This past Wednesday I participated at a poetry reading at James Madison University’s Rose Library, along with many other talented individuals. It marked moments of pure clarification, in my own mind, that I was exactly where I was meant to be.
A woman approached me, tissue in hand, and thanked me for reading that night. She said that one of my poems hit a nerve that needed to be pounded, and she gave me a hug. You see, I’ve had pats on the back after readings, and people say that they loved my writing, but it’s that moment that you know you have touched another’s heart-string that truly matters.
I’m in love right now. I’m head over heals in love with the power of language, and connection. I see it every day. I see good in all around, in people reaching out either helping others with words, or those being soothed by them.
You can make people laugh, you can make them smile, but make a person cry reluctantly and you know your words are real to them. If someone sheds a tear, they were so vulnerable in that moment of your words that they failed to realize cameras and other people’s eyes.
It’s difficult to be on stage and throwing your fears and memories in the air for all to see and walk through. I’m always scared that someone will belittle them; I know, even as I describe it all the best I can, it’s never going to be the same as when it was first lived.
I’ve been called weird.
I’ve been called awkward.
I’ve been called a breath of misunderstood air.
I’ve been called many things by those that do not care to understand.
But, dammit, there’s no doubt that I’m being called.