I contnue to read It's Never Too Late To Begin Again by Julia Cameron. The book contains 12 weeks of material with tasks to complete. One of the assignments is to break up one's life in five-year segments and answer questions that evoke thoughts and emotions and memories. This week I answered questions spanning ages 16-20. Those were hard, lonely years, perhaps hard and lonely for anyone emerging into adulthood. One of the questions Ms. Cameron asked this week: "What were callings you tried and then abandoned?"
I'm unsure if writing poetry would be considered a calling, but for a time during those years I wrote poems, and some were published in the university's literary magazine. I'm not sure when I stopped writing poetry. Or why. After about a year, I abandoned the art form. I've written three or four poems over the last decades, but nothing as prolific as that one year in college. As I remembered myself at that age, I felt great love for that young woman. She did not know her strength. She did not understand the breadth and width of God's grace. I wrote her a poem. I went back to that time in history to honor her courage, her perseverance. She serves me now. I draw on her vulnerability and brave heart. Perhaps she has led me back to poetry and whispers, "Begin again."
If they'd been looking in the window,
they'd see a girl unmoored.
Like a toy ship stranded on the window sill,
Sails trimmed, but no ocean underneath.
She couldn't have known then the things
she knows now.
Couldn't have seen the horizon that stretched for eternity
like a blue silk cord.
The striving, the shoulds, the musts,
the sheer effort to perform each day stirred no wind,
though she wished it, the wanting not enough.
What came, what let that deep ocean glide in
and swell and clamor around her
was recognition. Inkling.
That she was not small.
That she was no trinket to be admired on a ledge.
Holy breath in those sails.
"What were callings you tried and then abandoned?"