On December 31, 2018 my poem entitled “The Blooms” was published in the Flying Island Literary Journal. You can read it here.
Until that final day of 2018, this blog had been the only place of publication for my writing. Reaching a point to self-publish my work was an experience of courage. Having a poem published in a literary journal was an experience of validation.
“The Blooms” came about while I listened to the album Autumn by solo piano artist George Winston. The sounds swirling through my ears met with the simple thought that Winston is also brand of cigarettes. Suddenly, the music became a plume of smoke rising out of a piano. Sound translated into a vivid visual experience, eventually escaping mental boundaries to create full-body sensations. It was all quite a ride and capturing a representation of it in the poem remains very gratifying.
If you are not familiar with the music of George Winston, I encourage you to listen. A few YouTube users have uploaded the full Autumn album. The tobacco version of Winstons are best left to mental imagery.
This post is simple, straightforward love and gratitude. The poem stands for itself to tell a pair of guys how much I need and appreciate them.
This blog is about sharing my experiences openly and honestly. It has the tagline no more hiding in the shadows. Many others have had the same thoughts and feelings that fuel my writing. Repressing emotion produces nothing positive, and expression should not be feared. Okay, pep talk over.
- Copyright: everett225
Summoning the courage to share this has been surprisingly difficult. Until I determined what fueled the emotions behind the poem and why there was such difficulty in sharing it, clicking the publish button could not happen. This has taken months to achieve.
“Soul Miners” was written at time when each and every facet of my life felt like it needed something. Helping others and being a problem solver gives me great joy, yet I was not experiencing feelings of joy, I was feeling overwhelmed.
Writing the poem felt good, but understanding why I felt so overwhelmed was necessary. It took a few weeks, but eventually a simple reason why emerged – imbalance. Deep inside was a contemplation that if I am working to care for so many others, who is taking care of me? That is not a self-centered thing to experience. In fact, it made me stop and realize how many people I am blessed to have who care for me every day. My wife, my friends and family all came to mind. These are the people I take great joy in caring for because they take care of me. Balance was restored, but a question still lingered.
Why was the experience so hard to openly share? Another simple reason – fear. Openly expressing the fact that requests for my help can sometimes be overwhelming created a fear that the requests would stop. I feared losing the joy I receive when others rely on me.
Will honesty about my feelings drive others away? I truly hope that will not prove to be true, and suspect the answer exists in a phrase a friend often uses. “I am not complaining, I am just explaining.” Uttering one of the smallest words in our language – no – is a struggle for me and many others. But saying it contains something I strive to deliver with this blog. Honesty.
Finally, a caveat about the language in this poem. This is the first time for me to share something containing profanity. If such language is not for you, maybe check this out and then consider coming back to read “Soul Miners”. After all, they are just words.
A recent episode of the CBS News program 60 Minutes included a feature on the Voyager space probes. The two probes were launched in 1977 with a primary mission expected to last four years. Forty years later, and well beyond their expected mission lives, both Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 continue operating.
The story featured a photograph of Earth taken by Voyager 1 that has become known as “Pale Blue Dot”. At some 3.7 billion miles away, our home is nothing more than a tiny speck dangling in the sunlight reflected on the camera’s lens. Seeing this image made me feel very small and insignificant.
“Pale Blue Dot” taken by Voyager 1 on February 14, 1990. Everything we know is at the tip of that arrow. Photo credit: NASA Images
Surely, my presence on the dot does not matter.
As the program continued, the reason for my feeling small and insignificant became clear. “On the dot” and “matter” cannot be separated. Everyone I love currently resides on the blue dot or did at some point in time. For my life to have a chance at being meaningful, I must be with the ones I love, sharing and experiencing together.
The only impact that can resonate 3.7 billion miles away from our home is the one we create together. The quality and quantity of each individual’s contribution summed across time. I have influence on this collective legacy and so do you. As a sum of these parts, maybe we can all continue well beyond our initial expected mission lives.