Monthly Archives: October 2015

Reflection of a Poet-in-the-Process

Reflection of a Poet-in-the-process. I reignited something within – something that I thought I lost. It isn’t about developing great writing habit. It isn’t about the perfect sentence. It isn’t about beating myself up when I do not show up to write….

What I’ve learned is to love me…nurture me…and with that my DESIRE to write returns.

When I arrive to the page with love and not dread of self, everything changes. I’m not writing for approval nor understanding. I’m not writing for resolving every childhood mishap. I’m writing because I love myself and a part of me aches to simply write – for no particular purpose but that in which I yearn to create on the page.

When I do this – this simple scribble or scrabble – I find a piece of me that somehow was lost in the crossfires of life’s wars. I find my own answers and a place of centeredness and peace. I find that though nothing is well – all is well.

When I attended a poetry reading I thought, “this is where I belong – amongst these thinkers who say things aloud that I can relate to,” and I scolded myself, “why have I been away from this creative company my whole life?” I know that I have found my way back and there is now a part of me that was dead and is alive again. I have vowed to guard this part of me fiercely now – never to let another steal this again!

I know now that I had to spend some time–cocooning myself–rebuilding myself–discovering what matters to me. This very simple manner of interacting over cyber space with other poetic spirits – I feel like we guided one another – urged each other along. I have discovered my own secret, sacred garden.

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Seeing with My Heart

My oldest son was virtually blind his first year. He had bilateral, centralized cataracts in both eyes, so his world was, at best, a gray, hazy landscape of unfamiliar shapes. I walked him through his world with sensory input in mind. We would pause beneath a tree along our path and I would rub his hand against the bark.

“Bark,” I would say. “Tree, I mean.” No, no, no. “Rough.” There that was a better description.

The same would happen at bath time as I would splay his fingers across a towel.

“Soft,” I whispered. He would smile. “Towel,” I spoke. He shook his head.

By the time he was 18 months, he had his first of many surgeries on his eyes. This one in particular made an impact. The doctor placed in his eye an innocular lens, a fake camera to the world so his brain could understand these messages I had been trying to offer him. After two weeks with a steel patch, he was able to open the one eye and see color. See me.

I always thought he understood my presence. Even without vision. While “blind”, he smiled and wildly waved his hands when I entered a room. I thought he always knew when I was there. More important, I thought he knew when I was not.

That first night with his new vision was traumatic. For me and for him. I placed him in his crib at 7 p.m. as usual, after stories and songs and rocking. I turned out his lights and started to exit and he screamed. I patted his back to calm him. He kept screaming.

He did not know darkness.

He did not know my absence.

This was a new journey of security and trust.

Six weeks later, his vision was restored in his other eye. It took a year for him to adapt to darkness, to sight, to distance and space.   Thirteen years later and I doubt that he has ever adapted to absence from me. OK, that is most likely the ego-need of a mom speaking.

The amazing thing that I have found about my son is his intuitive nature. He knows things. I can’t explain it. I think part of this is because he developed his other senses far beyond the scope most of us utilize. He had to do this in an effort to navigate his world. In his limited/disabled youth, he is wise. I always tell people that I am far more disabled than he.

I think that vision is a gift. I also think that the lack of it can be a gift as well. As long as we can “see”, whether that is with our ears or our eyes, it matters not.

We mostly need to learn to read this world and “see” it with our hearts. This is the journey that I am on, nearing my half century of life.Zach


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