To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else. ~Emily Dickenson
I’m not a great reader of poetry; it’s a failing of mine. However when a writer chooses to use a poem in their story to reflect the mood or theme I usually “get” the poem.
There are times though that poetry speaks loud and clear to me. As I was desperately trying to come up with a topic for today’s post I began looking for quotes. Give me a good quote and I can go on forever, although I do try not to bore my audience. Pinterest is a great place for searching out quotes and other topics. And there I came across the above Emily Dickensen quote and it spoke to me.
Life has been hectic and crazy. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to learn how to blog, learning how to use social media to get more followers which has led to less reading. But like everyone else my life is more than just reading and blogging. I work full time in the mental health field and I teach on Saturday mornings – a class for people who are convicted of operating while intoxicated. Both of my parents are older and living in alternate care setting and both have failing memories. Although single without children, I also have two fur babies, Brandy a 17 year old Shih Tzu and Gyspsybelle a 9 year old Lhasa (although Terrier in attitude). Brandy been sick the last few days and up barking all hours of the night. In this family, if Brandy doesn’t sleep, no one sleeps. So Emily is speaking to me tonight.
Emily first spoke to me in 2001. I was diagnosed with kidney cancer and going thourgh a lot of testing to make sure it hadn’t spread. The “cyst” had been on my kidney for 4 years and no one thought much of it. So there were a lot of sleepless nights. It turned out that I was very lucky. The tumor, was contained and did not spread. Treatment was just a matter of going in and cutting it off my kidney. Since it was on the tail end of the kidney I even got to keep that. I needed no radiation or chemotherapy. I sometimes laugh and tell people I had cancer-lite. It’s not often people with cancer do so well with just surgery. My surgery was in October and it took me about a month before I could return to work. The holidays came fast that year. I was browsing my World Wildlife Federation catalog for Christmas cards and found Emily. The card had a picture of a cardinal on a bare tree branch with the Dickenson quote,
“Hope is the thing with feathers, That perches in the soul.”
Yes, that is the card I sent out that holiday. Hope was the theme of my life that year. And it has followed me throughout the following years. Those lines can be found on my business card as well as a picture that graces my office.
No, I don’t read poetry but sometimes I come across it and it just sings to me. And I suppose that even though I’m not a poetry connoisseur, I must not be a total troglodyte because when it sings it does touch my soul.
For those unfamilliar with the full of the Dickenson verse here it is:
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me
Wishing you warm memories this week. Until next we speak…