Thoughts, reflections and a poem

I have been thinking lately about my blog and what is appropriate to post and what may not be. I will explain.

The blog was born out of a diagnosis of MS in 2011. Shortly after the diagnosis and while I was still in shock, a very good friend who happens to be here on WP, suggested to me that I might give writing poetry a chance; he had more confidence in me than I had. I almost laughed his suggestion out the window right there and then and I would have let it fly off with the birds if it had been left to me alone. But he kept nudging me, very gently and with such genuine faith in me that I decided to have a go. So I began; I would write a poem and then run it by him for feedback, which he gladly gave. This in itself was a massive step for me, to show someone what I had written, however “bad” it may be, and even more of a giant step to find myself in a place where I would accept constructive criticism, even if it was through slightly gritted teeth! When I look at this now, I can see that if we really have a desire to accomplish something, then all we need is encouragement, guidance and a huge dose of blind faith, in order to at least give it a chance.

So the blog was born. I write now for two main reasons, the first being therapy, helping myself manage the monster as I call it, which has set up a permanent home inside my body. And the second reason has followed gradually; I am enjoying writing and having fun with it. As a result of all this I have met, and continue to meet, some wonderful new people who I consider to be real friends even though we have not met in person and probably won’t (Now I can hear my mum!! – “Never say never!”) So while I’m rambling, I want to say a huge thank you to all of you on here for continuing to support and encourage me on this still very new journey; it is so very much appreciated. I know a little more about poetry now than I did and I am enjoying reading good poets and trying to improve my writing skills. I still know very little and I do have to say writing isn’t second nature to me; I do have to try hard to produce something I am reasonably satisfied with.

Back to the beginning of this post. I try to write and post poems which are optimistic and uplifting, even those relating to MS, because this helps me to stay in a positive place. But sometimes when I feel down, as I did recently, I write something accordingly, and find it difficult to include touches of humour, which I know I often do. There is no real conscious effort with this; I think it must be one of my coping strategies and thats no bad thing; I cherish my sense of humour, its a very necessary part of emotional healing. I think what I am trying to say is that when I post poems that seem to emerge from a darker place Im not feeling sorry for myself, I am simply saying how it feels. And I think that is appropriate, but whether it is appropriate here Im not sure and would appreciate your feedback.

The following poem is the one which prompted me to write what I have said above.

Diminished

Don’t try and tell me to focus on
what I can do rather than
what I cant.
Don’t try and tell me that I’m still
the same person I was before,
and don’t tell me what I
can’t do anymore doesn’t matter

because today the computer lead
came out from its socket and
the printer ran out of ink
and I was home alone;
I could fix nothing.
I am tear-streaming;
living in a body that’s
switching itself off.
I feel powerless, trapped
and diminished;
flailing around,
(“not waving but drowning”)
in a pointlessly raging sea of
wishing things were different.

And don’t tell me
tomorrow is another day.

(“Not Waving but Drowning – poem by Stevie Smith)

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52 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. restlessj
    Mar 15, 2013 @ 13:15:47

    I like this very much, though perhaps ‘like’ is not quite the right word. I admire it! Your honesty is to be commended. I like you, am faced with some severe physical drawbacks and like you I am reluctant to dwell on them too much. That is why I write mostly about things in my memories rather than my present. However when such a spontaneous and honest outpouring occurs I do believe you owe it to your muse to publish it. Good job!

    Reply

    • Journeyintopoetry
      Mar 15, 2013 @ 13:56:30

      Thanks very much Res.

      Its definitely the best way, to stay positive. What’s the point really of being any other way? It serves no useful purpose. But we are human and sometimes it is just necessary to express how it feels.

      Now lets have some decent weather so I can get out on my zippy wheels!! Have you thought any more about joining the hell’s mobility angels?! 🙂

      Christine

      Reply

  2. DonaTo_DividEd
    Mar 15, 2013 @ 13:16:04

    Poetry has always been my therapy. Thank you for sharing your story and your art. 🙂

    Reply

  3. Denise
    Mar 15, 2013 @ 13:17:08

    Liked your latest poem. It would be a good one to send the Assessors who are carrying out the medical assessments for ESA and PIP. We all feel like that sometimes, some days more than others, but not everyone understands.
    Keep writing,
    Best wishes, Denise

    Reply

  4. Ali Brown
    Mar 15, 2013 @ 13:28:47

    I don’t ‘like’ that you have to struggle with your monster, but what I do like/love is your honesty, courage and ‘realness’. Sending much love, Ali, xx

    Reply

  5. suzywordmuser
    Mar 15, 2013 @ 14:05:52

    It’s good to have a balance between happy and sad, because life is full of both! I like to do both, and I personally can’t stand blogs where the writer persists in writing happy empty headed ‘joy is full of joy’ poems – I’m sure you’ve seen them too! That’s not real life! And I think outside of the blogging world I tend to avoid people like that, because they are not living their life in hope as they claim, but in most cases are living in denial. I find denial of reality suffocating! 😦

    I wrote a poem called To Find The Lost Girl recently and it was about me, trying to discover where the little girl in myself had gone, the real essence of Suzy. I put a personal piece of writing underneath, simply because I needed to lighten the experience of the reading otherwise I knew I would have a long list of over sympathetic responses from readers, and I really didn’t want that. My plan worked, everyone took it exactly how I wanted them to take it – I was so relieved! 🙂

    So carry on sharing yourself Christine, it’s what most people want to read, and those that don’t, can take a happy skip and a jump somewhere else to read the ‘joy is forever producing more joy in my life’ blogs!
    Suzy 😀

    Reply

    • Journeyintopoetry
      Mar 15, 2013 @ 14:29:41

      Hi Suzy,

      Thanks you very much for your comment. It has given me a big lift, and it made me smile too. I know just what you mean about the “joy forever producing more joy”.

      I think I wrote the accompanying piece with my poem for the reason you said you did. I was a little longwinded I think but it needed saying. I never intend to look for sympathy in my poems but I do need to be real, and sometimes life simply feels like its a rotten egg!! Your feedback means a lot to me and I do truly appreciate it. Thank you.

      I am absolutely aware I have hundreds of blessings and I do count them most days, and I am also aware, as I am often reminded, there are people worse off than me, but that’s irrelevant when we feel how we do. Each of us has our own pain and it matters.

      Thank you again.

      Christine 🙂

      Reply

  6. tjtherien
    Mar 15, 2013 @ 14:08:35

    if you feel it then it is appropriate…life isn’t always sunshine and roses and sometimes we need to be reminded how lucky we are…also it is thereputic to vent the negative emotions we sometimes feel and not keep them pent up and unexpressed…it can release us from them…thoughts and prayers

    Reply

    • Journeyintopoetry
      Mar 15, 2013 @ 14:34:32

      Thank you very much for your thoughtful and heartfelt comment. I appreciate it very much.

      I think you are absolutely right “it can release us from them”

      Best wishes to you and thanks again

      Christine

      Reply

  7. countingducks
    Mar 15, 2013 @ 15:21:45

    I read Blogs for all kinds of reasons, but one of the common threads is, I admire the character of the Blogger. This certainly applies to you. What has happened to your body sucks, and we all know that, but that you seek to express yourself and seize the day to the best of your ability is an inspiration to those who have better health than you and do less with it. God bless you xx

    Reply

  8. Suzy Blue
    Mar 15, 2013 @ 15:30:31

    When you’re feeling less than positive, letting it out in a poem can be a good way of making yourself feel better. So letting the negative out in a safe place can actually help with the positivity. Well that’s what I think 🙂

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Mar 15, 2013 @ 15:46:55

      Suzy, thank you. And what you have said makes perfect sense to me, and I appreciate it.

      “Letting the negative out in a safe place” ; thats a very encouraging statement, thank you very much. and yes you are right, it does help with the positives. .

      Best wishes

      Christine

      Reply

  9. belfastdavid
    Mar 15, 2013 @ 15:32:34

    Ah Christine,

    I remember this poem when it was in its raw state (i.e. before it became a poem :))

    You did not want sympathy then any more than you want it now. What you wanted was just to be able to express your frustration in a safe way.

    Poetry gives us that safe way – somewhere we can express our anger in a way that releases us from keeping it bottled up and going round in our heads for ever.

    You must never feel shy of sharing your angry poems – they are real.
    And you never know just who may be helped by their realising that they are not alone in feeling those feelings.

    One of my poems which significantly helped someone else was also a very angry poem which I, at the time, was also reluctant to publish.

    And what a wonderful phrase –

    “in a pointlessly raging sea of
    wishing things were different.”

    Been there, done that, got the bloody tshirt!!! 🙂

    With much love
    David
    xxx

    Reply

  10. journeyintopoetry
    Mar 15, 2013 @ 15:51:08

    Thank you David.

    This is a lovely warm comment and I want to say thank you again for all your patience and encouragement. You know how much it means to me.

    I do hope some of my poems may reach out to others; like you say, you never know. If one poem touches one person then I see that as a bonus.

    Much love to you too

    Christine

    Xxx

    Reply

  11. samatwitch
    Mar 15, 2013 @ 18:16:55

    I always enjoy your poetry, Christine, no matter what the mood, because they are genuine and come from your real emotions. To me that is the essence of good poetry – to expose your feelings whatever they are – and to share them so that people can understand a bit of your life, whether it be joy or pain.

    It’s your blog and you can write whatever you want on it – crazy limericks, haiku, iambic pentameter, free verse – whatever and however you want to let your feelings out! Having chronic back pain myself, I often identify with the frustration of not being able to do things we used to take for granted or the pleasure of doing small things on days we feel better.

    Take care and keep writing!

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Mar 15, 2013 @ 18:34:03

      Thank you very much samatwitch for you reassuring comment. I really do appreciate it.

      Thank you also for your empathy. I am sorry to hear you suffer with chronic back pain; I know it can be extremely debilitating.

      I will keep writing, thank you for the encouragement.

      You take care too

      Christine x

      Reply

  12. Ina
    Mar 15, 2013 @ 19:45:38

    Hi Christine, it is wonderful to see how one poem can lead to another and this is your best I think 🙂 I looked up the poem that prompted it :

    Not Waving but Drowning

    Nobody heard him, the dead man,
    But still he lay moaning:
    I was much further out than you thought
    And not waving but drowning.

    Poor chap, he always loved larking
    And now he’s dead
    It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
    They said.

    Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
    (Still the dead one lay moaning)
    I was much too far out all my life
    And not waving but drowning.
    Stevie Smith

    Sad poems are the ones coming out of the dark, don’t stop writing them, that is part of life. And please do write the fun ones! I love the ones that make me cry, but also those that provide a smile and a laugh! Some poems have all of that in one somehow, you can do those as well I know!
    You have found a great way to express what you feel and they are a very good read 🙂 Please keep writing for a very long time!

    Big hug {{{ Christine }}} xxx

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Mar 16, 2013 @ 11:49:03

      Thank you very much Ina, for this reassuring conment. I would hate to think my blog was a depressing place, but I do need to write howI feel, it helps so much.

      However I will continue also with my attempts at haiku, elfje, renga, cinquain etc etc! Listen to me! All these forms Im having a go at! Not so sure about sestinas, sonnets , villanelles etc though!! I think I will leave those to te experts like yourself and others on here! 🙂

      Love and hugs xx

      Reply

  13. Caddo Veil
    Mar 15, 2013 @ 22:19:52

    What a great post and a terrific poem, Christine!! I want you to do what you can, and what you enjoy–I LOVE your blog and LOVE your poetry, and LOVE you BIG Bunches! There’s nothing wrong with posting about how you truly feel–those of us who know you even a bit, cherish you and care so much about you–it’s okay to say you’re crying because everything’s falling apart or not working, and there’s no one around to “fix” it. It made me want to “fire up my broom” and get there fast as I can to try to help out–though you know I’m not much good with mechanical things; but I would try, and I’d hug you and make you laugh about how silly I am–so all would not be lost!! You’re in my prayers everyday, and my heart overflows toward you. Just do whatever you want–we selfishly desire to keep you here, as you have so much to share with us. God bless you BIG–hugs and smoochies, sis Caddo

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Mar 16, 2013 @ 11:56:52

      Oh Caddo, lovely friend. I would so love you to be able to fire up and fly here! We would have so much fun! And you could bake sone of your wonderful banana and walnut bread (gluten free though!!) We would have to ride out on the scooter in search of appropriate flour!

      Your comment has cheered me up so much. I truly treasure you and I know you say prayers for us all and this is very much appreciated too.

      Love you bunches

      Christine xx

      Reply

  14. bardessdmdenton
    Mar 16, 2013 @ 01:02:59

    Reading this, and knowing already why you began writing poetry and this blog, and how they both have connected us in a friendship that is very dear to me – I think, as I have before, how ironic that I lived in England all those years, literally walked through Leeds at one point and, even residing near Banbury, was close enough for us to have visited each other. This is the trick of fate, I think. A trick that has you dealing with MS and reaching out from your pain and frustration and even anger with love for life and the best in others and – Yes! – with a balance of spirit that doesn’t need your body to cooperate. It is your openness, your honesty that inspires, something I admire and emulate in my often uncompromising reticence.

    There are many things that can leave us feeling
    ‘powerless, trapped
    and diminished;
    flailing around,
    (“not waving but drowning”)
    in a pointlessly raging sea of
    wishing things were different.’

    The measure of poetry is in the truth of its words and its music, and your honesty and lyricism offers so much healing through helping others recognize their own feelings and struggles, not at all in comparison with yours, but in the understanding and hope.

    Keep writing as you are, that is more than good enough! Love and hugs, Diane XO ♥

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Mar 16, 2013 @ 12:19:55

      Diane, your comment leaves me feeling very moved and uplifted. Thank you so much, for all your encouraging words and actions.

      The friendship we have forged is very precious to me. We may even have passed each other in the street in Leeds, who knows? But our time apparently wasn’t to be until now. Some things we will never truly understand.

      “the measure of poetry is in the truth of its words and its music” – beautiful words that I will keep tucked away and bring out whenever I feel that fear erupting. Thank you so much ❤

      Love and hugs to you too xxx

      Reply

  15. lscotthoughts
    Mar 16, 2013 @ 01:51:10

    What a wonderful, honest post and poem, Christine! I am so glad I’ve had the chance to get to know you and I hold dear to my heart our friendship. In contrast to how you may feel, I think you are a wonderful and gifted writer and not only do I love your honesty, but your humor. It doesn’t take much to make me cry and I’m not afraid to show my emotions, but I do love to laugh. Anyone who can make me smile or laugh is someone I want in my life. Anyway, write what is in your heart and that is what I and I’m sure all your readers desire to read..I also have to agree with Diane with her words about the process of healing. Your writing can help others, too. We all have “monsters” in our lives; they just come in different sizes and forms and by you verbalizing your feelings, you can help us with ours…

    Sending you much love and a zillion hugs to last you forever, my friend! HBL ♥

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Mar 16, 2013 @ 12:37:07

      Hi Lauren, and thank you so very much for your heart warming comment.

      Friendships can have wonderful ripple effects and our mutual friendship with Diane has drawn us to each other, which I find quite magical. I feel as though I have known you far longer than the actual short time; I even feel as though I know Copper!! 🙂

      Whatever we are all faced with evokes, I feel,, similar emotions and it is reassuring to hear that what I write may possibly help others in their healing process. Your comnent and those of others has left me feeling much more comfortable about positing this particular poem.

      Lots of love ❤ and a zillion hugs to you too
      And a big cuddle for Copper xxx

      Reply

  16. Geo Sans
    Mar 16, 2013 @ 02:31:13

    even writing

    one’s negative thoughts

    cleanses the body

    gets it out of you

    and helps you breathe

    easier again

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Mar 16, 2013 @ 12:45:29

      Thank you very much Geo for this comment.

      “cleanses the body…and helps you breathe easier again”.- those are encouraging and reassuring words which I will carry with me.

      Thank you for taking time to visit and comment; .it is much appreciated

      Christine

      Reply

  17. melodylowes
    Mar 16, 2013 @ 02:46:59

    You are one of the Brave. I admire you, honour you, appreciate your heart and the honesty of your struggle. Write words that uplift – but write words that bleed, too – in letting these out, you bleed your heart, and your courage leaks into us. Write on!

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Mar 16, 2013 @ 12:49:57

      Thank you melody. This comnent is a poem in itself and so very much appreciated. ” But write words that bleed, too” . This is a sentence I will keep close by me and revisit when I am doubting what I write. Thank you.

      Christine x

      Reply

  18. harulawordsthatserve
    Mar 16, 2013 @ 06:23:15

    I get the sense of a brave little David facing up to a bullying Goliath that keeps saying, ‘smile now, keep smiling’. Life seeks balance and denying pain and suffering is as much denying life as to deny the positive would be. I’m sure we can all tell a thousand stories of how something terribly ‘bad’ resulted in something overwhelmingly ‘good’ – so how useful are these distinctions? Poetry for me is about capturing a feeling, a moment of emotion, and sharing it with the world to bring greater tolerance and understanding for the human condition. This poem does that, beautifully. Thanks for sharing:-)

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Mar 16, 2013 @ 14:05:14

      Harula, thank you very much for these lovely warm hearted and genuine words. They are so appreciated and I will take great heed. “…a greater tolerance
      and understanding for the human condition”.I will keep these words close, they are wise and full of compassion, thank you.

      And thank you for all your great acrostics! I am enjoying my angel cards. I havent written anyrhing from them yet but I have been dipping in every day and whatever I pull out I attempt to ollow for a day. Soubds simple, but easy? 🙂

      Love and blessings to you. Xx

      Reply

  19. Through My Eyes
    Mar 16, 2013 @ 13:55:21

    I always enjoy your poems Christine. There are many of us here who use our blogs either for therapy or stress relief. Keep up the great work 🙂

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Mar 16, 2013 @ 14:13:33

      Thank you very much Norma! Your comnents mean a great deal to me, always encouraging and urging me on.

      Talking as I was above about letting someone read my poems however
      “bad” they may be, I have a bin full of aborted Erasure!!! 🙂 i will ot give up!! 🙂

      Christine x

      Reply

  20. hollyannegetspoetic
    Mar 16, 2013 @ 19:50:23

    Hi Christine. I’m sure it’s all been said, but I admire your uncompromising honesty in your poems and in your way of expressing yourself generally. You never come across as self-pitying or “poor me”. As to what is appropriate to post – I understand you questioning that: I’ve done some soul-searching on the subject myself. My rule of thumb is only to post something if I feel comfortable to deal with whatever comments people make and questions they may ask. We all have to set our own boundaries, but I admire your forthright approach to dealing with the changes you’re experiencing.
    And the poems are quality. Wouldn’t say that if I didn’t mean it. 🙂 xx

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Mar 16, 2013 @ 20:00:50

      Thank you Holly. I really appreciate this comment. What you say about your rule of thumb makes very good sense. Its a very good guidline I will bear in mind.

      Thanks for all your support and encouragement, and thanks also for what you said about my poetry. Coming from someone who I consider an exceptionally good poet that means a great deal to me.

      Xx

      Reply

  21. Betty Hayes Albright
    Mar 17, 2013 @ 21:16:58

    Christine, your post really touched me. All of us, and we poets especially I think, have our darker days and we MUST write about those as well as the better ones. I consider you a gifted poet – your writing is beautiful and honest, and wonderfully written. And when you write from a place of pain (no matter where the pain comes from) it brings us all a little closer in our humanity. I’m so glad to have met you here on WP, and to have experienced much of your poetry. Looking forward to more and more!
    I wish your days to be the very best possible, but do understand the difficulties. You’re in my thoughts often, and I still love reading and re-reading your excellent poetry book.
    (And now I’ve much to catch up on!)
    Love and hugs to you,
    Betty

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Mar 18, 2013 @ 09:45:33

      Hi Betty, and thank you for this lovely warm comment.

      You continue to give me words of encouragement and this means so much; I can still, and often do, doubt myself and my abilities. It is something I have struggled with for ever and a day! But the positive thing is (and its strange how things happen through adversity), after the diagnosis, I gathered enough courage to put myself out there, however rawI felt. And look what it’s brought me!! So many new and supportive friends like yourself, who keep encouraging e every step of the way.

      I know you have your health struggles too and I often think about you. I hope you are managing to manage them, if that makes sense!

      Lots of love and hugs

      Christine xx

      Reply

  22. Fergiemoto
    Mar 19, 2013 @ 23:03:40

    Having just read your previous post, I see the synchronicity between the beginnings of your poetry writing and the young horse you write about in your last poem. Tentative at first, but encouraged gently, you are now flying…soaring high with your poetry! Keep flying, Christine!

    I certainly feel and relate to the words in your poem here. I appreciate your honesty.

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Mar 20, 2013 @ 09:52:17

      Thank you again for this wonderfully encouraging comment Fergie. It is so very much appreciated. And your reference to the synchronicity has really uplifted me!
      We often fail to see our own stages of progress and your comment gave me the incentive to kerp flying! Thank you. 🙂

      X

      Reply

  23. Francina
    Mar 24, 2013 @ 18:47:03

    Dear Christine, let me first say that I’m very happy you are in the blogger world and I have a chance to hang out with you. Never say never indeed, you just live over the creek so who knows if we might share a cuppa some day.
    In my eyes you are a great poet, no arguing about that. Poetry often heals I think, no matter if we write or read because it is written by real people from within. Sharing their inner feelings. So keep up the good work, dear Christine, life can be very ugly at times so ……………..just write and stay true to yourself ! I love the honesty in your poems.
    love and hugs,
    Francina xxxx

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Mar 24, 2013 @ 19:04:46

      Francina,

      Your comment has brought tears to my eyes – but good ones! Thank you so much for your encouraging words. They mean a lot to me.

      This blog has helped me so much to come to terms with everything, and Im having fun too which in turn takes me away from the negatives, if that makes sense. So its good all round.

      Thank you for “hanging out” with me 🙂

      Love and hugs

      Christine

      Xxxxxx

      Reply

  24. tikarmavodicka
    Mar 25, 2013 @ 08:26:31

    Hi Christine,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and such a powerful poem. I was nodding my head all the way as I read. I completely relate to where you are coming from.
    I personally feel it’s your blog so therefore if it’s right for you, then it’s right.
    I prefer the whole picture, good days and bad days. 🙂
    You shouldn’t have to feel that you have to justify why you post the poems you do, especially with poetry.
    It is a medium which lends itself to all different feelings, experiances and emotions and I suppose in a sense it begins to catalouge your human experiance and bad days are a part of that. I’d be a bit worried if you were only postive and always joking. It wouldn’t ring true when I know some days are horrible and a nightmare to go through.
    Being judged at face value is part of public forum too. There will always be people who say “write about this, write about that…you should be postive, you shouldn’t bring people down.”
    In the end the question is why do you write? To help yourself first or to please others. If it’s to help yourself first by expressing what’s important to you than don’t worry. Jusy keep up the great work you do writing the beautiful poetry you do. I know I’m very greateful for the whole picture you share. 🙂

    Wishing you a good week ahead.
    (((Big warm hugs))) and
    pats for Jack and the cats
    Tikarma
    xoxoxo

    Reply

  25. journeyintopoetry
    Mar 25, 2013 @ 13:39:01

    Thank you so very much Tikarma, for this heartfelt comment which has given me much encouragement.

    And yes, you are right I do write first and foremost for myself. And if it impacts in a positive way for other people, ie in that it may help them to deal with what they may be going through, then thats a bonus for me. I would worry myself if I was happy clappy cheerful all the time. Like you say its a catalogue of human experience and if I am to remain honest in my poetry then it has to include the negative too.

    Its strange how synchronicity works. My brother-in-law, who has read my book and lots of other things I have written, came to stay for the weekend while this post was still current, and he showed me an article in the paper about someone called Molly Drake. She was a blues singer and she wrote poetry too, but she only ever became famous for being the mother of Ian Drake, a musician, who sadly took his own life at the tender age of 24. I hadn’t hear of either of them! But the quote goes like this and I love it :-

    “To me a poem is not a forever thing, nor the statement of long held views, but the product of a moment so suddenly and hurtingly felt that it has to burst out into words”

    I thi k that des ribes my poetry very well. 🙂

    Lots of love and
    (((BIG HUGS)))
    Christine xxxx

    Reply

  26. Thomas Davis
    Mar 31, 2013 @ 23:26:21

    At the college, Christine, I remind the faculty all the time that everyone has inside of themselves this little voice that says, “I’m not good enough,” and this is especially true in deep poverty communities like the one I work in. This voice is inside the most bellicose faculty member as well as the students, and if we simply say, over and over again, “but you are good enough” and say, “I’m proud of you,” you can help bring about a transformation that is marvelous to see. I am old enough to know that the transformation does not always stay in someone’s life, but when it does I have to believe, even though I am not sure of angels, that the angels sing.
    Ethel and I have had two difficult years since our son died of cancer. This is the first time since before Christmas that I have really felt at all well, and it feels really good. I told Betty at one point that I was sick of being sick. The monsters inside us are not fun no matter what kind of face we put upon them for the outside world. As we battle like Sisyphus up the mountainside of our own mortality, we don’t need the platitudes of the frightened and the little voice inside us that says, “you’re not good enough.” We need something that shines like an early morning sun on a field of wild daisies in a mountain meadow that brings us back to who we really are behind the face and the reality of the pain in the mirror.
    So I tell you, Christine, like I tell my students day in and day out, “you’re better than good enough.” Your honesty and your struggle to stay positive shines through your poetry with a brightness that has nothing to do with words or the flow of words on paper. Your words bring alive who you are inside your struggle, and look at the followers you have! Some of the best poets on wordpress. And the truth is that as you have written, your words and lines have become stronger. I suspect that, as with me, that stronger leaks out into the spirit of who you perceive yourself to be, and that is reward enough for facing the terror of blankness as you sit down to conjure words and music out of the air.

    Reply

  27. Journeyintopoetry
    Apr 02, 2013 @ 10:54:21

    Tom, this comment has really made me think hard and I thank you for that very much indeed.

    I will be reading it agan becuse I need to absorb more deeply what you have said to me here.

    All I know is I have to write what is in my heart however dark or light it may be, and sharing it helps. So yes, I am good enough, and I need to remember that when self doubt creeps back in; it hovers for ever close.

    Thank you again Tom, for taking time to think about and leave such a warming and encoraging omment, despite your own extremely difficult circumstances 🙂

    Reply

  28. jaels
    Apr 06, 2013 @ 06:10:55

    Life requires much courage of us all–even more, as we age and accumulate “diminishings”. Grace to you.

    Reply

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