How do you record life? Today I wandered through a journal dated August 1, 1999 to August 29, 2004 and found some poetry gems. It’s a large sketch book I dragged around with me those five years, writing poetry, taking notes and wondering about my life. I haven’t revisited it in years, but as I prepared for this blog post, something deep inside nudged me, “Look, browse! Be surprised!”
So, I did, and I am!
As I look at this chronicling of my life, I see a twenty-year time lapse. Yet, I recorded what was going on it the time, what I thought important! I have a stack of journals I’ve filled out over the years. I thought I had typed up all the poetry that had meaning, but my spirit knew treasures awaited me in this journal. That makes me wonder about those others on the shelf.
A Sampling of My Early Poetry
These three poems address attitudes of life and a specific life experience—branding.
Experience Life Totally July 24, 2000 Anticipate the joy Toes on the edge Lingering ever so slightly Life in its fullest Step up to bat Step into the swimming pool No dive in head long! Step out of the crowd Step into the crowd I must participate I can’t watch Wasn’t made to watch, To be a spectator I want my hands dirty My neck sweaty My feet wet I want to experience life totally! The Sound of Her Voice August 24, 2002 The sound of her voice Saying my name, Reverberates back to The very first time. The time she held me in her arms For that first time And said my name. No fruit tastes sweeter, No bell rings clearer. Nothing soothes my soul Like hearing my mother Saying, “Larada.” That Smell I Will Never Forget August 29, 2004 Burnt hair Burnt skin A tradition A part of our work. Branding day on a ranch Is a day of celebration of ownership. These are my cattle My property My destiny My life! The smell stays with me Many years later The stench The smoke The bawl from the calf The wrestle to get free! It was painful But necessary! One day, I slept by the campfire Three or four years old I couldn’t miss today, But I was sick! Diarrhea Mom put me in a diaper And let me go To our special day. I slept and smelled The campfire The branding.
My approach to life stays the same today. I look at life and capture it in poetry to record the feelings, the nuances. These three topics still resonate in my heart.
How do you record life? Do you write poetry? If so, what do you do with it? Leave a comment below.
Visit my website to find out about my new book, Coronavirus Reflections: Bitter or Better? and my other five books and three cookbooks: https://laradasbooks.com