What an interesting challenge, introducing myself to the world. It’s a bit like trying to bring a stranger up to speed on a movie that is halfway over without interrupting the show. I don’t want to tell you every single thing about myself – you probably don’t care, and I have no interest in full disclosure, valuing the privacy of my life as the sacred space where my most genuine living happens. But I’m not just writing for myself here. A blog is a public space. This is for you.
I’m writing here because I have something to share with the world, and, as a writing teacher, I know that context matters. We understand things more deeply when we have an appropriate context. Since this is a public blog from a personal perspective, you’ll get more out of it if you have some sense of who I am.
But how do I appropriately contextualize my life for you without this becoming an autobiography?
Perhaps that is one of the questions I will gradually explore in this space. But in the meanwhile, you, my gentle blog readers, will each be starting from different places and spaces. Perhaps you know me in real life. Perhaps these are the first of my thoughts to ever touch yours. Regardless of whether or not someone feels they know me, and for how long, each person sees me in his or her own individual context. Each of you necessarily sees me through your own filters, and constructs an understanding of who I am based more on your own experiences of life than on what I might really be like on the inside.
I accept all these premises. I am not who you think I am, and never will be. Your picture of me will always be a sketch, an interpretation. My goal is not to share my whole life with you, although some details of living my life will undoubtedly spill through. But here you will get snapshots of my journey as I move through the world with an attitude of exploration, in perpetual search for meaning.
So here’s a piece of necessary context: I write poetry. Now, as an English teacher, I’m very well aware that most people who just read that sentence had some degree of negative response. I understand, really I do, how few people appreciate poetry. It’s okay. I’m not offended, and I won’t try to convince you to love poetry – at least not today.
But here’s the thing: although my poetry is written in English, it’s useful to think of poetry as almost a different language entirely. At least, if you’re not a fan of poetry, it might help to think of it like a foreign language. I’m a native speaker. You all will have differing degrees of fluency. But I think in poetry, and always have, and when I speak, I have spent a lifetime learning to translate my thoughts from my native poetry into prose. But here, I won’t always do that. Sometimes the original thought – expressed in poetic form – is going to be what lands on this page. If you’re not a fan of poetry, I beg your indulgence. Most of them aren’t long. Bear with me.
This one tracks the direction of my thoughts as I was reading some poetry over my morning cup of coffee this morning. It’s what inspired today’s blog post. I offer it as is without further comment, but absolutely welcome your comments and discussion here and everywhere on this blog.
What I Love
I know enough of poetry to know
What I love, what moves
The sluggish blood of my heart
Coagulating in the cold of life
A silver cable of words connected
To a sudden jolt that revives
That vivid appreciation …
I’m alive, I’m capable
Of love and more love and I have another day
To love again.