Poems have been a part of my life ever since I can remember. Growing up, my father wrote poems for my mother on special occasions that usually involved poetic clues to what or where her present was. My oldest sister, six years my senior, used to read poetry to me. So much so that when I saw her coming toward me with a certain book in hand; knowing she was going to read The Raven to me for the thousandth time…I ran!
I’ve always loved playing with words, though. My father taught us that words were precise beings. But we learned early on that words needed to be followed by like actions if they were to mean anything at all.
I guess you could say this poem has been a long time friend. One who pushed me to know myself. It came to me fast, like it had been frantically looking for me in a crowd. It was the one hiding in me since childhood that said, Ahh, THERE you are! I would have never found you had you not turned around! And it’s the first one I officially shared outside of my guarded heart. Written in 2001 for, my son, Preston’s eighteenth birthday, before I knew how to fully receive a poem. Before I knew how a word or thought could take me, and sweep me away to another dimension inside myself. It’s not complicated or intricate, but true in its simplicity. It taught me to fully pay attention to the intent and purpose behind the words. Words like diversity, inclusion, unconditional love, celebrate, real and the ability in disABILITY. And even though he was complicated and intricate, it tells of how I saw him as perfect in his outwardly imperfect body. That, coupled with realizing other people saw him the same way was the greatest love lesson I will ever know. This little poem taught me to care greatly how my words affected others, but it also taught me not to care too much so it wouldn’t affect my writing. Writing can’t be photoshopped or it’s not writing.
It was the tiniest of stepping stones so I wouldn’t notice the step. One that led me to my truest self so I could write my memoir.
Just like a best friend it nudged me over the fence to go explore the field beyond when no one was looking. Together we whispered and laughed at what we heard. Our eyes grew big with exclamation at what they beheld. And when I smelled and tasted the words, each tiny tastebud was forever altered.
All because I offered myself to a poem. And it accepted.
The words took me where I didn’t know how to go. Writing made the muddy waters of love, disabilities, loss and grief clearer for me.
The blank page became a repository for my life’s experiences. Ultimately, I learned that words can’t stay lost if they come from soul work. For me, soul work has been an examination of how and why I felt something – its origination and culmination. Like a living autopsy of my senses, feelings and thought process. And ultimately, my healing and growth.
I’ve known for a long time there’s a reason for all of this. Preston was born the complex way he was so I could discover that, I too, was born this certain and imperfect way. So I could catch his challenges; hold them, soothe them, nurture them. Then release them into the universe so I was ready to hold nothing but his strengths. So all the people in his life could find him and discover the reason they were born this certain and imperfect way. Perhaps every single person who saw Preston, then, through the looking, saw a deeper more vulnerable part of themselves in him. And in the looking formed a connectiveness with him. So they, too, could see the mirror of his soul reflected in their eyes.
What I’ve learned through my life experiences, beyond question or reason, is that – if our ears are tuned in, if our hearts are open; we hear the whispers meant for us. Our truth. And if we’re lucky enough we then interpret them into our own DNA. We evolve. And are forever changed.
In writing it’s important to know how to find and express the right words. In life it’s equally important to know how to find and express the right feelings. And when the feelings meet the words waiting there on paper – something truly indescribable happens. For reasons beyond my control or explanation, I was able to see it all clearly through the mirror of his soul.
I can’t wait for my book to be in your hands. My prayer is that it never leaves you, that, hopefully one or two sentences curl up next to you and carve a niche in your heart or mind because words are really, little human beings on paper. If you get it right. So I hope that as you interact with all the beings on the pages, you’re left thinking, crying, laughing or reflecting on what it felt like to be in someone else’s life for the hours you sat reading my book.
In my memoir, I write about beginning again and again. And what that means when applied to our concept of reality. This is my reality. My heart – one of them (You’ll soon understand).
This is my beginning.
BOOK NOTES: I have some exciting meetings coming up. I don’t know what will come from them, but I’m hopeful. I know it seems like forever since I finished the book. I remind myself daily to be patient, and that the process of selling a book is hard work that can take a long time. So, please, hang in there with me. As a BIG tease I’ll give you some clues……
- The title is comprised of six words.
- The first word is THE
- The last word is COURAGE