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When the map of life changes, when suddenly you find yourself in an unexpected place, ousted from your set course, evicted even from your own mind and you revert to being the ten-year-old you because the only way forward is to step back and out of time, it doesn't seem like a thing you'd ever celebrate. I was walking that landscape ten years ago.
Coincidentally, Marie, who now lives in Andalusia was starting "The Linnet's Wings" at the same time. I don't know whether Marie could see where she was going at that time. Did the Linnet start its journey from a lofty place or from a dark forest? Marie can answer that one!
_What to do...what to do? My husband, seeing that I needed to be some-place-else, took me on holiday in February 2007 to Andalusia, now the home of The Linnet's Wings design office. I'd never been there before. When I got home, I wrote A trip to Tangiers which was later published in Bewildering Stories, appropriately enough for I was as bewildered as it is possible to get. (You can still read it in BwS) A poem about The Alhambra, written around the same holiday was published in The Shine Journal too and suddenly there was light and lift. You see, I was lucky. I'd found a safety net in the internet site www.writewords.org.uk. And it was there I first met Linnet's Wings friend and editor, Bill West who has been a linchpin in all that has happened in the past 10 years. He encouraged me when I was discouraged.
Life flows in ways we cannot imagine. Swept along in its current I found myself winner of the first ever MicroHorror prize that year and I went on win two more. I went to Baltimore. Later I became editor of Every Day Poets and met there my great friend, poet Kathleen Mickelson. I went to Minnesota. And some way along the road, when I was discouraged again, the Linnet caught up with me, as EDP folded and we became travelling companions. Maybe there is no such thing as coincidence. Maybe Marie should answer that too, never underestimate Marie! Last year Marie published my book. Kathleen was the editor. I had found the people who gave me wings.
I'm hoping to catch up with both Marie and Kath later this year but I have yet to meet Bill West. How about it, Bill?
When the map of life changes, when suddenly you find yourself in an unexpected place, ousted from your set course, evicted even from your own mind do not despair. It's just a new direction. Look back at who you were and who you wanted to be and look around you for the people who are waiting to give you wings.
Pas de Deux
This dance around each other
skirted the stage at the beginning
I full of sorrow and distrust
caught in the internet of writing
words that struck new found horror
or new found shine into every day;
a fiction of a life, lived for poetry.
But in our dance you lifted me,
I lifted you, we parted, met again,
choreographed the eddies of a common
desire. To create some
thing worthwhile and beautiful out of
emptiness. Gathering music. Gathering magic.
Giving them wings.