After finishing the poem on which I have been working for three weeks, “From Solids to Broth (Soup for Max)” with no one attuned or awake enough to hear it right now at 1:02 in the morning, I feel as if I have just delivered to an empty room. It does not help that I did so while working the graveyard shift at my second job as doorperson at the front entrance of a ritzy apartment building in Chestnut Hill.
No balloons, flowers, cards, circle of well-wishers, no warm body to receive this or me. I feel foolish.
I was almost desperate enough for an immediate audience that I contemplated retyping the entire poem on my smart phone keyboard and sending it to its intended receiver. Yet, because I am as equally crazy about the importance of presentation and accessibility (readability) of a piece, I had the senses knocked into me and made an agreement to wait until I got home. (I wavered for a few seconds and then recommitted to that promise, sliding my phone far away from me on the desk.)
With this delivered thing, alone in a room, I finally smile. The adrenaline wears, and I awake swiftly out of a daze to a quiet revelation: I am here to receive this.
I pick up the poem from where I exasperatedly tossed it in frustration, Youtubed the Natalie Merchant song to which I listened for mood and inspiration while writing “From Solids to Broth” and read the poem with heavy pauses to the melody—concentrated and slow.
The performance styled rereading of the piece filled and settled my anxious and lonesome spirit. It was like pulling a newborn close one’s bosom to suckle where I, the reader, was the one at the milk and the poem nursing.
I am here to receive this.
For a couple of years now, I have felt alone in a crowded room. It was not until a few weeks ago that I discovered that terrible loneliness was being lonely for my fully expressed, authentic self—I was longing for my poet self and her words. I was longing to be in the practice of writing, coming off the heels of a two-three year hiatus.
The realization of being here to receive this was that authentic self telling me to be settled in the awareness that that which I have sought is here—here again, and this itself is the party and homecoming—this itself is cause for celebration.
Out of writing for so long, I created this thing, this poem in disbelief—maybe the entire time while drafting—so much so that upon finishing, I did not see it was here. I was so divorced from myself as a writer, I did not recognize my own writing. I wanted someone else to reassure me that it was there, that I did in fact do this.
Just as one who has been through months and months of pain, I did not believe this kind of preciousness could be the end result, be born of me once again.
What was really going on in my tantrum and fussing over no one being in the room to welcome this new poem was powerlessness. It was me saying, “This did not count. Who will be here to call this a poem? Not you. You haven’t written in years. What is this?”
While this barrage was going on, in my daze of doubt, I heard a cooing—my work looking back at me like warm laughter whispering to me, “Silly, I am here. You are mother and I am yours and have always been.”
I have the power to receive this.
From Solids to Broth
This Wellness blog is to share the author's trials and triumphs in becoming more present and centering her daily routines around health practices that build from the inside out.
It is her hope to spark dialogue and resource sharing as well as encouragement for those newly embarking on their journey toward healing all over.
(This is a personal blog with resources for educational purposes only.)