I have published this blog every day, but I never know who’s reading it.
I am grateful for every reader, but each person who tells me that they read what I am writing is an amazement to me. I have had neighbours approach me, whom I’ve never met, who tell me that they’re reading my blog, who tell me that another neighbour sent it to them. The world-wide web is truly a wonderful thing.
Today I received by email the scanned copy of poems that seemed somehow familiar. They were sent to me by one of my English teachers, an assignment I had completed for an elective English course that I took while studying Medicine, a course I used to help me cling to something poetical when I felt that I was drowning in science.
The poems were written on large sheets of lined foolscap. Foolscap – I love that word. I love that paper – large, large sheets, used for handwritten exams. I remember how easily I filled up sheets of foolscap writing exams, my Muse sitting with me as I excelled in these courses. Why did I not have a muse to help me write the multiple choice exams my medical school teachers loved?
I read these poems, sent by a teacher who never wanted me to study medicine, sent by a teacher now wishing me well who has read my blog.
Reading his note, my mind moves in circles: through childhood memories and broken dreams, through calm, cool logic, through desperate, hellish, lonely depths. I have learned that the depths can be managed in the light of calm, cool logic.
But as I read the poems he sent me, poems I wrote as I contemplated a career in something very different from child psychiatry, I am pulled back to the joy of writing poetry from the depths.
I could barely read these poems, they affected me so much. I wonder if I can be brave enough to publish them.
I am so grateful to have had them returned – it is like having my youthful voice returned to me.
(Photo: This is the Arts building at McGill. I used to rush over from my clinical clerkship rotations for this English class.)