I am way out of my comfort zone.
Until I started this blog I had never shared any of my writing publicly, in any shape or form. In reading other blogs I know that I am not the only one who struggles with this paradoxical writing dilemma – we want so very badly to write and share it with others but it is always such a risk, as the thought of being rejected, laughed at, or worse, our writing being considered not all that interesting, can threaten to cause us not to write anything at all! It is a risk we just have to take, and it is nerve-racking.
I think that writers are quite private people actually, I know I am! Hence this great paradox! That is why the encouragement that we give one another on WordPress is so invaluable. I know that without it I would never have had the confidence to keep my blog going, even if only for these past 6 months!
I say all this now because as some of you are probably aware, things have been pretty turbulent ‘at home’ for quite some time. This accelerated to the extent that a recent personal and extremely painful family trauma knocked me for six. Now, I’ve had the stuffing knocked out of me several times before but that doesn’t mean it gets any easier as many of you know. I will be honest; what I really wanted to do was to retreat from everything, hide in a corner and lick my wounds, but you can’t do that when you have somebody who needs you to help them, can you?
In the very act of having to absolutely reach out to help them in their hour of need, you find, hidden within, the remedy for your own ailing soul. The act of giving. But what about the act of receiving?
What I’m trying to say, but not very well, is this: If I’ve learnt anything in this life (and I have so very much to learn still) it is that I know that the very worst thing I can do at times like these is to shut everything out. Even though this offers a state of complete isolation, numbed and protected from the tack-sharp reality of life’s raw pain, its strange comfort doesn’t last long. Infact, it makes everything worse.
So I knew that I had to take the hands of those so close to me as they offered up their own love and care towards me and I let them help me get back on my feet. I’m halfway there. A little safer.
I didn’t want to put my writing, my blog, aside again. It hasn’t been easy to keep it going lately, but I have given it my level best. All my writing plans have gone very, very pearshaped. So instead, and to my great surprise, I never imagined I would be writing poetry here, but for some reason I find that I am having to grab paper and pen at odd times of the day and night and scribble what comes to mind. I haven’t done this for years.
Here, then, is my poem. Together with a few of my photographs taken during a visit to The Norfolk Broads, one of the most beautiful waterways in Britain. I had intended to write about this visit, but this is what I wrote about instead.
I’m not quite sure what is happening, it’s uncomfortable, but I know that I am writing my way out, finding my escape. I can’t afford not to take the risk.
Thank you so much for listening, thank you for reading.
Not Quite Myself
I’ve been to hell & back you see so I haven’t been quite myself
Trying to maintain and keep it all flowing free.
It’s not meant to be like this, is it?
It’s not like I’m 23.
Get a grip, take a hold on this bumpy ride
This a predicament alright.
There is no set of rules.
Thought I’d learnt my lines before I threw away the script.
Been to hell & back, you see
So excuse me while I breathe.
I can’t pretend it’s any different
Though, search me, I wish it were.
I wish I could be like all the rest and keep going nonetheless.
Whoa there, this girl is all over the place!
But I’m dealing with the matter in hand.
She’s a little bit touched in the head, my dear,
A cut too deep while she slept.
Scrutinise me, meditate me, say a prayer for me, please.
I know that Jesus is by my side, so it’s really not that bad.
I’ve been to hell & back you see,
So excuse me if I’m not myself.
Can’t I just fly into the sunset?
Can’t I just stand beneath the storm?
Can a rainbow bring bands of golden hope
To a mind so lost for words?
I’ve been to hell & back you see, I’m sorry if I’m not all I can be.
Yet even in my darkest hour and you offered me your hand
You asked, “And how are you?”
I knew then that I was saved
Because I knew then that I was not alone.
Sometimes, it is in the simplicity of the beauty of God’s creation, His gift to us, which brings the greatest healing of all and inspires us to write our way out of the pain.