I come back to Connection Well after the holiday hiatus to find.... writing! Not mine. Not Cathy's! Wow! There is a here here outside Cathy's and my imagination. It is a very sweet feeling! Thanks to you who boldly wrote.
My boldness on the other hand escaped me. I got to the solstice eve poetry reading at the Pt. Reyes bookstore. The shelves were all pushed back and the room was lit with candles and filled with chairs. After the very short introduction, some people read Hafiz and Emily Dickinson. Some people read original poems. Riahannon appeared in the audience and came to the podium and intoned something dark and magical and uplifting and scary. My friend Kitty stood and read in spite of trembling voice a poem by Robert Vasquez. I sat. There was one time I felt my heart beat rapidly during a moment when I could have stood. I didn't. One person read from the back of the room without standing or walking to the podium. I didn't. I kept wondering which of the handful of poems I'd brought was right. I kept believing none were. Mine were mostly about nature and trees and growing things and personal loss. Most poems were about the dark and the solstice. Except the ones that weren't. Still I didn't stand.
I know a poem transforms when it's read aloud. I know there is likely no better air into which to speak a poem than into the candlelight of solstice at the P\t. Reyes book store surrounded by friends and my husband and other people who would probably give me a hand if I had a flat tire or was even hungry.
I know shyness has an expiration date after which it's no longer charming. I know that at my age holding back looks and feels like withholding. I know there is little lose and much to gain. I know the only response to fear is belief, if one is not to be pulled down into the darkness made by fear. Even so my friends walked out with me, kept my company, did not shame or chastise me. The night turned cold. The marsh grew frost the ponds grew ice. The dawn broke pink and full of birds. The urge to write, itself hung back. Having felt the love on the basement steps, it now knows what it is waiting for.
- Jane Flint