We wrote poems in the margins before we pushed quotes into the Instagram feed...
Today's #365StrongStories guest story is special: it's a poem. Our storyteller Dawn Montefusco is a writing coach, so she definitely knows the rules of story well enough to break them. As she describes it, the piece is the complete hero's journey.
And this is a special time to be sharing "Walking Home." Dawn's free telesummit Write Because It Matters is airing now. She has collected 21 experts (including me!) to talk about how to get your own meaningful stories into the world. What a perfect time for this project to hold space for Dawn's story of strength, love, and evolution.
I believe I am strong.
I believe I am weak. I believe I am separate. I believe I am connected. I believe I had a rough childhood. I believe I am a blessed woman. I believe that if I love people they will love me back. I believe no one really loves me, they just say they do. I believe I am great at what I do. I believe I am imperfect and therefore messed up. I believe I want peace. I believe I hurt others. I believe there is a reason for everything. I don’t believe a thing. I believe my heart will break if he leaves. I believe we should part and it’s the best thing for both of us. I believe nothing is working out. I believe everything will be okay.
Dawn Montefusco is a writer, speaker, poet and coach who escaped the Bronx in the 80's and now lives in Portland, Oregon.
Please join Dawn, me, and 20 other experts in the field of writing and publishing for the free Write Because It Matters summit that is running now.
If you wanted to flatter me when I was twenty, you would ask you to help you analyze a poem. Yeats and the handful of Irish women poets who found their voices at the turn of our own century were my specialty. To be awed by a turn of phrase, struck dumb by an image, transformed by the flow of a stanza… This was my drug. Caffeine and alcohol were welcome companions - poems are best shared in cafes and pubs - but even they weren’t necessary. The English language as crafted by solitary scribes and mothers scribbling between nappy changes were my heroes.
These were the people and the passions that mattered to an American girl who found her own country to vast and crass and disconnected.
And now, I pick a book from the shelf and I’m still transported. Yes, the verses themselves have power - perhaps even more now that I have almost two more decades of loss and love, suffering and survival that helps me understand their resonance.
But I’m also distracted by the person I was, the person who was so free to dedicate herself to words and ideas for their sake alone. I adore her, but I know I could never find my way back to a life spelled out in phrases that only flirt with comprehensibility. Now, it’s about message and clarity and capturing attention that you can never assume is yours for keeps. Poetry is a country I can occasionally visit, but never call home.