Blast from the past

I took my cup of coffee, buttered bagel and journal to a blue and white covered gazebo jutting out into Penn Lake. I was the first one up – it’s how I like it sometimes, nothing but me and the morning and my thoughts. I reread a letter I had just received from my high school creative writing teacher whom I hadn’t talked to in 5 or 6 years. She said as much time has gone by, she still believed that people who have a connection will always have a connection; what must never change is my passion and drive and hunger.

I told her of my journey to finding a home and comfort within myself; she wrote back that “most don’t have a self that is not defined by others.”

She is a wickedly smart woman; a woman who helped me shape my voice in high school to be a louder, unique, fierce voice. Break away from the banal imitators. She was brutally honest when my writing was “teen angst” and I am forever grateful. Of course, at the time, I wanted to throw rotten mangoes at her, but she was right and it’s why I’ve asked her to read a draft of my “almostmemoir” through poems. But first I need to polish it again because it makes me nervous and it’s not done and I have to tell myself that anything she says will make it better even if it hurts. It’s why I wrote to her in the first place – because she won’t hold back and I don’t want her to. And we need people like that in our lives, don’t we?

In the meantime, I’ll coat my heart with a thick, leathery armor and try to clean up the frayed edges of unfinished poems – just in time for her to unravel them all over again. I’m still in a process of learning and hope always to be.

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