When I got my box of "Liquid Rubies" , I promised myself that I would not be overly sensitive to the fact that many people I know would completely ignore my sense of accomplishment, many would never understand the work that went into it, many would never bother to read one poem. I know this all to be true because I have another book and experienced all this before. But I'm still struggling. I want to share it with people I'm close to because it's a part of me.
Anne Lamott says," Even if only the people in your writing group read your memoirs or stories or novel, even if you only wrote your story so that one day your children would know what life was like when you were a child and you knew the name of every dog in town - still, to have written your version is an honorable thing to have done. Against all odds, you have put it down on paper so it won't be lost. And who knows? Maybe what you've written will help others, will be a small part of the solution. You don't even have to know how or in what way, but if you are writing the clearest, truest words you can find, and doing the best you can to understand and communicate, this will shine on paper like its own little lighthouse. Lighthouses don't go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining."
I need to absorb that message even though I want to say - that's easy for you to say, Anne Lamott, you're a famous writer!
I also understand that most people are afraid of poetry because they think they're not going to get it or don't know anything about it. Many of my poems are small stories or slices of life. Not so hard to comprehend. My little book doesn't look like much, but it represents hundreds of hours of writing and revising, of organizing a cohesive grouping of poems, of researching publishers and mailing out varying collections to suit their needs - and then, finally, after years of learning the craft, being mentored by other poets, years of effort and hope - someone says YES - I love your poetry collection! I will publish it!
Gertrude Stein said, "Everyone who writes is interested in living inside themselves in order to tell what is inside themselves." So I will continue to write, I'm sure, no matter who reads it - or not - and in time I will surrender to that which I do not understand - just as I have so many times on this life journey.