Fifteen years ago, about the time I was, as a single twenty-something woman, finding my authentic voice I wrote, “My name is Heidi Beth. My favorite color is purple and I like green too. I like to sing ’cause it stirs my soul and its fun…”
Originally composed in the soul-space just before sleep and later penned at a weekly writer’s group, it was the first stirrings of true determination to add my particular contributions to the world. The writing group was made up of tutors and students from a nearby literacy center, a gathering diverse in every way.
Some of us carried writing in our bones. Others struggled to form complete sentences, but we were all peers. There was no room for criticism, so hearts spoke, tears flowed and every one of us created at least one quality piece for a book our facilitator published.
A lot has happened in the decade and a half since I was part of that writing group. If I were to write a similar “I am” poem today it would read,
“My name is Heidi Beth. My favorite colors are grey and a dark hazel, the colors of my children’s eyes. I like to dance with their father in the kitchen to the music of his soft humming.
“I teach and bake, manage our home and get to raise two boys, but in the in between moments I mostly look out the window and write what I notice, inside and out, the thinner details of daily life, the easily overlooked.
“July of last year I joined a sisterhood of young women whose mothers took an early flight home, away from the land of faces we can look at, voices we can hear, hands we can hold. The year of taking-care as she faded from view and the year since her departure have been defined by every detail of our story together, our final earthly project where we’re both on the ground, at least for part of it.
“I like to walk barefoot in our front garden counting yellow butterflies. I like to sing prayers in the morning with my children and when I can I like to sit by myself at a café and be very, very quiet just as I am doing now. What’s your name?”
I really do want to know. Each of us has so many unique and beautiful gifts to offer. As for what kinds of posts will be showing up on this blog? Time will tell. For my part, I will do my best to honor the time you spend here, to share only what is real and honest. Each time I sit down to write, I will pray, and then listen for the gentle guidance that so often comes to those who set out to create.
When the original “My name is…” poem was published in the group’s collection, it was the first time I saw my words in a book. Strange feeling that. Years would pass before it happened again and this time it was through individual initiative prompted by serious encouragement from both my husband and my mom. In 2012, for Kindle and Nook, I published Love Story: A Walking Meditation. Then in early 2013 I added Here Now: Waking Up to My Life, a collection of stories, scenes and insights.
Update: Tandem Tales: Relative Perspectives, a book of twice-told stories I co-authored with my mom and finally completed a year and a half after her passing, is (finally!) available on Amazon in print and for Kindle.
Visit my facebook page and we can spend time together there, too.
Until next time,
All posts and writing are the personal property and copyrighted by Heidi Baker. No personal or commercial use is authorized without my express permission.
© Heidi Baker 9/14/2013