When the name of an event reaches like a sliver of light through the cracked-open door of my heart, I follow where I am led. This is how I came to attend the reading launching alive at the center, a poetry collection from Ooligan Press featuring contemporary poems from the pacific northwest.
Alive at the center: that is what these past, few months have been for me. A waking from a long slumber. A return to what is wild in me. A song lifting from skin and bone. The reading was harmony to my melody. For two hours, a chorus of poems washed over me, spoken by many of my most cherished poets: Paulann Petersen, John Morrison, Emily Kendal Frey, Judith Barrington, Cecelia Hagen, John Sibley Williams, Leah Stenson and many more. Seated and standing throughout the room were dozens of beloved poet friends I have been communing with throughout this past decade.
I was reminded as I listened that poetry is that alive place at my center I have been coming home to for thirty years. No one can take it away from me. It needs no one’s approval or participation. It is simply my own, protected wilderness that I am not likely to ever understand completely or articulate correctly. Which is why I am drawn to the pilgrimage of poems, and to the other travelers barefoot and astonished along the dusty road that we walk together and yet alone. I will spend my life trying to solve what can not be solved in words, trusting this path to take me deeper into that alive place at the center.
What kind of event might call you back to who you are and what you love? What makes you feel alive at the center, and how does your writing take you there?