My October was filled with dreams, leaves, critiques, a presentation, visit with a sister, maples, a retreat, and gathering books for a book signing in November at Barnes & Noble.
Not at all what I dreamed about 30 years ago. What would friends from that era think of what I’m doing, if they were all living today?
Those friends, of course, still live on inside me.
One might say, “Pat, all that writing and critiquing would give me a big, fat headache.”
Another would probably question, “So why must you share on this level with everyone? I don’t understand.”
I really don’t understand, either.
I identify with Kurt Vonnegut’s comment: “When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth.”
But then, the wisest one would undoubtedly add, “Maybe the Holy Spirit is leading you. We just do what we must do.”
Underneath all the work, I hope a soul will grab a nugget or two that’ll help them in this world. I see myself in the helper role, whether I’m putting a scripture in front of the reader or a quote from Kurt Vonnegut.
That’s the role I had as an older sister, a teacher, a counselor. It fits me. Always.
Something about my being human, above no one, not the politician, not the homeless man. It pleases me to connect to humanness in others.
Whoa! I think that’s close to what Jesus did.
I know the more I write, the more elementary I become. Obviously, I’m not reaching for the theorists or academicians. It’s my way, I suppose, of shaking hands with common people like myself.
Maybe my longings are the same as other common folks, so I write it down and share it, in hopes of helping someone else.
It’s my therapy, too. It clarifies me for me.
That need was inside me, I suppose, when I was 13. It showed up in my need to write in a diary.
When writing, there’s always editing. Lots of editing. I am trying to say what I don’t know how to say, trying to say what tends to elude me, what I need to know and name. When I do manage to nail down what I mean, it’s thrilling.
Thrilling to capture it. (Not unlike catching a big fish!) Oh, I know it’s bits and pieces of the truth, but I love the process of holding tight to those bits and pieces.
I live in a world where opinions weigh heavy and jerk people around, so I’m constantly asking myself, “But what would Jesus think/do with this or that?”
Mostly, that question leads me back to the Bible, the greatest love story.
Silence. I want my readers, whoever you are, “to get” what I’m saying. Thus, the heavy editing. I do not want what I write to be difficult for you.
The world is difficult enough. I have my share of difficulties, too. So I want to offer you a banquet of simplicity. It might probe deep water at times, be written on multi-levels, but I want you to get what you can get without straining like the little truck pulling a big RV.
If you are intrigued enough to reread a line or paragraph, I am complimented as a writer. Highly complimented.
Someone once showed me how she’d marked-up her copy of one of my books. I stood and looked. It looked a little like what I do to my copy of the Bible when trying to take something powerful inside me, to make it mine. A high compliment to God, I suspect.
One friend might say, “Nothing. I say nothing if it’s powerful for me. I just sit with it like I sit with dust, plants, light.”
Now that’s heavy. The idea that people listen to my words. I take it as a non-verbal thank you.
Readers, I thank you. I thank you for comments, shares, and believing in me.
P.S. Below you'll find little graphics of my four poetry books. Clicking on any one of the books will take you to its amazon.com page. Any purchases and reviews are greatly appreciated! Many thanks.
Photo of a maple tree in Mountain Home, Arkansas, taken by Pat Durmon, October 2019.