When I write, I whisper the words to myself. When I was trying out the poems I chose to read for the “Tiger Lily” launch party, it felt as if I had to push the sound from my throat with great effort. I felt afraid, but didn’t know why; maybe I don’t feel the words will be mine if I speak at full volume, or maybe I am afraid they were never mine to begin with. I have been struggling with connecting myself to what I have written; maybe that is why I whisper, hoping no one will hear me or see me, until I have figured out who I am supposed to be. I was surprised to have had some really good experiences lately, reading my poems for others, but when I retreat, I become that whisper again. I feel void of identity, void of purpose, void of heart.

I find myself requiring solitude, but still feel as if that makes me defective. I have a litany of excuses for why I can’t go out, or talk on the phone, or see people; excuses I think are acceptable. But, what is wrong with saying, “I can’t see you today because I am sad, because I feel empty and lost”.? I think people are afraid of sadness, don’t know how to respond to it, feel as if they should be able to fix it, beat it into submission, erase it. I have a strong need to make sure others feel comfortable, which is probably why what I write does the opposite. Somehow I turn the words into something separate from breathing, something that isn’t entirely real or connected, and so the responsibility for other’s comfort, when they read the words, is not mine. And, yet, the words are the deepest parts of me, the parts I feel deserve examination and release. There is no sense inside my mind, no stable centre, no anchor, no rest.

I have been spinning so fast, eyes shut tight, holding my breath. Today the wheel stopped and I was upside down. I can’t figure out if I like it here.