Today, I Celebrate the Gift of Words
It is funny. I didn’t know what a blog was, I didn’t know that you could have followers, nor what internet interaction was at all. I was home on a long sick leave from a few really nasty kidney stones and my eldest daughter told me to join MySpace to help pass the abundant time I was spending in bed. I had no idea what it was, but she helped me create a page, told me to just search around and explore. And so I did. What an experience for me. I felt so important having a page of my own. I quickly came to know that I had no idea that there were so many venues, topics, movies, information resources and social media sites as there were.
Hesitantly, yet courageously, I put myself out there. I felt that I had to share a bit of myself like the rest of the world seemed to be doing. I had written a couple of months before and fearfully felt that I should put it on my page. It was a frivolous dare from a friend that said I was good with metaphors and stories and that I should consider writing poetry. I brazenly said that I could always write poetry. 🙂 So, I did. This first piece was done within a few minutes. I shared it with my friend and he shared it with my church who put it in the newsletter. Along came the internet and posting “just because”.
I started to find other poetry lovers and they found me. I started to have “followers” and comments of encouragement, but as I was very unaware of the value of this, I was naive to what a great honour it was to have so many people admiring my stories and poems. I made friends with some and truly enjoyed their own work and the interaction we had. The experience was intimidating as I just simply had held onto that ’90’s attitude of knowing that you will be stalked, raped and killed if you were to make yourself public on the internet at all.
Despite the childish fears, I was excited to have tasted of the fun, the drive and the consuming fire that burned within me to write. Writing became a must for me. Life was so difficult and writing became my therapy. Poetry allowed me to concisely express my heart and every thought; every emotion that not been able to verbalize with others because I was not confident enough to share with the ease in which I found myself able to stream words out of my heart into a notebook.
Everything in my life; everyone in my life and all of life’s difficult moments would would cause words, words, words to ache for the need of being written. The dark, hollowing void of despair was a propellor of words that I did not even know I knew. The pleasures of life.. my children and my sweetheart made for easy inspiration. The golden-pink hues of love’s sonnets enveloped me. The words danced in my spirit and sang within me until I would finally pull out my notebook and in a flurry, hasten down the words before a the sweet thought fluttered away. My love for God and the trust I bestowed in Him pulsed through my being. I was so driven to channel His grace, mercy and love. The words just came and came and came. If someone had described to me the passion and fever that caused their own expression to form, I would not have been able to fathom it.
The followers on MySpace increased and so did the comments. I was honoured beyond words for their kindness and encouragement, but I had yet to realize what it meant to someone who would later decided to expand this joy of writing and sharing. I had a somewhat successful blog without even knowing what a blog was. Finishing a piece make me feel as if fairy dust had been sprinkled over my heart. There was an excitement in putting the last little tweaks into the work I’d done and a sweet sense of completion and accomplishment would flow through me. The fun part was at the very end – as if picking the perfect wrapping paper, ribbon and bow, I would spend, at times, as much time searching for the perfect image to dress up my poem as I would writing it. Oh how I loved to put it together and finally feel satisfied with the finished output. Truth be said, it was never finished. I can go back to many of those poems and see changes to the verbiage needed or tweaks to the rhythm.
Then the worst happened. As much as I wanted to and needed to write, I allowed life, children, relationships and work take over the time that I would dedicate to writing. I stopped making time for my writing. Sadly, without realizing what I was losing, I let it fizzle away and go into a very long coma. From time to time, I would feel to write, but rarely would I have the motivation to post it. I came to realize, a few years to late, the blessing that I’d had in how successful a beginning my blog had been. This was very discouraging. I started to write again when I had a relationship end which had left me very broken, but I could not write of the peace, love, joy, freedom I had felt before. Every word was dark. Tainted with the deep black pool of depression, the words were not pleasant to read, even if cleverly woven together. There were still some followers and they were concerned about my brooding, my lack of self-worth and the spiralling abyss that I had fallen into. Nothing could get me out of this emotional state and I realized that I could not share the same words of pain any more.
So I stopped writing. I drown in my pain and became friends with with my listless, numb darkness. Barely able to function anymore because of so many things in life going wrong, I could not write. I could not pray. I could not smile, laugh or share anymore. It was such a horrible time. Dark, mirky waters whispered in the backdfopped
In time, some of those who love me came to understand how severe my depression had become. Thanks to Father God, my sisters, my niece and my children, the shrouds of depression started to lift off of me and after several months I finally could lift my voice to God again. I finally could get through a day without a meltdown. I was starting to believe in myself again. I started to see the devastating consequences that my depression was having on my family. It is such a selfish thing for a single mother to do to her family. I am not sure that I could have stopped it, but I do feel ashamed of the effects that it had on the people in my life; especially my children
Now, four years later, I delight the words are bubbling up within me again. Yes, I had written a few poems here and there, but now it is different. Now, there are just not enough hours in the day to do all that I must and then sit to release throbbing words that waiting to be birthed.
I am overjoyed. I am beside myself. I am communicating within poetry circles and I am reading more about how to become a better writer. I am having friends and others that are on blog sites encourage me and critique me. The feeling is beautiful. It is like a warm oil pouring over my being as I splendour in the freedom of expression and freeing my heart.
And so I today, celebrate. I celebrate all of the bumps that I have had in life. I, again blogging, celebrate the overwhelming drive to write again. I celebrate the courage to put myself “back out there” again. I celebrate words and the perfect expression they bless us with. I celebrate the friends I have made over the years and those that will come in time. I celebrate life and more than anything, I celebrate the gift of expression that God has so richly blessed us with.