I’m not sure how old I was when I realized that I was closer to death than I was to 20, but it ultimately became the wake-up call I needed to no longer allow Lyme Disease and its coinfections to keep me from my writing. I started duking it out with the spirochetes in an effort to reclaim my brain, or what’s left of it. Much to my surprise, I won. Sort of. The writing came out as poetry – for me, a win akin to a literary version of Foreign Accent Syndrome (“But I write nonfiction! Not rhymed diction!”) Okay. My poems in the book don’t rhyme, but you get the gist.
Somewhere in between that revelation and this post, I published, Seed Vigilantes, self-serving poetry (is that redundant?) to prove to myself that, as I was known to do in my younger years, I was still capable of organizing words well enough to elicit a reaction from a reader. Sort of like the point of this blog, only for cost. That the content was my personal truth seemed secondary, if not tertiary, to my objective. The challenge has been to get the book into the hands of those who don’t know me, but when one is lacking in notoriety or digital media acuity, it is a next-to-impossible feat to accomplish. Thus, I am left with one question:
Did I write words of substance that would engage those who don’t know me, or did I just write reveals which touched the emotions of friends and family?
It’s all well and good to be a champion poet in my mind but, occasionally, a girl wants to know if she’s capable of playing with the big fish in the poetry pond.
A few people have congratulated me on my bravery, presumably in revealing personal experiences, and I have ineffectively tried to explain that bravery requires an understanding of potential risk. There was no risk – thus, no bravery – in my telling of my truths. Actually, there was the potential for one risk: Learning that I am not the writer I have thought myself to be.
The good news? No one who doesn’t know me has heard of the book, let alone read it, and so – just as I thought – there was no risk.