In April, I had the honor of attending a reading by my favorite poet, Buddy Wakefield. Two big things happened at the reading.
Wakefield read his poem “Hurling Crowbirds at Mockingbars”
He introduced it by telling the audience members to package up all of the thoughts, angst, etc. that were preventing us from being present, and LET IT GO. Three simple words, but they took me aback for a moment. It was one of those moments when I felt like the universe (or whatever you want to call it) was speaking directly to me.
I have a difficult time letting go. Of everything, really. Physically, I hold on to things for an unreasonable amount of time if there is an emotional connection or memory. Really, am I going to wear the t-shirt from my high school play? No. But I’ll hold on to that fucker forever because I loved that experience. I understand that the memories are much more important than the shirt. But I still can’t get rid of it, and all of the other things that are cluttering up my house.
Emotionally, I have a difficult time forgiving and forgetting. As Wakefield says in the poem (please, if you haven’t watched it from the link above, do so now. The following lines should give you the chills, if you have a heart. If you have no heart, I’m sorry), “Forgiveness is the release of all hope for a better past.” Well, shit. Yes! Again, so simple, but I needed someone to point it out to me.
Can I do that? Forgive myself for mistakes and choices I’ve made? Can I forgive others? Can I accept, finally, that I can’t change the past? In reality, I suppose there isn’t much that I would change. After all, it’s led me here. I’m happy. I have pretty much everything I ever wanted. I suppose I wish I would have said “I love you” a few more times I people I’ve lost. And there was that horribly co-dependent relationship I should have left much sooner. There was one boy I loved very much but was too afraid to admit it. But, again, all of those mistakes and missteps led me here. I can’t change them. So I’ll let them go.
Then, Big Moment #2 happened.
Buddy signed my book. I realized that despite everything, or because of it, I have become true of heart. I don’t play games with people, lie, or do/say things that I don’t believe in anymore. I’m true to myself, my beliefs, and as cliche as it is, I follow my heart. He couldn’t have known how much his inscription would mean to me. I’m sure he has some stock phrases he uses at signings. But this meant so much to me, and was something I needed to hear.
Which brings me to something else I’ve been thinking about — purpose.
I know that I should have a purpose for blogging. I should consider my audience, my persona, my brand. I should decide what aspect of my life — weight loss, motherhood, writing, etc. — I want my blog to reflect. But I can’t.
As I said in my first creative writing class in 1994, I write because I have to. My thoughts are filled with observations, questions, ideas, and I need to get them out or I’ll go insane. So, whatever comes out when I sit down to post is what you, dear Reader, are going to get. I’m ok with low readership, no sponsorsip, no ads, no brand. My purpose is to continue to be true of heart.
With all this in mind, I’ve decided I’m going to live by these three rules:
1. Let it go.
2. Be true of heart.
3. Don’t forget to have a good time.
What rules do you, dear Reader, live by?