I don’t know when it started—when I realized that I wasn’t acting exactly like the person I felt that I ideally wanted to be, or how I even realized that I wanted to be someone else.  I don’t know how I write, or what it even is that I’m doing, but I do know that it brings me closer to being that person. There has been a me, as if I’m standing at the end of a long hallway, staring back at myself, a me that is more sure, and I’ve been trying to reach her.. The words do certainly come from the pit of something somewhere inside me, a breath escaping me. As if they’ve been resting within the nooks of my joints before I even started writing. Or maybe they’re a warm ball resting right under my ribs, because that’s what it is that I write… somehow, it’s warm. I like to find the warmth in everything. Maybe that’s what I want to be, warm. But that’s just what it is, warm means so many different things to me, but perhaps to someone else it’s just an adjective, and that’s poetry.

Michelangelo once said that the art exists within the marble, and that he merely uncovers it from within, or something like that. I imagine myself as a block of that marble, and with every poem there’s a chip at my frame, bringing me closer to the person I want to be. And like I said, I don’t know whom that person is entirely, you can add my bad eyesight to the metaphor of the woman standing at the other end of the hallway, because she is definitely fuzzy… but I do know that everything is more beautiful since I started writing; that I feel things more, I stop and reflect, and see the warmth, the wonder in almost everything. I try to understand people, realize how complex they are in their individual quirks and preferences and peeves, and in that process I realized that anything could be poetry, and then my world flipped around.

I once read a journal arguing that philosophers should replace therapists, so, perhaps we should prescribe write three poetic lines after each meal too. God knows it helped me in a million different ways. But maybe, probably, I’m totally wrong and my work is a project. Just a project bringing me closer to understanding myself. Who cares? It doesn’t matter what it is, it’s working.  Perhaps, I’ll be that ideal form of myself eighty years from now, when I’m white-haired and seated in a small nook, smiling at whatever I wrote 60 years prior. Or maybe I’ll never be. But it doesn’t matter what it is, because for now, it’s working.

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