I have this poem in my hallway and I often read a few lines before running out of the door. This week it caught my eye especially and I re-read the whole thing for the 1st time in a while, so I thought I’d share it with you.
Have a great Friday and start of the weekend.
After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open
And with the grace of an adult, not the
Grief of a child.
And you learn to build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain
For your plans.
After a while you learn that even sunshine
Burns if you get too much.
So plant your own garden and decorate
Your own soul – instead of waiting for
Someone to bring you flowers.
And you will learn that you really can endure,
That you really are special.
And that you really do have worth.
So live to learn and know yourself.
In doing so, you will learn to live.
(Based on the original poem by Veronica Shoffstall, “After a while” 1971)
I went to an Open Mic Poetry evening yesterday to hear a poet read from his work and to have to opportunity to read some of my own poems. I just about made it after having put the kids to bed and rushing through the dark and windy November weather to this local cinema place I had never been before. I rushed in and sat on the one chair that was most obviously still available.
I haven’t lived in this area long, but I love meeting new people here. As I looked around what was supposed to be a horseshoe shape, I saw a lot of men –seemingly in thought- and very few warm smiles. People often seem so turned into themselves, yet they had come to an Open Mic Poetry event, which judging by their body language seemed a contradiction in terms.
When the poet read from his work, the poems came alive from the stories that introduced them. And as we went around the room and heard from others it struck me how language is a filter that gets processed through every individual in a totally unique way. There was such a diversity of poetry read out, because no person’s experience of life is ever the same.
I’m sure I’m not alone when I doubt myself and my ability at times. I have worked with fabulously talented people from all walks of life who failed to see their own brilliance. It can result in not doing what you love or not doing what you were meant to do, just because you can criticise yourself out of anything. We are conditioned to see the bad first, to be suspicious first, to pull things apart first. It is so easy to see everything that doesn’t work. It is altogether much harder to celebrate our own gifts and talents and those of others. Each person can make some unique valuable contribution which is –if we allow ourselves to see it- truly magnificent.
I have attached a poem from my poetry and inspirational story book “Diamond in the Mud”. Hopefully you will give yourself a pat on the back and have a successful day!
You are already
You are already
than you’ll ever allow
yourself to celebrate
you are, be you
Nothing left to learn
nothing to imitate
you, human being great
never is too late