As Reflection…

“My role in society, or any artist’s or poet’s role, is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all.”

– John Lennon

• • •

Several years ago, an old friend came to visit. We spent some time catching up on the cosmetics—where she was working, how long I’d lived in this space—until she noticed the artwork.

It’s hard to miss, really. Divine Intervention sits alone on a blank wall, a shadowbox filled with colorful pieces of poetry and found objects and memory. As an artist, she was intrigued, so she got up for a closer look.

As we talked about the piece, and the story behind it, something happened. In the sharing, the pretense wandered off.

We talked, deeply then, about expectations and change, about love and falling away from it, about life and its path.

The change—our openness with one another—did not go unnoticed. That moment became a touchstone for me; a reminder that there is great power in speaking from the heart.

I wonder, sometimes, if I am too candid with you. If I speak too loudly or impose myself too much. And then I remember my friend—and hope that through my writing, we all find ways to connect on new and deeper levels.

• • •

Photo ©2011, Jen Payne

6 thoughts on “As Reflection…

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  1. Well, as you testify, candor IS a real risk — but without real risk, nothing much happens.
    Some people are uncomfortable and/or unhappy with candor. (I speak from experience.) Tant pis. That is not your concern in your writing.
    Speaking too loudly? Does that simply mean strong opinions? If so, also not your concern.
    You speak your truth as you know it, as you discover it, and then others deal with it as they like. And sometimes — the connections are made.

    (Imposing yourself, though? Not sure what you mean by that.)

    1. I totally agree – it is about speaking my truth and hoping it reverberates out there. (Which is seems to, and I am so delighted by that!)

      My concern, I think, and where imposing comes in, is about the doctrine (or lack thereof). My least favorite thing is our (collective) tendency to say I am right, my belief system is right, this is the only way. I don’t want to sound like that, or imply that my way is any righter. Does that make sense?

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