FRESH OFF THE PAGE: me and the words

My whole life, writing has kept me alive. Whether it was keeping a private journal, composing poems in notebooks I quickly stashed away, or writing stories as an English major my first time through college and then on my own afterward, it has always been a cherished, unequaled outlet for my spirit.

And of course, reading other people’s writing that moved me.

I have been talking lately with other writers, particularly in my writing group, about the therapeutic benefits of writing. Not just to tell our unique stories and express ourselves creatively, but also to serve the purpose of unburdening our minds, our hearts, our souls. I feel pretty at home with this sentiment, knowing it’s the same for others as for myself.

In the spirit of fellowship I’ve recently found, this poem came to me the other day. It’s a love letter of sorts, to language, to words, to writing. For me, for everyone they whose lives they’ve touched, and maybe saved.

me and the words

once, I couldn’t speak
small, quiet, in the black
warm and dreaming
silent, speechless, floating
awaiting a moment
when language would come
hearing voices, telling me
soon, very soon, all will be
different, alive and kicking
there will never be enough
time, minutes or hours
letters in the alphabet
for everything I need to say

then, words finally came
as I grew and blossomed
my voice followed, bravely
along a winding, rough road
always ready, willing, able
to turn the corner, go
the distance, carry me
safely back towards home
when I didn’t know
what to say, how to shape
thoughts emerging from
my mind, I put pen to paper
scratching, little by little,
until finally, I understood

older now, I still hear them
echoing every day, searching
for a chance to escape out
into the world, delighting in
freedom, motion, expression
working themselves into
a frenzy, so eager to play
collide, explode, explore
whatever feeling stirs a breeze
I cannot deny them, they are
my life, having given me all
when there was nothing
remaining to save me, they did
and that’s all there is to say