It’s what every therapist has ever told me, “Hannah, just feel what you are feeling.” And I won’t lie, after 10 years of on again, off again therapy I HATE hearing it, every single time…because after 10 years of on again, off again therapy, it is still true.
Yes, I do have a stack of books that I haven’t been blogging about and it isn’t because I have nothing to say, it’s because most of them have actually made me feel a lot and exposed some emotion, truth and wounds within me that I pretty much hate acknowledging, soooo instead of lying or putting up an intellectual wall, I just stopped writing about them all together….not so great when you are doing a Book War BLOG with your sister.
So now upon reflection, I realize it all started with the last book of poetry I read. It wasn’t anything overly profound, but as I have been sitting in this current state of emotional denial I have come to realize that it’s poetry, it’s those short, pointed, cut to the quick lines of poetry that actually allow me to “feel what I am feeling.” They are my gateway, the safe structure I have put in my life that gives me the space to feel what I am feeling. Some people watch shows like “This Is Us” or ” Parenthood,” some will read a Nicholas Sparks novel, some will listen to that breakup song all in an effort to excuse their need for a cathartic emotion. Me? I read poems. Yep, I’m a weirdo, but that is no surprise to any of you.
There is so much in this life to feel, so much to experience and let overwhelm, but sometimes I don’t have the time to feel the utter frustration and futility of life when my twin 3.5 years old boys are touching EVERY SINGLE THING on the grocery store shelves. I can’t always appreciate the beauty and miracle of life when sitting across from someone terrified of death. It’s often impossible to dwell in the love of God, family and friends with the list of to-do’s running through my head.
So I turn to poetry and sometimes, like it did this last time, it cracked me open. It cracked me open in a way so that all the books I read after it just kept making me feel things….so now what?
Well, I am going to trust. I am going to trust that you all will be okay with me attempting to share not just my thoughts, but my emotional reactions to some of these books and all the good, bad and ugly those reactions entails for me. Because as Upile Chisala writes:
I am still learning to make language
out of pain,
to write out all the ache.
I am still teaching my fragile
and my strong
that they can co-exist.
Goodreads Review of Upile Chisala’s “soft magic“