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Why Memoirists Can’t Hide

Why Memoirists Can’t Hide

I sat in a café today fighting back tears yet staring determinedly at my computer screen. Part of me wanted to run away while the other part thought, no, I have to do this.

I’d begun pulling my poetry collection together and as I began revisiting each piece, one by one, all the emotions they held rose up again within me.

A year a two ago, I found myself working on the same floor as a specialist I had first met in my 20s. As a man with a curious and active mind, who remembered me from way back then, he was keen to read my book as soon as I mentioned it. I still remember the look on his face afterwards. He looked at me intently and said, “It must have been very difficult to write a lot that.”

I nodded and said, “Yes. Yes it was.”

When you’re a memoirist and you write from real life, your life, it’s extraordinarily difficult to hide from yourself and the experiences of your past. You must look at yourself, study where you have been, unpick the threads of your life, then somehow sew them back together.

It’s not an easy journey to undertake. It’s often emotionally challenging. When you write about yourself, you cannot hide from yourself. This is why I frequently use journaling activities with my mentoring clients – what better way to uncover your true desires than to pick up a pen and begin recording your brutal self-honesty in writing.

Just like my first book, my poetry collection is autobiographical and traverses my relationship landscape with all its pain, heartbreaks and disappointments. There is a little humour in there too and this time, I also begin exploring the complicating influence of being psychic.  

I’ve found that being highly intuitive can work for and against me in romantic relationships. Yes, it may provide an extra level of insight about the person you are interested in but on the other hand, when your emotions are involved, your ability to easily to discern between your intuition and what your heart would like to happen can fly out the window. Factors like soul contracts and past life connections (or past life hangovers as I call them) can also mess with your head, a lot.

I am not one of those women who can put her emotions in a box. In truth, writing my first book was very much like my own personal version of therapy. It was only through writing about my experiences, editing it then revisiting it again, that I was able to finally clear a lot of debris from my psyche. With the birthing of that book I was able to step back and see where I had learned the lessons I needed to learn, and then let the rest go.

I find that my poetry is far more raw than my prose. It always knows what it wants to be when it arrives. It has a clear intention and energy of its own. Once written I can only change a word here or tweak a phrase there. Further self-indulgent editing inevitably destroys the life of the piece leaving it a bedraggled and shallow version of its former self. So I leave most of the words as they arrive.

The memories in my poetry are vivid. They are unavoidable and, judging by my emotional response today, I still have a lot to process about their contents. Two hours was about all I could manage today before I needed a break. But I am going to persevere. There are other books waiting to be finished and released.

Interestingly the themes of relationships, love, and energetic connections are increasingly showing themselves in my work. I guess my Muse is determined that I learn the lessons that are being delivered to me and I continue to be her reluctant yet committed pupil.

Egg on Her Face

In the back of my first book The Men I’ve Almost Dated, I included some poems from my next book, The Madness of Love. The poetry collection is best described as an enticing concoction of reality, fantasy and other-worldly insight. It asks the reader to find the line between madness and love. I’m now curating those poems for publication. Here is another one entitled Egg on Her Face. Can you relate?

Focus on the feelings you felt, she said
Not the man you know who gave them
But when I did all I could do
Is think of the man who raised them

I realised then
The drama created
Was always derived from me
My expectations of being trampled on
Let my fear run away with me.

All I wished for now it seemed
Was his stillness and his light
The feeling that all was well
Of calmness with no strife

His air, just present
His eyes so kind
And frequently warmly smiling
While making me laugh
I’ve never felt so torn
As I do now
When I think back
And realise what I’ve done
I helped create the current stance
In fact, I loaded the gun

He had played his part
It’s true
He had driven it home
But I, oh God
I couldn’t believe
Just what my fear had done
All was well
Until I lost
My way and all perspective
And then all he and I could do
Was drown in the invective
As we rocked from side to side
Carried on unsteady waves
Of fear, anxiety, never confidence
I behaved just like a babe

He had called me so naïve
Was that for trusting him
But perhaps my real issue
Was actually me, not him

He had turned away from me
Because I did not stand
I had not yet put myself first
Fear had the upper hand
I did not stand in my power
I was quite simply
Just all over the place
The thought that I had caused him pain
Simply left me with egg on my face.

My Wish for You

My Wish for You

I wish for you
Only love
And tenderness
Of course
I wish for you
A thousand stars
To shine upon your course
Wherever you go
They’ll be there
To light up the dark night
You’ll never be alone
They’ll always be there
They’ll always be in sight

I wish for you
Only love
And tenderness
Of course
I wish for you
Joy and hope
You may have to change your course
Backwards or forwards
Or round in circles
It doesn’t really matter
As long as you listen to your heart
That’s all that really matters

I wish for you
Only love
And tenderness
Of course
I wish for your heart
To remain open
With no bars
And nothing forced
I want you to live
As if yesterday’s mistakes
Were only just bad dreams
But today anything is possible
You can live only good dreams

I wish for you
Only love
And tenderness
Of course
Your potential is unrestricted
Don’t let fear
Ever prevent your course
Or keep you from what you want
That true thing
Deep in your heart
You know that thing
You don’t want to admit
That real thing in your heart

I wish for you
Only love
And tenderness
Of course
I wish for you
How I feel for you
I have no other recourse
And when I see the stars above
Shining in the sky
I’ll think of you and send you love
There’s nothing else that I can try

I wish for you
Only love
And tenderness
Of course
I’m sending you them
Yes right now
I hope you receive them
Yes of course

I want for you
All the stars
That spread out across the sky
I want for you
All that love
And everything you desire.

Love Is A Mess

Love Is A Mess

Love is a mess
I said to my friend
She agreed, nodding her head
It’s disruptive, untidy and sometimes unclean
It will completely mess with your head

First you’re up
And then you’re down
It’s not like the fairy tales
Those sweet stories didn’t account
For the vagaries of male and female

And what about the pain we inflict
On the dear ones who we love
We do it so carelessly
Love doesn’t always feel sent from above

Sometimes it rises from the bowels of hell
It tears your soul in two
Before the next second lifting you up so high
And filling you through and through
With a lightness so golden
And so incandescent
You wondered how you did without
All its glory and boundless joy
It turns you inside out

Then there’s the errors
The plain misunderstandings
We don’t know how to correct
Instead we watch our lover unravel
Sometimes not even sure what we’ve said

We screw it all up
We throw love away
Even when we desperately want it
We crave another’s touch
Yet turn away
We think they couldn’t possibly want it

We’ll go out and sleep with so many others
Who’ll never come to close to our heart
Yet avoid talking to the one who does
For fear they’ll tear us apart

We’ll be struck down so maudlin
Then lifted so high
With hope coursing through our veins
Then in the next second we’ll plummet on down
And hit the dirt again

And for those who shake their heads
And say
Come now
Love is so simple
I challenge you to look at the truth, my friend
I know that love ain’t that simple

It twists and turns
Its trails unexpected
Sometimes rocky and sometimes so smooth
Just when you think you’ve got it all worked out
It’ll throw you out of your groove

Roller coasters, jumps
Endless joy and succor
You’ll feel like you can fly
Before explosions make you less secure
You might feel like you could die

But what you learn
Along the way
Is really so very delightful
Unconditional love looks at you
And doesn’t see the potential minefield
It cares not for the past
Or the challenges that have been
It sees only what is possible
The love within
The crazy impossible dream
It doesn’t believe anything’s impossible

It sees past your flaws
Those dents and grazes
You think are so very unsightly
Even when you feel like it’s darker than pitch
It still sees the sun shining brightly

Love is a mess
A glorious mess
And I’ll take it every day
Over the safety of living without, my friend
You know
I’ll take it every day

Playing It Cool

Playing it cool
He raised his hand
And waved to her
Then instantly felt like a fool
What was he doing
He was too eager
He should be playing it cool.

He wanted desperately
To be with her
But he had no real clue
How did he get there
From over here
It felt like swimming in glue.

She had to know
Didn’t she
Just how much he felt
How she made his heart sing
The feelings that he felt.

But she kept walking
Although she smiled
And he stayed where he was
He wanted her
Oh so badly
But he couldn’t work out
Where the ‘on’ switch was.