I often find myself giving poetic reasons
for why I stopped writing,
My favorite is that putting ink to the page feels so much more permanent
than the thoughts that fuel the urge.
And there exists truth in that statement
though it feels more and more hollow every time the words fall from my lips.
The truth is,
I stopped writing when my words became
formulated for the ears that heard them.
When, over and over again,
my own voice became quieter,
Lost on the stage.
It’s crazy, taking the stage,
moving through the crowd,
approaching the mic.
That first breath,
the rush of adrenaline pushing through your limbs,
a hot pounding behind the ears.
Then you open your mouth.
The first few times,
the words tumble out in a rush,
Over the week, they find their rhythm,
the piece becomes it’s own.
And nothing compares to murmuring dins of coffee house halls slowing into silence so loud it shatters glass.
The quick dash through hand shakes and smiles to the light buzzing when that first cigarette finds flame.
And it’s amazing, the transformative properties found in a few well-timed words wrenched from the soul.
I miss it.
But it became my sole definition in all eyes but my own.
“This is my friend, Rhie, she’s an amazing poet!”
“No, you don’t understand, just wait til you see her perform”
“Do a poem, Rhie”
Hubris and humility aside, I’m… alright.
Not the best, not the worst,
And there has always been more to me than the truths I set forth on paper.
Truths that, over time, have changed.
Grown, as I have, from the days of being stoned and in love with Jesus.
And it hurt me,
To walk away, to put down the pen,
though so often I found myself swimming through seas of blank pages.
Removed from the community from whence I drew breath.
I miss the camaraderie, the easy circles of friends everywhere you turned.
The people who saw my growth with patience and love.
But I have found joy where I am, with conviction and peace.
It is a happy place,
and you will find in this moment
That these words flow freely
and with their own truth,
however fleeting it may be.