in the light
Vulnerability is a virtue that only the light can teach us.
I was the last person you (or any of my past English teachers) would have ever expect to become a poet.
I started writing poetry about five years ago while suffering through a seemingly endless destructive tsunami of depression.
Every day I felt myself being pulled further out to sea to drown in an untraceable melancholy- and writing poetry was the only thing I could find to bring me back to shore.
During the worst of it (and believe me, it was truly horrible) in early June of 2016, I started a collection of poems that was just for my eyes only.
It was called “During This, My Last Summer on Earth.”
I was fully convinced I wouldn’t make it out of the year alive.
I thought I was about to turn into ash and any trace of me would be blown away by the howling Wyoming wind.
I wrote each day to save my life - and coupled with some outside help - I was (obviously) able to survive the insidious lies depression was telling me.
Each of those poems in “During this, my last summer on Earth.” was written like a desperate love letter to myself.
I was begging my heart to hang on.
I was 43 without a career or any hope to find one. I felt so very rudderless. I was just floating along. I was waiting at a bus stop that wasn’t on any route.
I couldn’t stand the way my life looked. I wanted to throw up every time I was forced to contemplate the image I was giving the world.
I had become an unbearable middle-aged cliche.
All around me were successful people driving fancy cars and taking exquisite vacations - and here I was barely existing. I cursed my life. I wished I would have been born somebody else. I wished I would have been given a different brain and heart. I loathed myself completely.
It was as I wrote this poem in late August that a revelation came to me that seemed long over due:
It’s okay to be authentically imperfect.
Up until that point in my life I had been living somebody else’s life.
I was living to meet the expectations of ghosts and what society was telling me I should be.
I was hiding who I was ~ to keep people from seeing my weaknesses and faults ~ and that showed up in my writing and relationships.
It was all so shallow.
I was quietly living in the fiction section of my purpose when I needed to be banging a gong in the non-fiction aisle.
I was done lying to myself.
I was ready to embrace my journey to be a unique artist. I was ready to drop the act and to start living, speaking, writing and loving authentically.
This poem below and the other 59 from my collection I furiously write over 60 days was called “During this, My Last Summer On Earth.” saved my life.
They are among my most gut-wrenching pieces I ever wrote. Each poem is a scar that still itches whenever I read them.
I will likely never release any of these poems for public consumption - but I want to share this one with you today.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial