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On Being a Poet

“To be a poet is to place pleasure, beauty and sensual delights front and centre, it means having a predilection for debauchery.”
― Nicole Brossard

“I have a dark and dreadful secret. I write poetry.”
― Stephen Fry

“...who shall measure the heat and violence of a poet's heart when caught and tangled in a woman's body?”
― Virginia Woolf

“They say that I am a poet. I wonder what they would say if they saw me from the inside. I bottle emotions and place them into the sea for others to un-bottle on distant shores. I am unsure as to whether they ever reach and for that matter as to whether I ever get my point across or my love.”
― Saul Williams

“...poets, and people with mental health disorders, can make people nervous.”
― Ian Sansom

“You see, I am a poet, and not quite right in the head, darling. It’s only that.”
― Edna St. Vincent Millay

“A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.”
― W.H. Auden

Dear Reader,

If you’re really there, especially you, the girl who often feels as I do, who struggles and falls, and feels oh-so-foolish... who dreams and hopes and works really hard... if you’re really there, you are the one who keeps me honest and raw.  You remind me that I can’t sugar coat my struggles, because that wouldn’t be fair.  You give me hope that my vulnerability will encourage someone, somewhere, if you’re reading here.  I began this post weeks ago, wanting to share what it's like to love a girl like me. And tonight, it's going a different direction than I originally planned. It will be emotional and messy.  I hope it makes sense enough to be worth reading.  Because tonight, I really, really need to write it, for my own heart.  

On Being a Poet

He calls me his Poet; I think it started because Ephemera was an unfamiliar word, and difficult to spell.  I didn’t mind at first, and now, it makes me feel cherished.  He praises my “poet heart” and expresses his love for my passion and emotion, and I am in awe.

Being a poet is probably no more difficult, or simple, than anything else, but I don’t really know.  I’ve only ever been who I am, and from a very young age, I loved language, and my love-language was language.  I have always been passionate, emotional and deep feeling, I have longed to be known deeply and understood deeply.  I did spend many years in my teens and twenties... and lets face it, in my thirties and forties... trying to tone down the passion and emotion, feeling I was too much, difficult to love, and overwhelming if I let down my guard and shared what I was really feeling deep down.  I still carry the scars of those messages that made me withdraw, and close off my full emotions.  I’m learning slowly, how to heal them, how to trust.  For the first time in decades I have felt safe - to not hold back with him.  My “too much” was celebrated instead of disdained.
He has always reminded me that he loves me just as I am... and needs a poet... this poet... in his life.  This year, she has done the same - writing to me, and verbally reminding me that though the parts of me that are mother, grandmother, friend, partner and even little girl are treasured and admired, what captured her heart was my passion and my poet-heart.  I am loved, wanted, needed, desired, cherished and celebrated.  This I know - deep down.
I am also messy, I struggle with emotion and depression, and am challenged by conflicts and insecurities when it comes to the practical stuff.  I battle with hopes and disappointments, with fears and flaws.  I know I’m not the only one.  I want to be clear that I’ve not been made to feel that I am the only one.  Still, lately I’ve been feeling my own struggles acutely.  I can acknowledge and celebrate that in the past year, much has changed, and I am abundantly blessed.  I have worked very hard, and have grown, we all three have.  I’ve also had occasion...several occasions... to have my flaws and insecurities uncovered.  I have been selfish, and unthinking, and I have had my share of failures.  I am not as good at this complex, poly, triad, long-distance, juggling, communicating, handling disappointment and staying positive thing as I would like to be.
Right now, we three are battle weary.
And I feel guilty.
It is very hard, resisting the urge to backspace over those four words and hide behind the rest of them... because tonight those four words are my difficult truth.  It is how I feel. I have more hard questions than easy answers, and though I am trying to make repairs, I don’t yet see how. I see the cost to the ones I love, and my heart is breaking.  
And that part about not seeing how  is not entirely true, because I have been listening, and I know that “next time” I will do some things differently.  I have learned some things from the words and tears we’ve shared.  I don’t have all the answers, but I do have some, and I am trying, oh how I am trying. I am not the only one who is learning as we go.  We each are fallible, and battling insecurities.  We each struggle with communication, and conflicts.  We are in this together, and our love for each other makes us strong, and motivates us to do this better.  We are all trying.
But we are so weary, and sore.
I feel so very much like I can only cling to this half-built raft, and rest while a storm of life keeps blowing. I can only keep repeating that I trust the love we share, and I am sorry for the hurt I’m causing in my struggle.  I can only keep reaching out to pull closer to those I love, those who love me, and keep believing in us.  I can only remind myself, every day, several times a day, to be grateful, and say thank you, again and again and again.
Soon, I will feel stronger, and so will he and she.  Soon we will sort out how to improve our building process, and I will learn to not tear down as we go.  This I believe.  And so, I will listen, and I will give, and I will be grateful.  I will try to communicate, and to trust.  I will not close part of my my poet-heart, even a little, out of fear.  And I will learn to be stronger, and find resources to help me grow and change.  Because though I feel guilty and weary, I have been so very happy, and am learning that happy is my own responsibility.  I will reach out for help, and choose gratitude, and practice the things I’m learning until I get it right.
And this makes me feel a little better than I did when I sat down to write.  
Being a poet is a messy business.  I am not sure I do it well.  But I am willing to work for as long as it takes, to admit my failures and apologize, to change my habits, and try new solutions.  I am willing to seek wisdom outside of my circle, outside of my family.  I am willing to do the hard work, because I love my partners more than this poet can find words to express.
Thank you, Reader, for listening, and sharing my road for a while.