I have a small count, of the amount of books, I have read in my life. I wish someone like Bernie Freeman would’ve introduced me, to a love of books, in my childhood. I can’t help to raise my eyes into the rearview, touch the road behind me, wishing for a portal, to change my “who has time for reading attitude”.
A lot of my high-school years were spent looking through windows of others trying to seal up their cracks, even if there was nothing to seal. I stood there creating a persona of support knowing support would create friendships.
School was not easy for me educationally, socially, or physically. The friends I did have, and still have today, I worked hard for. I wonder if I was able to go back, and change the person I was then. To whom I’m now, in this second. If I would end-up with the same results. I think I would, but I would have saved some energy for the reading, writing, and other educational subjects.
Five years ago, I took a basic English class. The teacher had us first free-writing: she told us to set the timer, and for fifteen minutes write whatever came to our minds. She said: “Don’t worry about any grammar, just write”. We did this for a few weeks in and out of the classroom. She would also have us reading “Dead End in Norvelt” Which I instantly drew interest in the American author: Jack Gantos. She would have questions for us after every chapter and then ask us to describe in detail how we felt about the chapter. She also brought in a jean jacket, of hers. The jacket had been personalized. She wanted us to pick one material item, meaningful to us, and describe in detail what the material looked like on the outside, but also what the piece meant to us on the inside. She had us write our first draft in the beginning of the class, the second in the middle, then the third, fourth and fifth. Then at the end of our last class she showed us how far our writing had come from the beginning.
The final came around, and of course the topic the teacher had for the essay, took me all of the two hours. I poured my heart out writing about an old colleague of mine. After she told me “times up’. She met me at the door, and took my paper. I was embarrassed, because I cry when I write. I was hoping to bow my head, put the essay on her desk, and get the hell out of dodge!
“Shelley I know you’re going to school for nursing, but I think you should continue an education in writing. A lot of people have a hard time tuning into the characters of books they read, and you seem to do this well. I have enjoyed reading your work and hope to see you when time allows. Keep practicing”
I then found this platform and met others who encouraged me, as well.
A little over a year ago I started reading a blog about a mother, who writes to her daughter. She writes beautiful content, about life and the lessons she has learned. She led me to self discovery when she wrote about an old flame here. And how she ended the relationship without any explanation.
“I stopped talking to him altogether. And it was the cruelest and kindest thing I could think of”.
When commenting on her post about this particular line. I explained to her how she showed to me his side of the story instead of my own. Then she wrote a post on poetry where she removed another road block. One, I had put up myself. I used to think certain poetry was above me, and I wasn’t smart enough to read and understand certain poets and the poems they wrote.
“Poetry, though, is like a window on train: You see through it what you want to see, while simultaneously, the glass reflects you back. What I mean by “you own it,” is that your interpretation is equally valid to the poem’s meaning as that of the Poet’s. Too many people read poetry as if they’re trying to get to the right answer”.
“You assume I chose the most painful path, That my actions hurt you the most, but you’ll never know the sacrifices I made to spare you much grater heartache, sometimes that is the best love can do”.
Through these writers I was able find the peace from the past of my first love.
A while back Alyssa, you wrote a letter explaining where you’re with God. I try not to preach, although in person, you may tag me as such. I do not spit out verses because, I have never read the bible. I have gone to church and feel I have given my life to God. A while back I fell off the wagon of attending church.
I tried befriending a family from the church I was attending. They shot me down, snubbed me, and on my third attempt I could have sworn, I received an eye roll. I thought to myself. This place is full of shit! However, I continue to pray and thank God for my family. I don’t have answers on why bad things happen or why he lets them happen. I do know, as you have shown me, in many post, like the examples I gave above. There is another side of the story.
When you wrote Leaning-into-the-lyre-on-the-occasion-that-you-need-hope, again with all your links you helped me understand depression, which my mother (step-mom) has suffered half my life. On this particular blog post you posted another link to a blogger who takes you “down the rabbit hole” of Sexual abuse. She compares her life to Virgina Woolf another writer I have heard of, but knew nothing about. When reading Woolf’s suicide letter. I instantly heard my moms voice. She never committed suicide, but there were many times she wanted too. I was sorry for thinking one could come out of such hell so easily. I thank my mom, Lin from those depths, for loving my father all these years the way she has. I know you have made my father a happy man.
I’m no longer standing outside people’s windows to try to seal up cracks. I’m sitting here looking out my own window. Reading, writing, and getting educated. So, maybe one day, instead of trying to support the world. I can support myself and in turn. Be the person, I have always been.