And what about the uninvited
That just rock up to the words
On this glimpse of a naked soul handed to them
As if spied through a window
On the thought
That there is much more here than they had ever considered
Have I delivered up a piece of my soul for this interloper to devour
With some fava beans and liver?
Does it make me shiver to think of the unintended consequences of the gatecrashed party?
Once, it used to
But there is courage in truth
It is an unwinable debate
Vulnerability and raw words are rancid to the hardened ignorant fool
They will turn their nose up and run
Those that stay have depth
And I like their company
*writing poetry in the way I do, within the context of living in a small town where people think they know me is something that my younger self would have found tantamount to committing Hari-Kari every morning. She would have run a mile.
Overthinking and a lack of confidence in self leads one to ponder the awkward situation where a stranger or worse, someone half known, a client, a co worker, discovers my part time folly and stumbles across my poetry, with much the same shock they may experience encountering me dangling from a pole in a sparkling strippers bikini.
Yeah, I used to worry about it.
Now I don’t
As a writer and poet my vocation is to give voice to whatever wants to come through. In having the courage to do that, I get to enjoy the process. Most of my poems are mysteries to me up until the last line. Yes, I can see my personal subconscious themes then, but truly, these lines write themselves. I am along for the ride.
But we don’t get to take the ride if we don’t get on the bull and risk the crowd. and the clowns.
In times where I am hesitant to hit “post” because of somebody who might read my words I think of Teddy Rooseveldts speech
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”Theodore Rooseveldt
People who write from the heart without stumbling and stuttering deliver meaning into the lives of others by way of direct injection. I think of the words that I reach for (such as the speech above) that give me solace and resonate when I need them. what if their sayers had been too timid or weak to write or speak from the heart.
Because what is the wisdom of the heart except a tangible human link to everyone who has ever lived on this planet, or ever will? Why are the meditations of Marcus Aurelius fresh and resonant, as if written yesterday? Even though his words were never intended for publication they reach all who read them – through this shared heart of humanity.
Am I anxious of someone’s opinion of my writing or their over thinking of the subject matter?
No. Because the ear that hears is not the heart that writes and the gap between those two things is an uncontrollable that I simply haven’t time to ponder. There is writing to be done.
*Header photo Jakob Owens Unsplash
Speaking of old work colleagues – a post, a sort of gentle tribute really, to one who has gone