I was seven years old when I wrote my first poem. My teacher at the time Ms. Quillen thought it was so great she had me read it to the class. They didn’t get it based on the puzzled looks on their faces. My fanciful words about floating under sunshine on my back cross the ocean, talking to the breeze. My parents framed it and it won some prize. I was the same kind of writer then that I am now. Playful with nature in metaphor, personification and poetry in story-telling only then it lead to disconnect. It’s one of those moments that cements for me that I am far older than my age and miles before my time.
I read my last entry. It was, perhaps, a little too honest a little too vulnerable because each of the two times I’ve read it I feel her. I step into her shoes and I become that broken hearted girl with a keyboard in her lap, writing her pain away.
It is the power of vulnerability. It is the thing that my favorite writers have been able to do for me, take
me to their places and become their characters. Sometimes when I’m really out of the way, I manage it even for myself. That is a very rare occasion.
At that moment I made the choice to write it. The choice to publish it. The choice to share it. I was gripped with nerves because I knew how raw I was when I wrote it. It woke me up out of my sleep to be written. It held me in bed for hours after it was done. Awake and sad, I couldn’t believe those were the words that came forth.
However, since then I have felt a certain peace. A certain calm. It was though I finally acknowledged that part of myself and she could begin to heal. When I read the words written I do not feel overwhelmed, my step into her sadness is only temporary. It is though I affirm her existence every time I read.
It is a new sort of thing for me. I have never much gone back to read the tough posts. I certainly have never looked to my own writings for transport. And yet I found it to be incredibly therapeutic when I did. “This is why,” I thought, “this is why you write.”
It’s a funny sort of audience I share myself with. In effect I am open to the whole world. But most readily, my family my friends my peers colleagues and professors. Does the Dean need to know about my heartbreaks? Perhaps not. But if she read it I would hope she could understand that my words, my sharing is just me trying to know my Self better. My sharing is and has always been for connection. So that someone may read and know that they are not alone in their feelings. And me too…I love hearing that something I wrote resonated with someone.
Someone told me once I was a good writer and I was foolish enough to believe them. I slipped that identity on like a silk robe and it felt so good against my skin I decided to keep it on for a while.
I have laughed, cried, screamed with anger, been full of woe and defeat, I have lived in the spaces between the lines of every post for the last five years. It has been a gift to others, I suppose, but mostly it has been a gift to me.
This place saved my life. I share that freely. And I wonder what it is for other people? What is the thing that served as their light through darkness? What is it for others that makes the world make sense? How do they find connection? I consider myself, not a writer, but a woman who writes. Even maybe a soul who expresses. I wonder what they call themselves…