I believe wholeheartedly God set this gift within me… the gift of poetry and words. I have been told so many times how blessed I am and how much of a blessing my words have been to others. In any situation, I can just grab a pen and paper and gain FREEDOM.
Poetry has been a release during times I was so hurt… so depressed… and so so so very angry. Poetry was freedom when my spirit was shackled by turmoil I couldn’t express positively in any other way. Throwing crap into the wall, blasting Slim Shady, and posting Eminem posters all over my room just didn’t have the same calming effect— not that I didn’t try. lol
Yea, it makes me cry. It makes me analyze my life and the direction I want to go… with love, with my career, with everything in between. It makes me realize how blessed I am… but it also makes me realize how opposite and tragic other areas of my life are.
Poetry gives me ambition… writing it brings me peace but performing it— performing it gives me POWER.
I love when I am able to get on the mic and feel FREE. I don’t worry about judgment. I can forget that my rent is going to be late again this month. I don’t worry about whether or not anyone will like it. I can forget that my husband and I have been fighting like cats and dogs. I don’t worry about the weight of the words. I can forget the fact that I drove to the poetry venue on E even though payday is two days away. I just focus on the release… the weightless feel of POWER once I step foot on that
altar stage. My only focus once I am there is that I MUST get it out… it’s like vomit— but pretty and powerful vomit not worthy to be kept inside.
I look at other poets traveling around the world and I am drawn to their bravery. I am compelled to write more. I am excited about the prospect of getting better and doing more with my own work.
Then reality hits.
I am broke.
I only have enough money to pay my bills… (and God, I thank You for that!)
I can’t afford to go to a poetry venue to watch the amazing artists I sit at home (and at work) for hours upon hours and watch on YouTube.
How the hell am I gonna travel the world when I can barely travel downtown to get to the Bohemia Room? Or to the countless other venues I have been invited to but just haven’t had the ability to make it to for various reasons.
Every time I hear about another poetry event, I jot it down on a calendar. I circle it. I highlight it. I think of all the ways I am going to save up to be able to attend. I get babysitters ready… And then… it doesn’t happen. That particular night arrives and I am just as broke as I was the day I jotted it on the calendar.
I know… sounds like excuses.
I tell myself I have to make more of a sacrifice to be a part of the community I love with all of my heart. I tell myself maybe I am not doing enough. I know that nothing comes easy and sacrifice is required to reach certain goals… but I cannot figure out what it is exactly that I need to sacrifice.
I want MORE…
…but I don’t seem to have ANYTHING to give besides my time.
And with all this time to myself, I start second guessing my gift. I know the devil is busy and he’d like me to think maybe I am just not good enough to do what it is that I love. Some days he wins because some days I cannot force myself to pick up a pen in fear that I might write too much of my truth …
…about how pitiful I fee and how pitiful my life isl.
On days like this I think about my grandfather Lawrence.
Lawrence never let me forget how great I was… before he died I knew I had my #1 fan nestled away in my childhood home. He was always rooting for me…
But I am truly thankful for my grandmother Lula. My grandmother never lets a moment pass without complimenting my gift. Whenever I go to her with a new poem, she smiles from ear to ear before I even utter the first word. She is so proud…
…but I am not proud YET.
I have nothing to be proud of.
I will not be proud of myself until I utilize the FULL capacity of this gift God has given me. I will not be proud of myself until I am a true part of the poetry community I have been a guest of for so many years. And I am not looking for celebrity… or fame. I am seeking PEACE.
And peace will not come until my pockets align with my time… when I have the money to visit as many poetry spots and shows as I have written down on my calendar… when I have the money to pay to see all of the poets I have
stalked watched on YouTube… when I have the money to buy that poet’s spoken-word CD or that poet’s poetry book…
When I have the money to be as FREE as a pen and a sheet of paper makes me.
I really am.
And though it is not easy… I have made a promise to myself to continue to write. I try to write every day. I tell myself to keep writing because even though I am not on the poetry scene like I’ve always wanted to be, GOD SEES ME. He sees that I am still cultivating this gift he has given me. He sees that even through my doubt I have not given up on myself. He sees the multitude of other things I could be focused on… things I could be swallowed up by… and He sees that I am STILL writing, STILL believing.
God sees me…
and He knows I am doing the best I can in this moment…
…and that is ALL I can do.
Venting session over.