2012, a year of challenge and change. It has been the end of a long season in my life, and one which I am more than happy to close. Although I posted a political poem called “Lonely are the Brave” on January 3rd, the first spoken word pieces I wrote this year were actually prayer based during moments of worship. I didn’t post them here as I saw them more as words for the moment. Out of that period of devotion came the message to let go of any baggage I was carrying. I’ve always had a memory for history, it’s one of my all time favourite subjects and didn’t understand why this was a message for me.
I knew this year was a big one as I would turn 30 in July. My usual end of year reflection was starting earlier than normal as “You didn’t know” arrived on February 3rd. Months after writing this I contemplated taking it down as I thought it was one of my weaker pieces. My head told me, on comparison to other people I know, I’d been through nothing. That said, the piece remains and stands as perhaps one of the pieces of “baggage” I had to drop. You have to be careful at what you deem baggage and what you consider mere reflection. I danced in the grey area between the two as I resented certain people because their well intentioned advice had back fired on multiple occasions. After which I’d been told it was my fault for heeding it. Once bitten, twice shy as the saying goes but resentment is a rotting fruit that does nobody any good.
If I had to name a favourite poem that I’ve written this year, I would be torn as it would between “Confession” and “Light A Candle” which I’ll talk about later. The poem which was written posted at the start of March was inspired by A Brian Tracy video that talked about forgiveness. He discussed 5 people you have to forgive in order to have a better life. I was convicted by the message, I searched myself then and there for people I needed to forgive. I didn’t realise that I’d written this so early on in the year yet the impact of forgiving people lifted a huge unknown weight.
First quarter over and it seems I returned back to my typical outputs on relationships or my lack thereof with “I’m Waiting”. Relationships were the least of my problems as I was close to being made homeless despite living in the same property for 7 years. If I was to detail the series of events that I went through while there, we’d be here for a lot longer. God has a way of causing you to move forward by making it impossible for you to turn back. Provision is one of three words my church believes in and God provided a new place in a better location before the deadline to move out came.
For the first time in my life I could not write through my stuggle, I had to live through it. I got through this remembering I’d been through things I could consider worse despite the implications. I also remembered that God never gives more than I can bear even if it is painful. With a “Light a Candle” (posted 16th June), it was the only moment my brain could breathe and let loose on paper. I really wanted to capture a sense of being passed from trial to tribulation and holding onto faith throughout.
It wasn’t until September when I posted a burst of poems including one to reference my 30th Birthday. I was asked a question by a friend that I didn’t know the answer to. Looking back at the poem – it was way too early to know the true answer and so it captured my confusion. The one thing I wanted to highlight was the idea of making clear choices as as to who and what should stay or go in your life. This was before I embraced a sermon about seasons through a series of related posts to my Facebook page.
I also had my 2nd ever radio feature on BlogTalkRadio (1st in Nov 2011) and begun embracing a local open mic. The big thing here that was for 2 hours my mother who had never paid much attention to my creative side listened to it. Not only that but she was happy and surprised that her seemingly shy son shoots from the hip. To quote an old Jamaican saying ”don’t let duppy fool you”. For someone who prefers metaphors and word play, the straight talking nature has always been a feature of my work. In truth, it felt great that she was positive about this creative side of me.
At the end of 2012 I finally feel that I can return back to a new version of my old self that talks about a broader range of topics. Aspects of race, relationships and faith may still be talked about in future yet in discussing or detailing them between 2008 and now….I have grown up. I have accepted my part for better or worse, in the joys and pains of others. I understand, how and why I write as well as the position of poetry in my life. Most of all, I now understand my humanity.
Thanks for reading