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July 14, 2023

Why did I wait so long?

Why did I wait so long to write? I suppose I needed to be shaken, like an apple tree, for the words to fall to the ground. This dream of writing that had been long trampled in my mind, denied by a cruel life. I remember as a young girl, my thighs grooved with scratches, looking for four-leaf clovers. I was so desperate for luck to discover me. I found a nice leafless branch shaped like a star at the end. It was a magic wand, of course, left for the ants to claim. I grabbed it and used it to gently stroke the wild lupines, buttercups and delicate bellflowers. I wanted to change the wildflowers into magical words. My efforts were wasted. The ugly purple thistles only scratched my fingers.

I was waiting for something grand to happen to me, but each time, a childish desire stuck in my throat. I was only gathering twigs of sorrow and the blood of raspberries on my small fingers. In some way, I was trying to reach for the impossible.

During my teenage years, hidden in a small room in my parents’ basement, too many dreams filled my mind. Greed stopped me from being happy. I lost so many hours thinking I was a poet! Thousands of notebooks scribbled with hope were piling up under my bed; a stream of promising sketches spilled into the sea. At that time all I possessed was a single god, tucked away behind a cloud.

When the time came to start college, my heart began to pound. These eight long years were an endless feast of knowledge. I could finally openly embrace my writing and make it my life’s work. I was jubilant. In my perfectly satisfied mind, thousands of words waited to be placed in pretty sentences. Amazing stories were taking shape inside my head, and my poetry was going to waken all the sleepy souls of this world. I would have to fill my pockets with heavy rocks to stop myself from flying away in the wind.

I passed my final exams and went to celebrate with a few girlfriends. Having recently obtained my drivers’ licence, Dad let me borrow his small white Volvo for my first night out in the big city. I thought I was so clever and educated. In fact I was stupid and ignorant of life.

Even the prettiest maple leaves fall to their demise when autumn discolours them. My mistakes cannot be put into words. A hundred ears will hear me if I cry. I was about to fly towards my dreams and a merciless fate snatched them away.

Since then, I have repeatedly told the story of my unfortunate childhood, my cancelled takeoff as an author and a miserable marriage that was broken from the start that nonetheless gave me three beautiful children. I can’t turn back time. The world continues to turn, summer ends, fall hues fade away, winter turns heavy and cold, and our lives are liberally burdened with misfortunes. We are all headed for a new incognito world and it’s still possible for us to pluck up our courage and rebuild ourselves.

I waited far too long to participate in the world of writing, but I never wasted my time. I experienced life, and I have come to understand that old wounds take time to heal.

Despite the undisciplined words and my seemingly calm heart, I will continue to write until the good St. Peter reaches for my hand.