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.
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.
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 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