I’ve been working to find my physical voice to read my poems. I’ve been invited a few times to do participate in poetry readings but a panic-like state takes over and I avoid events that would see me standing in front of strangers to read from my naked soul. A poet friend has been exploring my fear. Technique and methodologies are not the problem, said my gut.
When I’ve read to friends and family, the sound comes from my body but my voice is not coming from the core of my soul. It is a form of dissociation. As I stayed with the body sensation, an image emerged. I was standing in prison but the door had no lock. Suffering is the result of imprisonment. I didn’t know what the prison was comprised of or how it came to be. There was simply the image and a feeling-state of immobility.
Then yesterday, while walking along Dallas Road, with dogs and people criss-crossing in front of me, the sun taming the south-easterly and an elegant sky of clouds a memory was formed. It was warm. Seeing myself and my brother in the back seat of the station wagon and my mother seated beside my father in the front. My father wasn’t saying much but the space between his words held the trap lines, fishing grounds and festivities of his home village. And then remembering that I wanted my father to find freedom and peace since I was a young child. He died a troubled man and my grief was deep.
I came to understand that even though my father is gone, I still want freedom and peace for him. And the want had caused a spiritual state of self-imprisonment. Our childhood wants can imprison us. Thanks to ocean, sky, wind and clouds who brought the lesson to me with beauty and grace.