Monica E. Smith

Monica E. Smith

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Dead of Winter

January 23, 5:49 pm

The dead of winter has passed, the days beginning to last longer again, with spring surely just around the corner. But the weather doesn’t seem to realize that. There is some relief today, with the frigid temperatures which kept us company most of this month on the wane. However, it is not to last long. Below zero temperatures and more snow is on the way in the next few days.

I have always loved these days of wood fires, blankets and hot cocoa. It seems that, as I age, they are more oppressive­­­­­­­—the cold is painful, the darkness darker, the nights longer and empty.

I received an unexpected uplifting of spirit today. A co-worker, who had bought both of my poetry books recently, told me she had read them both feverishly one night. She wanted to tell me how “good” I am, what wonderful books they are, how amazing it is that “I know” what people feel. She just wanted me to know that. She is not someone I work with often, but we know each other fairly well because of the number of years we have worked together. So it was quite a generous and heady compliment, to know that my writing “touched” her, as she repeatedly told me. I am still reeling from the high. This is what I have always said was important in the writing of (my) poetry, to touch someone, that poetry creates a bond with another in this knowing, touching, feeling. And yet, as I always feel the need to do, I felt myself wanting to apologize that the writing wasn’t better, tell her that I know it isn’t selling, that it won’t sell, feeling the need to justify my work in some way. But we were both in a hurry to get to our respective assignments and so, the compliment was left shining in my head, as some precious gem glinting in sunlight, from which I have to shield my eyes.

It is always so hard for me to accept praise, though this is what, admittedly, I need, to hear that someone feels my writing is good, that it moved him or her, that it had merit. I wish I could believe that it does. Though, even in this state of unworthiness, I continue to write, to want to create, to do more.

Friday, February 13, 2009

I was thinking today about how I sometimes feel so lonely--so lonely to the point of tears. But all loneliness is not equal. There can be happiness, or maybe contentment, in some loneliness, in that a person might miss someone terribly; but when there is a connection there, and reciprocal love and caring, the loneliness is more tolerable. You will see the person again at some point, and in the meantime, there are the wonderful memories of times together, and the looking forward to the next time together. And that makes all the difference. I am so blessed. My children, all grown to adulthood now, live here and there. And I miss them terribly, not only their childhood, but the adults they have now become. The wonderful thing is that they continue to want to spend time with us, entertaining and doing things together; and that fills my heart so full. They have become, somewhat, peers; and so my children have gone, but I have gained, through them, friends.

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