I recently received an invitation to speak at the North Charleston Artist Guild’s monthly members meeting. It’s been nearly four years since my last poetry reading, and I was psyched to share new work.
Thanks to the wonderful Artist Guild Board, this was a reading unlike any I’d ever done. In addition to asking me to share both my professional and personal writing and speak about my inspiration/frustration with writing, they also asked that I share my thoughts and work surrounding my Dad’s death two years ago. For that, I’m extremely grateful.
Gathering my thoughts for my presentation proved to be an interesting task…poring through old work, re-reading newer work, and gathering some favorites from my professional portfolio. Let me just say this: putting your professional work alongside personal work is a revealing exercise. Try it sometime.
More interesting to me was the feeling I had reading some of my older work. With certain poems, it felt like I was reading someone else’s work. A sort of an out of body experience that I was not expecting. I marvel at that, mostly because when I wrote those words years ago, I very obviously felt them in my bones. Now, some 12 years later, I felt far away.
I guess it’s not that surprising. We roll our eyes at our own photos from the past. We cringe when we hear the sound of our own voices played back to us. Time changes us..and what matters most to us changes too.
Certainly the young woman I was when I wrote Rants is different from the woman I am today. But feeling so far from the words I wrote with such passion was unexpected, strange, and strangely wonderful.
What a gift to shed our former selves, to write new words, and fall in love with things we hadn’t noticed before. Thanks to the North Charleston Artist Guild for providing the venue and space for that discovery. And to time, who changes us all, despite ourselves.