my dear friend,
Do you like poems? Do you feel intimidated by poetry?
I have felt intimidated by poetry before. Despite being an English major, then an English teacher, and always someone who hopes she is a poet, I have felt that fear that I cannot approach poetry. Fear that I am not smart enough, artistic enough, good enough.
What if we could encounter poetry, maybe even stories, in a different way? What if we could take small steps and slow ones, even if we are still a little afraid?
I've been turning these thoughts over and over, tilling the soil of my thoughts about how we encounter words. In this era, books are everywhere, printed and stocked even in Meijer, and step into the web, and poems, stories, novels are everywhere there, too.
I am glad for the way we can connect with words so easily--that those who are far from resources can grasp the thoughts of others. Everything comes with a cost, though.
What if some of our encounters with words were more like spring ephemerals, those wildflowers that are rising from the leaf-strewn woodland floor as I type these words? Rather than being accessible anytime, what if all you had was the present moment to read and let the words sink in? And then the words traveled on to another, and another? What would that be like? Maybe it could be like this.
I've been making little books.
I've been making little books out of leather and fabric scraps, paper, string, ink, and little brown beads. I've been making one poem, folding it in a soft cover, and handing it to a friend who needs it. A little space for sorrow. My little books of tears.
But the rule is, they have to pass it on. As a dear friend reminded me yesterday, we don't want to cling to our sorrows. Our hope is always that we can release them, that God will redeem them, and their strength will soften into joy. So when the poem, the little book of tears, has done its work, then the reader can give it freely to the next soul that needs a little friend to weep with them.
I've given all the ones I've made away, and I wonder what sort of work they will do. I pray they may find common ground, that sacred space where we all belong.
I am making more, and as I get better at the making and build up a fleet to send off into the sea, I am curious. Would you be interested? Would you buy a book you cannot keep? Would you pay to make way for words to travel quietly off screen? Would you offer to host a little book of tears until its next stop appears on the horizon? Please share below; your honesty is welcome!