Why Didn’t I Think of That?

I’ve been noticing all sorts of cool things recently – all about poetry or literature, of course. And I realised, as I looked into two in particular, that the green-eyed monster was approaching. Standing just behind the initial appreciation was that secretive beast: envy.

He stared out in silence as I read all about The Poetry Pharmacist who travels all around to hand out poems in response to various ailments. And there’s a book of course. I want to do that! I heard myself say.

He smiled and shook his head as I read about The Emergency Poet who recently opened a storefront (and adorable) space in Shropshire – consulting room with velvet couch, open mic events, and books lining all the walls. And there’s a book of course. I want to do that! I heard myself say.

But the more I looked, the more the green monster began to frown and back away. Because I was slowly learning how to find joy in someone else’s success. I’m trying to turn envy into inspiration that can push me onwards in my own literary journey. Hey, I could find an empty shop unit and dispense poems to passersby. I could drive all around the country to find people who are hurting and offer words to heal. Who knows what the future holds?

And meantime, I can find inspiration in the shed to keep creating something that someday, somehow, will reach someone. And I thought of that!

A love letter to books

It’s World Book Day. Where would we be without them? Here’s my love letter.

Dear Books,
What can I say? You’ve been by my side for as long as I can remember: from childhood fairytales to midlife learning; from university libraries to cosy Tuesday afternoons with a cup of tea and a cat on my lap. 

The world opened up thanks to you.

When life hurt you offered shelter under Ladybird wings, gifted Shakespeare to my confused teenage mind. I got out of hospital and you knew I needed cartoon comfort, leaving Calvin and Hobbes on my bed. Health fears and lockdowns had you rummaging around for something new to surprise me with – the poems of John O’Donohue.

When life was light you offered Thomas Hardy to share my university journey, dropping copies of anything by Neil Gaiman when I was ready to escape into other worlds. When laughter was required you reached out a hand to tickle my sides with Bill Bryson. 

Lately you seem to know that my mind needs to be expanded and I found a 500-page tome by Yuval Noah Harari on my desk.

Most of all, you’ve pushed The Great Gatsby into my hands at regular intervals to bring me home. Words heal, you taught me that. And I’ll always be grateful.

Happy World Book Day. 
Love, Susan