Are you treating your words with the respect they deserve?

I once had a friend tell me that hearing one of my poems read aloud gave her goosebumps. She was so full of emotion as we spoke...I was floored and nearly in tears.

Most of us are conversant with the idea that our words have an effect. But, how often do we get to experience what that is first hand?

And, yes, it’s true that all words - spoken or written - have an effect. Yet words - like my poetry - that rise from the raw truth of our life experience and are crafted with exquisite intention - these words are especially effective.

With them we create in the fullest sense. People feel these words in their bodies. They find insights, inspiration, and a way out of the boxes of their lives.

If we treat our words as if each is a droplet of amber, if we treat them with the same reverence as those things most precious to us - a child's first smile, the cleansing tang of ocean air, the touch of a beloved - if we do this then the ripples we make with our words will assuredly nourish.

I never planned to be a poet. I certainly never planned to have any of my poetry published for the whole world to read. Now, I'm so glad I did, because there's at least one woman I know for whom my words made a difference.

So, my friends, never doubt that the words you share - that tell the raw truth of your life - are essential.

If you’re curious, here’s the poem that brought my friend to goose-bumps:

A little context…

This poem wrote me a few months after I spent a 30-minute lifetime on a mountaintop of exposed quartz during the Summer Solstice.

At the time, I thought I was just on a walk with friends. I sat down on a rose quartz shelf to rest. An instant and unexpected collision of woman + mountain + Solstice fire left me stunned and shaking. My mind rushed in to “make sense of things,” and I walked back into my life thinking the experience was over.

LIFE knew better, of course, and tumbled this poem out of my soul on a grey November afternoon when I realized how I was living my life felt deeply wrong. I was elementally changed, and what I was doing with my life needed to change, too.

my resilience

is so fragile

 

grief

shreds it

 

dead leaves

fluttering anxiously

in frigid winds

torn branches

clutch uselessly

holding to

nothing

 

I’ve lost

everything

in small

pieces

 

outward

picture perfect

inward such

echoing

emptiness

 

I found myself out

 

always afraid

others would see

past the mask

unveil the fraud

 

I did it

to

myself

 

who am I

now?

 

I can’t do this

anymore

cast-iron

competent face

tearing flesh

 

I can’t do this anymore

 

I doubt everything

 

no kernel of redemptive

light

burning

inside

this time

 

no positive words

trip away

from my mouth

to reassure

myself

everyone

who relies on

me

 

I am lost

 

I doubt everything

 

(I know I’m in here somewhere)

 

what a relief

it is

to show my face

to the world

unsure and small

 

timid

yearning for

mother-touch

 

despairing

broken

needing

 

what a relief

it is

to be just

human

woman

raw © 2008 Tracie Nichols