I used to write for myself. When I put my thoughts and emotions into words I didn’t want to share them. I kept my cards close, didn’t wear my heart on my sleeve.
Occasionally I would let a poem out into the public, but those were the poems about nature or a vague experience — the type of poem that wore a thick veil, masking its true meaning.
But then something changed.
I don’t know what, exactly. Maybe it was simply that I hit a point of desperation that cracked me open. I began to share my thoughts and emotions with a few people who proved trustworthy and in letting them spill I began to feel lighter. Then I saw how opening up did not only benefit me but the people I spilled over into as well.
I started sharing more of my poems. I put them out into the wide world via the world wide web. I didn’t often hear the responses of those who read them, but when I did I was amazed. I wasn’t alone — they weren’t alone. Not only did my words resonate, but they also opened readers’ eyes wider to the world, broadened their perspectives, made them think. People wrote me to thank me for writing, so I kept at it.
Now these poems fill a book. I hope that through this medium they will find and affect even more readers. This book may certainly be read quietly and contemplated alone, but may it also prove to be a bridge between friends, a way to start conversation, a gift of hope when the giver has no words. May its readers be blessed in the reading, and may they be inspired to write their own words, whether they intend to share them or not. And may these readers learn the value of a shared word.