I cringe when I read the trash that I used to pass off as poetry three years ago. I cringe when I read the trash that I pass off as poetry today.
But this cringe? This is a cringe I value. This is a cringe that my life, as a future stringer of words, depends on. How often do we underestimate the sheer power and value of growth? Of having evolved from a tiny, bullied sapling into a… well, a slightly less tiny sapling. Still bullied. Still pretentious. Still overly dramatising and romanticising the abstract concepts of love, loss, and happiness. But a little less tiny. And a little more stable when a gust of wind decides to blow over my leaves.
See? Right there? The temptation to edit in the words ‘moth-eaten’ as a melodramatic adjective for my figurative leaves. So powerful. So strong. So unnecessary! And it is this knowledge of my inadequacy as a converter of thoughts into sentences that has me getting off this blue, ketchup stained swivel chair, leaping in the air, clicking my heels, and squeaking,
‘At least I know!’
Because, at least I know! At least I know where my fault-lines lie. Sure, I’m not ready to drift gracefully over them in my tutu and ballerina shoes and then land on the other side post executing a fancy pirouette. I’m most likely to stumble headlong, get tiny pebbles lodged in my ears and hair and swallow a mouthful of dirt on the way down. But, at least I know!
Hello there fault-line, you sly old thing! Bet you thought I didn’t see you coming.
And now, as I sit here, giggling at the notoriously blue sky three hundred feet above me, picking out the stray blades of grass in my hair and the mud in my teeth, I realise the crevice I’ve lodged my foot into is one of incoherence. Of presenting my reader – if anybody out there is still reading this, hello! I give you my last butternut cookie as a token of my gratitude – with a shoddily constructed platter of bland sentences, inconsequential story telling, and irrelevant personal trivia that they are bound to gag at the sight of.
But at least I know!
An eighteen year old girl who is a little less tiny than she was before