Changing Hats

June 1, 2023. A beginning

The librarian hat is put away. The creative hat is found, squashed, dust-covered, shoved behind the storage bin in the back corner of the highest shelf. Forgotten. Abandoned. Yet waiting, patiently, without despair. It will be found, a look of distant memory and hope on its searching face.

This old thing? How did I let it get so neglected? Pushed aside by the demands of others.

And as I gingerly take the hat down, the heavy expectations come with it. This could be…….. I could………. No, just marvel at the hat, at its enduring presence. How it waited for you, clung to its dusty corner, refusing to be thrown or given away. Waiting.

Feel the memories it stirs within; the abandoned hopes and dreams never really believed in.

This time, you come to the hat a different person. A more confident, believing-in-your-own-abilities person. One who’s cracked the hard shell of imposter syndrome. Who has been re-introduced to her own worth.

Do not slip back under the covers of doubt. The alarm has sounded, and there’s no time for snoozing. Awaken to the dawn of a new creation. Greet this new month with a bright smile of hope and purpose and confidence.

You don’t have to be perfect. You just have to grab the old hat and smash it on your head with the pluck and determination of Jo March and set out across the field of the white page. Shine forth, oh gentle spirit. Find the words, images, and metaphors along the way.

As Rumi said, “patience with small details makes perfect a large work, like the universe.” The universe awaits in shimmering expectation for your unique touch.

March forth. And write on.

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I want to inhale words like a vacuum cleaner
Sweeping and churning them up
Blow them back out with a leaf blower
Scattering words like dust motes

I want to taste words, find the undertones
Hints of cherry blossom and clove
Stir them together in an all-day stew
Simmering in a cast iron pot

I want to chase words and catch them
Swirl them around the theme of a symphony
Only to watch them escape and dart
Scampering after our wildest dreams

I want to watch them march down the page
Patterns shifting like a high school band
Each doing its part to form the whole
Seeking companionship and meaning

I want to celebrate the joining of two words
Announced in word social media
What the dictionary has joined together
Bound forever, let no one tear asunder

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Poem – a woman’s worth

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The end of the line

When the thoughts come
Rushing, running down the line
Synapses firing at the finale of the fireworks
Do you get up?

Leave the warmth and security of the bed
To catch the wave
That even now is crashing on the shore
Dissipating in the white foam of memory

I’ll remember, I lie
Knowing it’s a lie
And not caring. Lost in the warmth
And fantasy of sleep to come

Where do these thoughts go
If you fail to wrestle them to paper?
Is there a giant vat of answers
To which they return?

Or do they ride the neural train
To the end of the line
Departing the station with the thin crowd
Tired from a hard day’s work?

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Thank you, Amanda Gorman

For reminding us that words matter.  For showing us the value of eloquence and imagery, for bringing poetry back to the forefront of America again.  Thank you.

For helping us open a new era, led by a President who quotes poetry and scripture, who values thought and expression.  For helping us transition away from a nearly illiterate leader who only used words as propaganda or insult, to one who knows that words and truth matter.  Thank you.

For sharing your research process and the love you have of books and words of those who have gone before you.  For immersing yourself in the voices of the past to bring us the voice of the present and point us to the future.  Thank you.

For captured the feelings of many, old and young, black, white, and brown, people who have been holding their breath for so long, who could now exhale into your verse.  Thank you.

For showing us there are no limits and that reflection is valuable.  In a society of doing, you showed that there can be value in pausing to observe.  Thank you.

I will love watching you soar.  May your words lead you and us to new heights and new worlds.  Thank you.

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