A new writer thanked me today for showing her the way to courage, the courage to speak up, the courage to share work.
I don’t feel courageous.
As a featured poet for an event last week, I found myself standing at the mic thinking, “Why did I say yes to this?” Before I could say a single word, there was a blank moment when my poetry appeared in my mind as a Very Stupid Idea. This isn’t the first time I’ve had that thought, and it won’t be the last.
What I keep coming back to: the willingness to be real. The willingness to show my pain and my struggles, my outrage and terror, my creations, my experiments, my soul.
The willingness to speak and to be heard is more powerful than fear. That’s all I have, really. It is the willingness to be the person I am at my deepest core. I know others won’t always get me; they definitely won’t all think I’m brilliant. My poetry may indeed appear to others as a Very Stupid Idea. Yet they’re not the ones I answer to.
That soul of mine: it’s where the accountability is.
And so I’m willing. I guess this adds up to courage, all on its own.