Creation through Struggle

Some people have asked what provided the motivation to write and publish the poems in Songs for a Beloved Friend.  Like all creation, it was the result of a struggle.  In this case, it was a struggle with myself.

A few years ago, while traveling, I saw an animal welfare organization’s ad in a national magazine.  The ad showed a calf, raised for veal, living its life in a tiny stall, unable to sit, lie down, or turn around.  The animal’s face was turned toward the viewer, and the eyes scorched me.  I couldn’t look away from those eyes, even though I wanted to.  I very much wanted to turn the page and forget about it. I tried and had to turn back.  I tore out the ad and placed it in my purse, so I would remember there was something I needed to do when I got home.  What that something was, I had no idea.  But I felt it needed to be life-changing.

Returning home, I saw the picture and began to struggle over what my response could or should be.  Not a writer except professionally, I never aspired to or imagined I could write poetry.  I’m a lawyer, so I inquired about teaching animal rights law at the local law school.  What did I know about animal rights law?  Not much, except I assumed the body of law would be short if not sweet.  Anyway, lawyers can teach themselves about almost anything.  No luck – position already taken.  Now what?

As I pondered, I stopped playing the piano – not unheard of for me – and stopped reading.  Definitely unheard of.  I wondered about this as I contemplated what could be happening.  After three or four months, the poetry began to flow.  Wave after wave of it.  OK, so this is why I couldn’t read or play music, I thought.

Add to the mix of music and language, a devotion to yoga, which strengthens the voice and permits an understanding, at the somatic and visceral level, of the connection between all things, and Songs was born. Songs for a Beloved Friend is my response to those eyes.

Thank you!