage to share the experience with his wife, it was extremely taxing for him. Not everyone feels comfortable sharing those intimate moments with others, so turning to writing and letting your thoughts is a phenomenal way to fully experience an event as traumatic as the one Frank did. I think it is important to note that even though Frank shared the event with his wife, he still was not totally over it; he needed the experience of writing and truly getting it all out to come to grips with what had happened and not see it as his own fault.

    So while I agree that there is an enormous power in writing and personal reflection, I would say that those who are brave enough and comfortable enough with their friends should explore those intimate moments of their lives that may be defining who they are and confront them together, much like the seminar in the second portion of the book. Still, the stigma of being that open is very scary, and too much for most people, in which case, writing is the first stepping stone to that goal.

  8. I believe that writing is very powerful. However, I did not always feel that way. There were two things that changed my point of view. One is a class a previously took called Writing for Health. The other is the book the parallax.
    In the class, Writing for Health, I learned different ways that you can write to better yourself. I am not the greatest writer in the world, but I learned that it does not matter. You can write in any way that helps you. For instance, free writing is one technique that I learned that was most beneficial for me because you do not have to worry about grammar. All you do is simply write.
    In the book the parallax, I was able to see examples of how writing helped others. I remember a quote from a book that I read in my Writing for Health class. It was writing for health is “a very sturdy ladder out of the pit.” I believe this is true from both personal experience and the examples in the book.

  9. The power of writing is really actually… powerful. It is something we all have in common. Everyone has their own way of expressing their emotions whether it be in a diary or a blog. People these days seems to talk about how they feel nowadays through the power of the social media such as Twitter and Facebook. Millions of people have the opportunity to read the emotions of others. The Parallax does a great way of showing how one can really put their emotions into words. Fortunately for us, we have our own ways of putting our emotions into words. The reasons we all have this in common is because being able to write out how we feel really takes a lot off our mind and even feels good to have someone to be able to read it and either understand us or just recognize our emotions.

  10. I agree with the posts above that writing can actually be powerful. Upon taking this class and prior to reading this book I wasn’t sure what to expect about therapeutic writing and didn’t really know what it meant. However, after reading the Parallax I now have a better understanding of what it means to write therapeutically. Throughout the Parallax I found that there were many connections that I could make to this story and it really triggers your emotions while reading. Along the same lines of therapeutic writing I got a sense of what it felt like to write therapeutically in the stories that we had to write and I feel that reading this book has shown me just how powerful therapeutic writing can be. I learned first hand that writing therapeutically can be beneficial to you and this is seen when one reads the Parallax.

  11. At first, I was not at all thrilled to read this book. However, after completing The Parallax, I realized that deep down I knew the truth all along. Writing is my outlet, and it is the way into our innermost thoughts. As much as you try to fight it or keep something buried in your sub-conscious, it will come out. Writing is probably the safest medium to express any sub-conscious feelings, especially if they are unpleasant. I could relate to Frank because I found this to be helpful when my own father passed. Once I wrote down what I was truly feeling, instead of the lies I wore on my face everyday, I felt liberated. A relieved part of the burden my grief was causing me. By writing down my innermost feelings, I found the truth really does set you free, and like Frank, I could move on and begin to heal.

  12. The concepts of emotional intelligence, awareness of emotions, and their effect on personal effectiveness that are presented within The Parallax are not a complex concept. However, for most people the explanation and introduction of writing as a therapeutic method that are detailed in this book becomes an “eye-opener” and encourages a better understanding of yourself. This better understanding of ourselves can be a catalyst to better understanding emotions of others, building better relationships with one another which can in turn build these strong relationships within business, healthcare, and government, not just our own lives.

  13. I enjoyed reading The Parallax, specifically the short stories that the individuals wrote within the emotional intelligence workshop. I really enjoyed seeing the transformation in the characters when they told their stories and discussed it with the other group members which helped them to grow emotionally. This book made me realize that I have used writing in the past to help me cope with some rough patches in my life, however I never realized how healing it was until I read this book and went back and read my writing. After I read the book, I found some of my old poems and stories that I had written when my ex-boyfriend had committed suicide eight years ago. It really had an impact on my life, and it changed how I cope and deal with my own feelings and the feelings of others. I realized in my writings that I showed a lot of emotions that I could not necessarily express to others–feeling hurt, sad, angry, guilty, etc. These were all emotions that I had bottled up inside, however I knew that I couldn’t explicitly express myself to friends or family members about how I felt. I wasn’t sure how to say how I really felt about the situation. I realized my writings helped me understand how to cope with my emotions in a healthy way, and it helped to make each day more bearable as time went on. After reading this book, it confirms to me that writing is a tool that can be used by anyone to help someone who is going through a challenging time to understand how they react and relate to situations and people in their lives. Writing helped me to grow emotionally and helped me see a new perspective on life.

  14. Throughout the story and the smaller writings completed in the workshop, we are able to see how an activity like writing can be powerful and carthartic for both the mind and body as it allows the subconscious thoughs and feelings to surface. Writing proves to be a valuable tool as it allows you to reassess what your thoughts/ feelings were and become more self-aware. It also helps alleviate stressors associated with these thoughts/feelings. I think that The Parallax has done an excellent job, through both the different point-of-views in the workshop and Frank of showing the benefits of writing in a novel.

  15. After reading The Parallax, I have truly come to appreciate the power of writing and personal reflection. As a busy student, I rarely take time to slow down my hectic life for personal reflection. Attempting to comprehend my emotions and actions is often the last topic on my “to-do” list. I can relate to the main character in this fictional story, Frank, because he also has trouble connecting his emotions and actions with his loved ones. Normally it is often uncharacteristic of a male to express his feelings publically, but I have personally experienced that expressing one’s feelings through writing and speech has substantial therapeutic efficacy.
    As a student, I usually relied on exercise to relieve stress and frustration. As previously stated in a blog, this is half the battle as both physical and emotional stressors must be relinquished. This book’s story makes you dig deeper and assists the reader to conclude that what is present on the exterior is half the battle toward a happy livelihood. The Parallax stresses the importance of self-discovery for the preservation of self and important relationships.

  16. After reading the Parallax, I realized the significance of therapeutic writing. At first when I heard the term ‘therapeutic writing’ I thought that the writing has to be only related to medical illnesses and problems. However, reading the Parallax helped me understand that the therapeutic writing is to not only to ‘treat’ the readers but also treating the heart of the writer himself/herself. It reminded me that I used to write a diary long time ago and now I realize that it was therapeutic for me because I wrote down all the emotions and thoughts that I had at that time when I was having trouble with family issues. Reading the Parallax reminded me that writing is so much more than just for studying or for fun.

  17. Most people would overlook the positive influence which writing has on our emotional health. If one reads The Parallax, it will inevitably trigger emotions in the reader. More often than not, we tend to value reading over writing. However, from my own experience, I believe that writing can actually be more beneficial than reading. When we write down our thoughts and emotions, it helps us organize our thoughts and understand ourselves a little better. The Parallax encourages the reader to take a moment and just write. Once we actually make the effort and time to write, we’ll be able to experience the power of writing.

  18. After reading the Parallax, I had a greater understanding of looking at others point of view or perspective rather than just looking at my own point of view or perspective. When life gets busy with schoolwork or job, people don’t have much time to focus on other problems that friends or family members have, but rather their own only. Furthermore, people are emotionally attached to their problems and don’t know what to do, which will just make it more stressful on themselves. By reading the Parallax, it made me realize how writing things down will make it better for me emotionally and keep me less stressed. Not only writing things down in a journal will help, but so will talking to a friend or family member. I know that it may be hard talking about your emotions and feelings to a family member, but I think it will benefit me in the long run, and I may be able to help others deal with their problems as well. For instance, Frank talked to the crowd about his experience of 9/11 during his 25th marriage anniversary. He believed he had so much guilt (his fault) due to his father’s death, wife getting COPD, and not telling Sarah about Jenny. However, after talking about it, it made him feel a little bit better that all of these situations happening weren’t his fault. He wasn’t embarrassed, but he felt a sense of pride that people were connected with his story. People such as Amanda and Nicole were able to express their feelings as well by the power of writing. In conclusion, I think talking or writing about a problem is a great coping strategy rather than living in fear/guilt and hoping everything will be okay. Thus, I plan to do what Frank and others such as Amanda and Nicole did to express my emotions and feelings more, which I believe will make me less stressful and have more time to help with my family and friend’s problems.

  19. The concept of writing as a mean of expressing your feelings, emotions or thoughts is something I was always exposed to throughout my childhood. I remember my teachers promoting the idea of keeping a journal to record events that took place in our daily lives. At the time, what I did not realize was that writing can be a form of stress-reliever that can be utilized as a tool to tackle overwhelming situations of our day-to-day lives. The Parallax made me realize that by simply translating our thoughts to words, the mental burden that we all carry can be taken off. It can not only help us relax but can also help organize and solve our complicated thoughts. After reading about the characters’ stories in The Parallax, I realized that writing can play a role of a friend or a counselor. By merely expressing our feelings on a piece of paper, we can sometimes see the situations differently which can help us organize and, sometimes, even solve our complex thoughts. We experience a lot of different types of problems everyday – emotional, educational, etc., that we must solve before we can feel relieved and invite fresh thoughts and ideas to enter our mind, this is when writing – as suggested by The Parallax, can come into play.

  20. I agree that writing can be a great outlet to relieve the pressure of life in a hectic, unpredictable, and sometimes tragic world. There are many things which we encounter throughout the course of our lives that can be difficult to process, difficult to understand. There is something about putting words on paper that can help us to see our situations more clearly and our lives as the melding together of all of those events. There are few areas in our lives that are truly separate from the rest, and we sometimes require a tool to sort through the chaos. That being said, I do not agree with some pieces of what The Parallax suggests. Specifically, I was offended when it was suggested to the participants in the workshop that they should analyze Frank’s story and find their own meaning in it. Marianne applied Frank’s story to business. While I do believe in the value of learning from the lives of others, I do not think that it is respectful to Frank and his family to distill their story of marital tension and the loss of a daughter to business advice. I think we can benefit from introspection and writing to better understand our own stories but should be cautious in reinterpreting the stories of others.

  21. Alyssa/
    Thanks for your empathy for Frank and Sarah; however, Frank and Sarah were at the workshop as co-organizers and were sharing their story because they wanted to help others. Dr Stein was there to facilitate that process.

  22. While reading the Parallax, I was able to look at our typical fast paced life especially at STLCOP. We are constantly studying that we forget to take a step back and just reflect. I realized how oblivious we become to our surroundings. The reflection processes gets us in tune with our emotional side, which is needed to relate to people. If we don’t look at our emotions, we become like Frank in Parallax, unable to express our opinions. To achieve an emotional intelligence, the Parallax talks about writing as a form of expressing our thoughts. This book also shows that when we look at others with a ‘perfect’ life, we often miss the emotional struggles they are also going through.

  23. I was surprised to have enjoyed reading The Parallax. I thought it was interesting how the characters in the story could dig deeper into the meaning or symbolism in Frank’s story. I can relate to the characters because I find that it is helpful to write out what I am feeling when I am angry or sad. I don’t try to make sense of it, so I just keep writing what emotion I am feeling. I can make sense of my emotions if they are written out so it is easier to organize them. Unfortunately, being a student in pharmacy does not give me much free time to write what I am feeling. We get so caught up in this busy life that we forget to stop and think what is truly important, just like in The Parallax. We have to think about what others may be feeling or experiencing, instead of just seeing them for who they are on the exterior surface.

  24. At an early age, I turned to writing as my personal form of expression. I never learned to talk about emotions or share my feelings with people, and instead used my pen to clear my mind. As a little girl, I can remember crying myself to sleep, wondering why my dad was never around, doubting his love for me. When I got older I had a writing class where we were encouraged to reflect on events from our past that we would never forget. I wrote a letter to my father. I didn’t realize that his absence still affected me until I started writing and noticed the isolated tear drops decorating my composition notebook. Writing about how I felt, actually SEEING the unspoken words that had once flooded my mind, made me feel a lot better!

    On another note, even when it comes to communicating with other people, writing is a powerful tool when we are not brave enough to say things aloud (ex. writing poems or love letters to a crush). This is also true when we have so many thoughts that the right words do not come to mind at the time. For example, during a heated arguement you may be so angry that your words are muted and your lips paralyzed. However, when you get to the car, you type and send five texts to the friend you were angry with, telling them exactly what’s on your mind.

  25. The Parallax was one of the few books I have read in school that has really made me think beyond the printed text. We go to a school filled with lab values, disease states, and math, but writing is seen as a burden. I have always had a strong relationship with writing, between writing for English classes, a high school paper, or even creative writing classes. Yet I have never considered attempting to sit down and write about a major event from a different perspective. I feel like I get very caught up and involved in what is happening at the moment, which seems common at a busy school. Still, just while reading this story I immediately made connections with the short stories people wrote and my own life. I used to keep a journal with my thoughts, and in creative writing classes we could have free writing time to express whatever we wanted, but all of the writing seemed to have a goal. Writing for a purpose or for someone else seems detached compared to the examples given in the book. The process and emotions felt while writing seem to hold the true value. Looking at something from a different perspective, looking at your own faults, and going deeper into a life event are true feelings. Even writing this post I can see myself editing my thoughts so I don’t give off the wrong impression to anyone who may read it. I think taking a step back from the chaotic lifestyle we create, and thinking about life experiences that have guided or changed us would be beneficial for anyone. This is something I plan on doing and exploring how the experience will affect me.

  26. The Parallax in my opinion makes you really think deeper about things. I never really grasped the fact about how writing things down could be so therapeutic. I learned from this book that this is indeed the case. There are many times for example when people blow up at others because of the fact that they have so many things bottled up inside them. Many people don’t express themselves for the mere fact that they don’t feel comfortable doing so. What many people including me didn’t realize is that writing things down is another outlet to relieve stream. You can actually write things down and see things for what they are. You are able to SEE your feeling and not just feel them. It will help you feel better and overall it is healthy which is why it is called therapeutic writing. It helps show people that there is no truth to someone being unable to express their own feelings. While they may not have someone to vent to, they can find a paper and a pen just about anywhere.

  27. It’s interesting how the power of writing can truly change a person’s perspective on their own life. I agree that by writing things down a person can free themselves from the pressures of life or even cope with unexpected or traumatic events. Sometimes just putting words down on paper helps a person express their thoughts and feelings and maybe as result they can see their situation more clearly. The emotions felt while writing hold a significant value and that can help you learn more about yourself and maybe even lead you to think about other deeper thoughts or events in your life. When reading The Parallax, I realized that the book made you think about deeper thoughts for instance when mentioning the 9/11 story. When reading about that part I started to think about what was going on around me on 9/11 and I remembered that in many classes we wrote down our thoughts and feelings from that tragic event. By simply expressing our feelings in words, we are able to create an outlet for all the thoughts and feelings that are bottled up in our head and relieve our mind of such burdens. Not only does writing help us express ourselves, but it can also help us organize our thoughts and who knows maybe even help us see solutions to the problems in our lives.

  28. While there are multiple things I took away from reading The Parallax, the one that will affect me most in the future is the power of writing. I am the first to admit my writing experience has only been in the form of required writings for professors. I have never sat down and put pen to pad to express my feelings or emotions such as those that did in The Parallax. There are numerous occasions where I begin to “daydream” and have these thoughts and emotions. However, with the constant interaction and interruptions that take place in life these thoughts are usually not completed. Finding time to sit down and write without edit and express myself about whats on my mind, experiences, etc. would be a great release of emotion. Seeing that it was beneficial to many different types of personalities is proof that it would benefit me as well. I hope to spare an hour or so on occasion to express myself in writing to benefit from its therapeutic effects.

  29. It is quite amazing to see how much of an effect the Parallax has had on everyone that has read, and how it helped people realize the “power of writing”. I have always enjoyed writing. Back in high school, my favorite classes were english/literature classes. The disappointing thing about STLCOP is that there aren’t very many classes that allow us to freely and creatively write. The disappointing thing about many people today, is that writing is a lost art. Many people don’t realize that writing is the basis for many other things such as music, lyrics, theater, and movies. It is people’s ability to write freely and creatively that allow these things to come together. It is discouraging that today people no longer enjoy writing, and reading as well. It is important for us to stress to future generations that writing is a great way to express oneself and control one’s emotions and worries. One great thing about free writing, is that it allow you to go back and re-read your thoughts and feelings and “re-live” them if you please. This is why I find writing to be such a powerful way of expressing yourself.

  30. The act of writing as form of expression is under-utilized tool. I love that The Parallax provides solid examples of this. I have been working with self-disclosure in research and there are clear benefits to using written disclosure. James Pennebaker has researched writting for healing extensively and if I could quote him briefly, “When individuals write or talk about personally upsetting experiences in the laboratory, consistent and significant health improvements are found the effects are found in both subjective and objective markers of health and well-being.” (1997) This book allows the reader a “mind’s eye” approach to writting about one’s problems and life. I know that everyone who reads this book will definitely consider using writing as a coping method in the future and I hope that everyone tries it at least once in his or her lifetime.

    For Curious Readers….
    Pennebaker J, Writing About Emotional Experiences as a Therapeutic Process. American Psychological Society/Psychological Science vol. 8 no. 3 may 1997 p 162-166.

  31. Reading The Parallax really made me think about the therapeutic qualities of writing. While some of the characters shared their stories, it got me thinking about how I kept many journals as a kid. I used to write down everything I felt without feeling inhibited at all. I believe as I got older, I started thinking that nothing I was writing down was important and that journal-keeping was just a waste of my time. Reading this book has inspired me to try and find the time to free-write again. Instead of feeling like I’m not writing anything of importance, I hope that this time I can write without editing myself and identify some feelings I might be subconsciously suppressing.

  32. When I first picked up my copy of The Parallax, I was not exactly happy to add this onto my heaping pile of things to do. So, I sat down with my book in hand thinking, “I’ll just read a chapter or two tonight and finish it later this week.” Much to my surprise it was very easy to read and relate to each of the characters in the book, especially in the opening chapter that begins with the 9/11 terrorist attacks. I can vividly remember where I was and what I was doing when I first heard about the planes crashing into the Twin Towers. What I remember most is all the different emotions I personally felt and those expressed by my fellow classmates and teachers. At this point in my education, I was in an English class that required a daily journal. Then, I had no idea how therapeutic it was to be able to write down the emotions and feelings I felt I couldn’t say or express. Looking back at some of my journals from grade school and high school helps me to remember many things that happened to me, and also remember my feelings about these events. These old journal entries remind me of past mistakes and failures that have led me to who I am today. In The Parallax, Frank kept many of his thoughts and feelings bottled up. However, once he started writing his about his thoughts and emotions he was able to overcome many struggles in his everyday life. Reading The Parallax has solidified the idea that words have power. They may be more powerful to some and than to others. After reading and contemplating the messages in this book, I think that writing would be a great stress reliever for many people, including myself. Taking a few minutes everyday to write down your thoughts may be of great benefit.

  33. The Parallax shows that the key to healthy relationships, both personal and professional, is to be able to view situations from other’s perspectives. The characters used writing to truly change their way of thinking and improve their life. Writing about an intense experience can help people to see all the layers of a situation and find the meaning behind their actions. The Parallax demonstrates the power of writing to help people to forgive, heal, and understand.

  34. As the characters in The Parallax have demonstrated, writing can be very therapeutic for better understanding yourself and/or others. Most people think that journal writing is only to be written from your own perspective; however, the character Nichole proves otherwise when she writes of her grandpa’s illness from his perspective. By writing through her grandpa’s perspective, Nichole had come to realize how selfish her grieving had been and was able to come to grips with his illness and death. I do believe that in this world of always thinking of “me” first, being able to write from someone else’s point of view can help you better understand those around you at a deeper level. Reaching this deeper level of understanding can only promote personal growth and therefore, personal effectiveness.

  35. I had the opportunity to experience first hand the therapeutic power of writing through some of Dr. Rickert’s elective classes. At first, the writing didn’t come naturally to me at all. I’ve definitely always been more of a math and science person. However, when I started to relax more and not worry so much about how others would perceive what I wrote and more about how I was feeling about what I wrote, it began to come easier. Over the course of the class, I began to look forward to the writing and the fact that it calmed me somewhat to put my thoughts on paper. I can relate to what Katie has said in that seeing thoughts that seem somewhat scary or daunting in real life on paper makes them seem more manageable. I would also highly recommend trying this technique! I have continued writing (as much as I am able) since taking the class, and I believe that it has given me a better grasp on my feelings and emotions.

  36. I have taken a couple of classes with Dr. Rickert and in each class he had us read the Parallax but during his elective, writing for health, I did not fully understand the benefit of writing until reading this book for a second time. The book has taught me not to be afraid of writing what you feel, but a way of expressing your emotions. At times this is a difficult thing to do as it may involve a tragedy in one’s life, but the ability to write about your emotions freely can be beneficial for everyone. Therapeutic writing is a great way to relieve stress if you have a lot going on in your life but don’t want to share the details with anyone else. Reading this book along with taking his classes has taught me the implications of the power of writing.

  37. Emotional Intelligence is not something that anyone inherently knows. It is something that is learned. Being able to look into a situation with a different perspective other than one’s own is a rare trait. In order to acquire this trait, one needs to first delve into the emotions and memories of past events of life. Writing is a fantastic outlet for hidden emotions and feelings that were once swept under the psychological rug. Sometimes revisiting memories is hard, but writing about them becomes therapeutic and a whole new appreciation for writing is gained. Writing also gives a way to analyze a situation from all angles, not just the one that surfaces at the present time. These skills of looking in from different perspectives at situations can be applied to any aspect of life. In a professional setting, this is extremely important because no two people have the exact same perspective. Utilizing Emotional Intelligence destroys barriers that inevitably form between strangers and leads to much better outcomes in any situation.

  38. I agree with Katie in the aspect that most people just don’t feel like they have the time to sit and reflect on their emotions these days. We are raised in a society where we are taught that every moment is precious and that there is always something else to do. For Frank, the main character, he never wanted to deal with his emotions. As a result, they took a toll on him in more ways than he really understood. It was not until he started to really address and confront his emotions that he really understood the roots of the disappointment he was feeling in his life. When a person takes the time to write out their emotions and have it come out unrestrictedly, that is when truth can be revealed. In addition, by writing out emotions, you can reflect on them and hash out what needs to be resolved.

  39. I agree with comments stated above by Katie’s post. The Parallax offers a story that not only expresses the importance of communication but perception and human emotion. The Becks relationship allows you to see how lack of communication can result in unresolved and unaddressed issues that are important in understanding human emotion. It is also apparent how they have two different perceptions of the events surrounding Frank’s father’s death and the diagnosis of his wife’s COPD. These instances show just how easy it is to assume you understand how a person understands a situation. And as stated in a previous post, it is easy for us to overlook the verbal and non-verbal cues sometimes given to us when you feel that you know exactly how a person feels or don’t take the time out to consider how certain events might impact and affect that person. I also agree with how life changing or drastic events can sometimes cause a person to look back and reevaluate things that have happened in their life and apply them to how they currently feel. Learning how to communicate and understand human emotion are concepts that are not only important for establishing functional relationships but for emotional development as well.

  40. I agree. Getting in the habit of journalism and writing freely in order to better express your thoughts and feelings is a hard habit to start. But like many other habits, journaling no longer becomes a task but a habit. Reading the Parallax has reminded me of the benefits of writing out your thoughts. Personally, as more and more issues or controversies arise in my life, they begin to become extremely bothersome and burdensome, as was the case for Frank. Frank had kept in the guilt of his dad’s passing, which then affected the relationship he had with others, especially with his wife, Sarah. Many people have difficulty expressing themselves in words towards other, due to the fear that they may leave the wrong impression or say the wrong thing, but journaling can definitely help fix that problem. I believe that journaling cannot only be used as an outlet, but as a way to better yourself in terms of expression and communication, two key attributes necessary to succeed in any field of work.

  41. I agree that I am usually worrying about a large number of things during my daily routine. However, there are numerous outlets to express these worries in a written format. Social media sites are essentially open forums. Meanwhile, messages boards and personal blogs provide a more focused and possibly more nuanced collection of thoughts, arguments, positions, and proposals.
    Often, I find that it a matter of not only finding, but prioritizing, the time to organize these thoughts into a cohesive structure. Then, once you have had an opportunity to respond to others around you or learn more about your topic, it is a matter of deciding the strengths and weaknesses of the thoughts you have versus those thoughts other people have presented to you.

  42. Reading this book made me realize that writing can be a very powerful tool in changing one’s perspective and life. Although as a student we do a lot of writings, I have never tried this kind of writing, letting my emotions to surface and continuously writing out my feelings and thoughts. Like what was said in the book, I think we only learned to simply hide and suppress emotions. But without expressing emotions, it is hard to discover and recognize alternate truths, see things differently, and change self-limiting paradigms. I hope to get a chance to freely reveal my emotions and thoughts that are bothering me in writing and find myself in peace.

  43. I agree with the author in that writing may sometimes be the best way to express one’s feelings in a way that will lead to a better understanding of the world around them. Sometimes situations in life tend to get very hectic and one of the best ways I find to slow things down and get a hold of where you are in life is to simply start writing. Although Frank was never one to want to deal with his emotions, the benefits of writing down, even random thoughts, would have helped him sort out his feelings and have a beneficial effect. Writing also allows for a continuum of various thoughts that, although possibly scattered, will help one get into deeper ideas and emotions. I see this as the main benefit of writing as it will help one look further into what they are feeling and understand more about themselves.

  44. I was ten or eleven years old on 9/11 and staying with a family friend while my parents were out of state for one of my father’s business conferences. On that day I was ecstatic about their return, but that changed when the announcement at school was made. I was young and didn’t completely understand what was happening, all I knew was my parents were supposed to be flying on an airplane on that day and that airplanes were crashing in the country because of “bad men”. This led to several moments of internal panic as I imagined the pain of losing them as well as the emergence of guilt over showing favoritism towards one or the other and not being able to express my equal love for them both. Luckily the panic didn’t last too long, as my babysitter picked me up from school and told me that my parents would be a day late because their flight was cancelled and they were driving home.
    I have struggled with anxiety and depression from a young age that can make my thoughts overwhelming and produce guilt from virtually nothing. I have a tendency to balloon things out of proportion and can have a hindrance on my productiveness in my life. My mother has always been my outlet for these thoughts and anxieties and she helps me to rationalize and overcome them, however as I’ve grown older and moved away from home I realized that being so dependent on her wasn’t rational. In thinking and trying new ways to control my anxiety I, like Frank, have found that keeping a journal and writing about my feelings and daily mood greatly aid in rationalizing anxiety and helping me stay productive.

  45. I found “The Parallax” to be a really interesting story. I have never really thought about writing as connecting with people because most of the classes I have taken throughout my college career have been about analyzing stories. I really liked how the book started with a story within a story which added another element in allowing the reader to connect more with the main character Frank and his family. I was also very inspired to try and write my own story after reading the excerpts from other people’s stories that were shared during the writing workshop. I was surprised to learn those were real stories that people had shared in real life. I have often thought about writing about my experience with infertility but have never felt that I had the time. After reading this story I am certain that I will make the time to write my own story.

  46. I agree with many of the points made in this post. When I took writing for health, that was the first time I had written about my own emotions as opposed to a random fictional story in elementary school or a discussion on symbolism for the novel we were reading in high school. When you tell yourself you need to write about what you are feeling you really analyze it and understand it in order to put it down in words and sentences. The Parallax explores many of these same themes and shows the struggle to mend a relationship. I think the ability to put your feelings on paper is an important one as it gives you an outlet and also a medium to analyze how and why you are feeling what you are which gives you a better understanding of yourself.

  47. I agree that writing can have a lot of benefits in improving your life by expressing your emotions and feelings to help make sense of everything. A lot of stress can be relieved when you start writing about your emotions and problems instead of thinking about them all the time. The Parallax made me realize how much writing can help in seeing your feelings and help you feel better overall by relieving stress.

  48. “Put yourselves in their shoes; try to see the world from their view.” This is a common saying and common advice we have heard many times from many different people throughout our lives. While I think this is a great exercise and causes one to momentarily consider someone else’s perspective, I don’t think it can be truly effective, or that the full power of this demonstration can be felt, unless the thoughts are put to paper. We can often consider another person’s viewpoint and ask ourselves, “How are they seeing it? How would I feel if it was me? What would I do if I was them?” We may glean a momentary glimpse into another’s life and might even be able to see as if through that person’s perspective. However, this fleeting glimpse is likely to vanish soon and almost certainly disappears once we start talking to that person again – we forget easily and our empathy is eclipsed by our own emotions again. Upon actually writing a passage as if you were another, you are much more likely to remember and be impacted by what you discover. You have taken the time to truly put yourself in another’s shoes for more than a few minutes, and this will change everything about the way you encounter that person in the future. I consider myself a fairly empathetic person. But after reading The Parallax and having this “aha moment,” I realize that thinking about a situation as if you were another person is not enough.

  49. Life is not always what it seems. Our interpretation of what life means it vastly dependent on a preconceived notion acquired from the environment where we developed as human beings. It mostly a self-centered view. Which is not completely surprising considering how individualistic our culture is now a days. This is clearly depicted in this book and through the lives of its characters. It was hard to predict where the story was going until almost the end of the book. But then everything came about full circle. It was Kyle’s story that in a way resonated with. I feel that there have been a multitude of times where I have been the skeptical one and passing judgment on certain situation based on preconceived notions that are not entirely true and that poorly reflect reality. I need to be able to put myself in someone else’s shoes and try to see things through the same glass they see it, maybe then I will have a shift in paradigms and be able to comprehend the world a little better.

  50. I agree completely with the original blog post. Many people, including myself, write each day in a journal or in a reflective sense using prompts to direct responses and discover things about our selves. In reality though, most of the time when using a prompt one could come up with the same results of self discovery without actually writing. As stated above and as the focus of the Parallax, writing continuosly and letting go of our prepared thoughts and directions can lead to a whole new level of self discovery. If the people in the book had been answering a question or following a prompt, they would not have let their mind go to the places they did and they would not have discovered their true inner thoughts and feelings.

  51. After reading the Parallax, I realize the power and importance of writing and reflection. I have never been one to write down my thoughts or keep a journal because I really just did not like to write and never had the time. Trying to find time between school work at STLCOP or just life in general was hard and kept me from personal reflection. I guess another way I tried to escape from the daily tasks and pressures was playing sports but now as I get older I realized that I need another way. I understand now after reading that it is important to use writing as a way to release tension and expressing your own thoughts and feelings.

  52. As Katie mentioned in the original blog post, I too have never really thought about or attempted to just sit down and write continuously. I have always been so consumed in the events of everyday life that I rarely take a minute to let my mind relax and allow my thoughts and feelings flow onto paper. Writing is a very important form of art that seems to be disappearing as our society becomes more and more technologically advanced. In this fast pace world, people just want to complete all of their activities in the fastest way possible, taking as many shortcuts as necessary to save time. If we all just take a minute to sit and write down our thoughts, we may expose ourselves to ideas and emotions that we did not know we had.

  53. In one form or another we have all faced emotional turmoil and Frank, the main character, is no different. This emotional turmoil can be dealt with in many different ways. Frank has found writing to be his key method for coping with his troubles. Personally, like Frank, writing down my thoughts has proved most helpful. Through writing, I gain a new a perspective of my topic. This new perspective gives way to new understanding. More often than not I find that peace of mind comes hand in hand with this new understanding. Through Frank, I feel The Parallax portrays this journey to a peace of mind very effectually.

  54. The beginning of The Parallax made it so easy to relate to because I knew exactly where I was on 9/11, as I am sure others do as well. Frank’s struggle with his marriage while simultaneously worrying about his daughter and the people in the twin towers revealed how “layered our experiences are” in life. During the workshop, I enjoyed reading about Kyle, the CEO, who at first was extremely skeptical of Frank and of the idea that writing could be therapeutic. But when he picked up a pen and began to write, Kyle discovered the Parallax, “I can see now how writing might help me see things differently, which is often the key to success in my business.” I thought the second half of that statement was very interesting because up until this point I had only seen how writing had helped people with their relationships. Kyle’s remarks reveal how therapeutic writing can help one in other aspects of our lives such as our professional career. The type of writing discussed in this book can help reveal deep-seated emotions and memories that one may carry that they may not have known had been bothering them. However, I personally find writing continuously very hard to do because I am use to planning what I am going to write and trying to edit and perfect it. I look forward to trying to let my subconscious put the words on paper but I do not think it will come easy for me.

  55. Katie is definitely right in saying that The Parallax “provokes the mind into a different way of thinking.” I recently have started writing in the same way described in this story. Until now I never realized how much it really does empower me to heal from it all. I just thought that I was writing my feelings and thoughts down, but after reading The Parallax I now realize that there really is so much power in it. It is more than just writing. It is a process that allows you to reap healing benefits from doing it. I also would encourage others to try it. It is also so freeing because you can take any approach that you want, as illustrated in the book. There is no “right way of doing it” except to simply allow yourself to let go and write.

  56. While reading the Parallax, I found myself identifying with many of the elements of the story. Each characters writings triggered memories of my own experiences and allowed me to analyze how I reacted or felt in similar situations. It also brought to light the startling realization that I do not “put myself in someone else’s shoes” often enough. In the world we live in today, most people (myself included), think first about themselves and then about others as an afterthought. The story of how Frank blamed himself for his father’s death is a perfect example of this. Frank has a trait that many of us possess which is the desire to be in constant control. In our culture, someone who is constantly in control is depicted as powerful and impervious and this is why so many of us strive to obtain this trait, even though it can be destructive and detrimental to one’s own psychological health and their relationships with others. I believe that many people could certainly benefit from of writing as an outlet for any bottled up emotions, worries, or even fears. The Parallax clearly shows the power of writing as a tool for healing ones current and past wounds and has opened my eyes to a new way to control my own stress and has encouraged me to try to not only try see things from others point of view, but to empathize with them as well.

  57. The Parallax made me understand the power of writing. I knew writing down my thoughts and feelings can help me organize my thoughts, but I have not thought it can also change my perspective as characters experienced in The Parallax. For example, Father Ryan always felt guilt from his sister’s death although her death was not totally Ryan’s fault. During workshop, Ryan could change his point of view by writing in Katie’s position and could finally forgive himself. People in workshop heal their emotional scars through their writings and by sharing different points of view. I also enjoy writing down my feelings, but sometimes I do not have chance to write at all because my mind is all in school work. I realized not writing down my feelings at all made me feel becoming more like a working machine rather than a human being with soul. Therefore, I try to write more often as I know the power of writing, and reading The Parallax made me realize that again.

  58. I have always been a believer in stories, novels, and even scholarly journals evoking emotions and very strong feelings in those who read them. There is very little one cannot do without a piece of literature in his or her hands. For example, one can imagine themselves in a fictional world with their favorite characters, one could learn about new experimental treatment of a rare disease, or one could feel empathy of a complicated love story, maybe even relating it to their own similar experience.
    While I have not yet had the fortune of being in a long term marriage, I can definitely sympathize with the way a member of a relationship can discard something so meaningful, thinking it is unimportant to the other, much like Sarah acted about the dried Aspen leaf. The Parallax is a very emotion-evoking piece of work. One would have to be dead to not feel anything while reading it.

  59. Writing gives humans the unique opportunity to see things outside their normal view. Before looking into “The Parallax”, I was curious to know what the actual word meant. According to the Merriam Webster, a parallax is the difference in apparent direction of an object being seen from two different points, neither within a obvious straight line with the object. Knowing this, this I feel that the title is very appropriate with the underlying message of the book. Life itself is the object that we are focusing in on and the reality of the matter is the focus is actually a parallax. But understanding life being associated with a parallax is not that intuitive, nor easy. Often we look at life’s event from our default lens, i.e. our way solely. However, the novel recommends us also seeing it from different point of views, that are usually not as obvious.

    This particular skill can be acquired if one is able to view life from an objective point of view. Essentially one would have to remove oneself from the situation and be a mere spectator and observe the event from the outside, looking in. If we stay within the inside and try to analyze an event, we will only be able to analyze it the same way, with the same tools, and consequently come to the same conclusion every single time. This in a sense is “not fair” to life. We can’t cannot treat every different life event the same way each and every time. Instead, different life events deserve to be viewed with different lens. Besides, it’s only fair. The only way to view and interpret life’s events is to look at it from different angles. This will guarantee that life is being approach fairly from a well-rounded approach versus a minute one-dimensional point-of view. After all, having a well-rounded approach gives one the opportunity to be exposed to a greater variety of ideas with the freedom to choose versus being given only one option to view a matter and less opportunities to be exposed to new possibilities.

    One way to see things from multiple points, which I personally agree and do from time to time, is to write it out. Writing helps me examine a situation objectively. Writing my thoughts helps me visualize my thoughts and allows me to critique my thoughts. When I view my negative critiques, it forces me to look for alternative thoughts on the matter. However, the only way I could have access to these alternatives thoughts were to have my original thoughts deemed as flawed, by me, and thus forcing me to reconstruct my original thoughts by thinking outside my usual thought process.

    So in short, life can be associated with a parallax. The most optimal way of understanding life is not solely through a default obvious straightforward lens (our personal perspective), but in combination with an alternative least obvious lens that we can obtain; whether if it is from others or discovered from within ourselves via writing and playing an objective role. Understanding the difference between both lens and being able to combine them to create a more balanced picture can lead to a more comprehensible understanding of life’s events. After all, a parallax is the difference in an apparent direction of an object being seen from two different points, neither within a obvious straight line with the object.

  60. Prior to reading The Parallax, I hadn’t given much thought to the therapeutic effects of writing. I assumed that writing’s sole purpose was to allow people to communicate with others. The book talks about letting your mind wander while writing to see what things are bothering you subconsciously. For me, this task seems difficult. I constantly have thoughts running through my head, so allowing myself to freely write whatever comes to mind seems like I would only produce a list of tasks that need to be completed, rather than have a revelation of something that I have repressed. However, the idea seems intriguing to me, and I would like to try it sometime, despite my skepticism. It may prove to be beneficial, if only just to clear my mind.

  61. Reading the Parallax made me think of what a friend suggested to me recently: journaling. I had conveyed to my friend that I had more thoughts going through my mind than I would have liked, and desperately wanted a way just to suck those thoughts out. I wanted peace in mind more than anything else. My friend then told me that she found journaling rather therapeutic for her in such instances and recommended that I try it myself. Given that this happened very recently, I haven’t actually attempted journaling yet. However, having now read the parallax and seeing the effects that writing has had on others, I am intrigued and much more inclined to give journaling/writing a try sooner than later. In some ways, I think I know what will come out through pen onto paper, but it is very possible that I will be startled at what I write. Either way, I think putting my thoughts into writing will allow for a clear revelation that may hopefully change the way I think.

  62. The Parallax emphasizes the use of writing to reflect upon memories, thoughts, ideas – whatever comes to mind – in order to reevaluate one’s position in their life. I was reminded of the time I used to write consistently in a journal, a simpler time of little responsibility. With the constant bombardment of information and a never ending list of things to complete, it’s hard to stop, take a breath, and really take a good look at what’s around you. However, when life casts a storm my way and I have no where else to turn, I find myself retreating back to writing as a way to verbalize my thoughts. It lifts the overflowing thoughts in my mind and allows me to look forward to find a solution rather than dwelling on the past.
    Nicole’s story of her grandfather’s perspective was the most resonant to me. My own grandfather, a handful in his own right, has been struggling with dementia for the past few years on top of a string of chronic diseases. By remembering who he was before the disease, the stories of his past, and his unconditional love for me and my siblings, I have been able to be patient in caring for him. However, the story made me think about perspectives of others – not simply in a way to reason their motivation like I most often do, but rather to truly understand where they come from and how their response to the challenges in their lives have made them who they are as individuals. Too often, we believe we understand by making surface assumptions like “oh, he’s old now,” but we don’t go further to try to notice the little changes – the things that are masked by silence – because we are wrapped up in our own lives. Through connecting with the stories of others, we can go beyond the “self-limiting paradigms” mentioned in the book and be able to find new insight in our lives.

  63. I think a lot of people greatly underestimate the benefits of journaling. I’ve heard people say that journaling is juvenile, no adult needs to journal. I know from experience that statement is completely untrue. If anything, journaling is more beneficial to adults than it is to those younger than them. People tend to have the desire to be in control, and journaling is a simple way to achieve that. Whether there is so much going on in your life that writing it all down may be an easy way to reevaluate priorities, or you just need to get some things off your chest. Journaling is an easy way to take back that control. I hope that more people will read the Parallax, preferably those who think journaling is juvenile, and realize that it’s okay to feel like you’re not in control, but know that there is a way to fix that.

  64. I don’t call myself an avid writer, but I do write something like a “diary” entry on days when things are extremely tough. Most of the time when I write out all of the thoughts I have, I feel empty afterwards. Not relieved, not fulfilled, maybe clarity (dependent on what I am writing about), but for sure a lack of the emotions I felt prior to. It’s interesting that the point of views on what writing does for someone can vary; oddly enough fitting with the definition of Parallax. The two biggest points of the book are that writing is therapeutic, and that our perspectives can change based on what happens around us and the point of view we take. After reading the story, along with the different perspectives posted on this site, I feel inspired. I obviously haven’t used writing as a means to evaluate myself, instead I use writing as a means to rid myself of emotions. I have allowed myself to change my perspective and find purpose in my writing, simply from reading a book and comments others have made. I truly am in awe at how when people come together for discussions, positive ones, we can influence one another for better. I walk away from reading this book, and others posts, realizing I can use my writing in a healthier way that allows me to grow as a person.

  65. Fictional and non-fictional writing allows people to discover emotions that may lay dormant. It allows a connection between readers and writing to be formed without ever crossing paths.Parallax: An apparent change in the direction of an object caused by a change in observational position that provides a new line of sight. From the Greek Parallaxix: to change. The parallax shows how a marriage goes through many different life course and although I have never been married this story was very relate able via the emotions that was so vividly displayed by the Author.

  66. An ancient Cherokee tribe had a proverb that stated: “don’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.” This proverb acts as a central motif for all the characters in this book. Quite literally with Frank, the first mile in his perfect boots left his feet raw and blistered. In his mind he saw that as the guilt of what he had done. Later on though, the characters in the group session begin to notice that they all trended towards writing their life experiences from the point of view of others. They began to reassess emotions and meanings behind memories and learned experiences they had understood by seeing things through a changed lens and overlapping perception, the Parallax.

    Until reading this book, I myself had never been aware I was engaging in the parallax in my own ways. I don’t write as much on paper as much as I write the story in my head. I go through my life forging my own opinions, quite narcissistic at times to be fair, through my experience. This is my acute phase for handling the situation. Long term though, I find myself coming up with jokes, telling fabricated stories, or writing creative fiction that all comes from the source material of real life experiences that I have actually recreated, but all coming from a new point of view. When I read about Father Ryan, I started to realize, I do a lot of the same things he does, and maybe, just maybe, as I continue to write my own stories from my experiences, I will be so much more aware of this phenomena bringing me to want to see the story told from a new point of view, the Parallax.

  67. As I read the Parallax, it helped me realize certain features that hinder a relationship without one even realizing it. The strong, silent type often take on other people’s problems and try to fix everything, while the more carefree counterparts can end up suffering consequences of an rash decisions. When a person has been in a relationship or friendship, he or she can start to take the other for granted and not realize all the simple tasks that mean something. The Parallax offers a great reflection on how protection and perfection might cause harm in the long run.

  68. Reading “The Parallax” underlines an overarching theme present in Dr. Rickert’s Writing for Health class that I have taken previously: writing is therapeutic. We do not write to be understood, but rather to understand. Throughout our lives, we constantly deal with complex emotions that are difficult for us to handle. As a coping mechanism, most of us just bottle them up and shove them deep down never again to see the light of day. Instead, we should take the opportunity to allow those feelings to surface again in the form of writing. As a result, we are able to detach ourselves from the intensity of the acute phase of life experiences and may reflect and learn more effectively from past events.

  69. As stated above, we have too many ideas going on at once in our minds that it is hard to grasp all of them. As with the characters in “The Parallax”, writing can be a way to slow time down and consider all of your options. Writing allows for you to really take a step back, relax your mind, and put your ideas down. Every opportunity cannot be taken, simply because there are so many, however, one should try and take advantage of any opportunity that one can. Through, writing one can not only balance new and old ideas, but also emotions and feelings which can lead to inspiration and hence taking hold of whatever opportunities may arise.

  70. This book seems to have affected so many people. I have learned that writing down thoughts and feelings is much more therapeutic than keeping our thoughts and feelings in our own heads. This book was extremely interesting to me. Throughout college, I haven’t written down as much as I would have liked to. I had never previously thought of writing as connecting with my peers, but I now have a much different view. Not only do we connect more with others, but we connect more with ourselves. It allows us to remember memories and feelings we once experienced and to allow new memories and feelings to be enlightened. I identify most with Frank, who seems to want to have control at all times. By allowing yourself to let go, and feel whatever feeling may come to you, it allows us to better identify with our emotions.

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