I have a ragged notebook in my lap.  I spilled some coffee on the front of it and left it in my school bag with a leaky water bottle.  The pages are curled and bled through and scribbled on. They don't flip right on the binding anymore, and get stuck and crumpled when I turn them.  And right now, this notebook is my most treasured possession. 
In November, I was feeling frustrated.  It's a feeling that comes when I don't write.  It wasn't that I didn't want to - it was that I felt I couldn't.  Whenever I sat down to do it, I had nothing important to say. Nothing that anyone would care to read.  I would pick up my pen, scribble a page, then flip it and write something new.  No matter how badly I wanted to put something important on paper, I felt every word, every line, every idea was a waste of my time, and anyone else's.  They weren't right, and I knew it.
But I still felt the quiet urging to write. So I made a deal with myself.  I found a notebook that was simple and rugged, burnt orange with a soft leather cover and gold binding. And I decided that I would write in it everyday.  One poem. I wasn't allowed to use the excuse that my words weren't good enough or important enough.  I had to write. But nobody had to read it.
Was I a regular Pablo Neruda? No, not nearly. Did I ever feel like not writing? Mostly every night. There were many nights when I would climb into bed past my bedtime, and with squinty eyes and a drooping hand I'd scrawl a couple words on the page and call it good. There were a few days I missed. But, there were more that I didn't. 
I figured that if I wrote every day for a year, and had over 300 poems to show for it at the end, maybe, just maybe, there would be something of importance there.  The statistics were good, I reckoned.  This afternoon, I filled my first notebook.  For the first time in my life, I didn't put something down because it "wasn't good enough." I wrote the good, bad, and ugly. How precious that notebook is - a reminder of my foremost thoughts throughout the year's daily grind. It is full of thankfulness to the Holy One, sadness in the deep dark of winter, fear and anxieties, and rejoicing in daily pleasures and special treats. 
Oh, how thankful I am that I did not put this down. This is the poem that I wrote this afternoon on the final page of my notebook, as I flipped through the pages of my thoughts and held them tightly against me. 
Poetry Should

Poetry should be
A direct line into
The darkest ponderings
And sweetest proclamations
Of the human mind.

For, everyone is a poet
If only they can be honest.
 Is there something that is hard and lovely and imperfect that you, too, need to pick up and not put down? I urge you - start it today. Nobody else has to read it or see it or eat it or know it. But do it every day.  The satisfaction is rich and sweet. As for me, I will celebrate tonight.  And tomorrow, I will fill the first blank page in my next notebook. 


06/13/2017 8:32am

Hi Deidre- What wonderful, true words you shared! Thank you for being true to yourself and an inspiration to me! ❤️

06/13/2017 6:08pm

Sandy, thank you for taking the time to read! And for your kind words - I appreciate them so much! ❤️


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