I was walking late night, the breeze lifting my hair, lifting
my hair from my forehead. I was walking late night, the breeze lifting
a weight from my shoulders. A weight was carried for me.
I was cared about by the wind, talking to me in the trees,
the trees, tall black silhouettes, held air and shook it into words,
and a word sailed across currents – hedonia, hedonia – pleasure.
The pleasure of hair swirling around my head, hair lifting off my back.
My hair – I couldn’t control it – the wind lifting it from my back.
* * * * *
This poem that I wrote is extraordinary for two reasons. First, if you’ve been following my blog, you know how hard it is for me to enjoy my body and feel free. Here I was walking in the night, trusting the wind to do what it would with my hair. The relief, surprise, and joy were palpable, which I hope the poem conveyed.
The second reason was the ease with which it was published. I read it at an open mic and afterward, a man approached me, telling me how delighted he was with the poem. He wondered if he could publish it in the Foothill Post, an on-line magazine featuring life in the communities of the Sierra Foothills. I was thrilled and, of course, said yes.
I would like to have a similar experience with my memoir manuscript about infant surgery. It would go something like this: I just finish reading from my memoir excerpt published in the anthology The Healing Art of Writing. At the refreshment table, a man approaches me with compliments for my piece. He just happens to be a publisher for a wonderful press and wants my permission to consider the manuscript for publication. “Of course,” I respond, thrilled. I send it and within two weeks, I’ve got a book deal that feels right.