Sometimes They Love You, Sometimes They Don’t

I would rather be read than seen, but delivering my poem on that stage to an audience serious about art and beauty was one of the most gratifying experiences of my life. I have watched my favorite poets online present from their book at readings the way I’ve appreciated figure-skating on the Olympics channel. Very cool and fat chance that’ll ever be me. But there I stood – while part of a collection – sharing my words out of a book. I was just a blade of grass, but had left the desert.

Beautiful cover, isn’t it? The SDPA is out on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and in all the San Diego public and university libraries in California. The 13th edition contains poetry from emerging and established artists in the region along with the international poetry contest winners. Apparently, the honorees from the competition comprised 1/9 of the submissions. We had to have made the final lists of two judges. To be able to read my work among distinguished guests including the Poet Laureate of San Diego, and receive the feedback I did were no small affirmations. I took the gift as a hard-won treat in wrapping up a school year that had revolved around my son.

People back home were so happy for me. It felt like I was finally getting somewhere – not I the mother or educator, but the writer who no longer remembered what she looked like apart from the mirror. And then life spun its crazy turns.

I refrain from the details, partly to keep the bleeding in check. But long sad story short, I found myself misrepresented sorely in public and in the eyes of a person in authority by someone I had liked and trusted. The roughest of the ride behind me, I stand, shaken but more secure. I was able to move away from the anxious indignation, so bound up in the ego, to the stuff of real consequence, trust in God’s redemptive plans. I am a note in His symphony – a reminder both humbling and exalting. There is much more to my life than…me, and what people think.

The self-help gurus tell me I can be anything, do anything, and success is to be found in strength. In the quietest, deepest places, I know real growth comes by loss. If I am to offer up my God anything, I need to have something to give up. What can I surrender when the sun smiles upon me, when readers throw bouquets of praise, when my child is winning awards? Without struggle, there is no conquering.

118 thoughts on “Sometimes They Love You, Sometimes They Don’t

  1. “..shaken but more secure.” I am so sorry for whatever happened, but I stand rooted with you, Diana. What’s that saying? Don’t let the bitches get you down. Congratulations to you!

  2. Congrts, your journey is an inspiration and the stage celebration well deserved. Looking forward to hearing more of your writing adventures.

  3. I’m not sure what happened but I admire the way you handled it. I’ve had friends say very nasty things about my writing – I’m not sure why – but I no longer share what I’m doing with them. I think you should be very proud of yourself and I hope the book does well.

    • Why on EARTH would anyone, let alone FRIENDS, say such things about your witty writing, J?? Goodness, such a world. Yes, I’ve learned to mind my boundaries even more carefully, ESP with the sweet ones. Gee, such a sad state of things. I appreciate the encouragement.

    • A lovely paraphrase. I just caught the closing of a radio interview in the car in which a successful rapper WrAPPed it so well for me. To paraphrase HER: It isn’t about the accolades but living a fulfilling life as an artist and being able to share your calling. But yes, I was speaking of suffering, too. Thank you so much for being here.

  4. You’re back! What a blessing you are to all of us here. If we could be your “audience,” you would have a standing ovation.

  5. First of all Congrats on your writing. and having your poem in.a beautiful book. Definitely something to be proud of.
    Secondly I am so sorry for the tough year you have had but am glad that you have chosen to grow through it. To not be bitter. So glad that you found strength in God and I pray that He continues to provide that to you.
    It does seem that it’s in the storms of life we grow though it sucks at the time!
    But if we never felt the pain of the rain how could we ever enjoy the brilliant colors of the rainbow?
    May your rainbow shine!!

  6. โ€œI am a note in His symphonyโ€… a simple line of exquisite beauty. That really resonated with me tonight. I hope this difficult season is reaching an end. Congratulations on the poem. Well deserved.

  7. Strong poem, moving reflection– both building toward powerful conclusions: the post’s inspiring in its resolution, the poem’s peacefully honest (almost humorous) and true to life.

  8. Congratulations! You deserve this and more. I’m sorry for your rough year, hopefully, you’ve turned that bend in the road… jc

  9. My two gold cents? Your poem is beautiful and many congratulations Diana. The cover is lovely too! Sorry about the person who you admired – and the wounding. Friends can be *strange* about one’s writings. But it sounds as if you’ve put this behind you where it belongs. May your open heart and open writing and all the many joys of your life increase.

    • Thank you so much for pausing to bless and uplift, Susan. It wasn’t my writing the woman turned on – it was me. And I expect there’ve been ripple effects for my future in our shared community. But yes, it can get sticky with women! I will go with that, a life open to blessings and joy.

      *slipping shiny gold pieces in treasure box*

  10. It’s a beautiful poem, as are you. I of course, am a big fan of your writing. ๐Ÿ™‚

    My hubby works for a winery and I’m often reminded that the only way to get the good stuff out of the grapes is to crush them. I wouldn’t wish suffering on anyone, but often to release that sweet fragrance, you just have to get tossed in the wine vat and stomped on.

  11. Many congratulations Diana on the publication and the opportunity to share your work in that forum. And yet success so often sits alongside disappointment, I’m sorry that you have had this recent bad experience, but I hope it will make the success all the sweeter.

  12. I love the line, ” a note in His symphony.” That alone speaks volumes of trust….congratulations on your work and prayers for healing of the hurt that seemed to accompany it. Your attitude is wonderful and I know God will indeed strengthen you and open new doors in your future. God Bless ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. An incredible feeling it must have been ~ this blade of grass up there with only her words ๐Ÿ™‚ I love that piece of your writing. I’ve always sensed there is a lot of cowgirl in you D., and now I know for certain. “The roughest of the ride behind me, I stand, shaken but more secure.” After making it through a rough ride, the feeling of being renewed can be powerful. With renewed security, it becomes easier to see life blossom again, uncover those new opportunities. You wouldn’t by any chance have a video of your poem to share with us all, would you? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Ha ha ha. Cowgirl. I think more (NY) city girl who once cut through crowds of other crazy drivers. That is funny how the rough ride metaphor fits the cowgirls you have shot. =) The video…awfully good of you to ask about…eh hem. T managed to catch me in action, his first time filming anything of consequence. And it remains buried, a private lesson for me on how nOt to read in public (facial gestures….) *grin* Audience approval is one thing. Self-approval, another.

      • An urban cowgirl, even better ๐Ÿค  Looking forward to the moment, perhaps after one too many glasses of wine, when you decide to share your video online… We’d greatly appreciate it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Cheers, and take care.

  14. Did you do the Popeye voice like I said? OK maybe not, but joy is wasted on the overly serious. At the end of the day, before you even saved the final draft of that poem, it was a beautiful thing that you brought up out of your soul, and a whole army of haters can’t even put a smudge on it.
    Go look at my blog. I posted a bit for a “found lyric challenge” I did a poem for it and it was a blast. It runs until Sunday, but that’s plenty of time, mine only took an hour and I think it’s pretty good. It could be a bit of fun. Anyway, I think you’re great.

      • I have been running about with and for my son, just now flopping in my seat, able to give thought to the comments that require it. Yeah, can’t you see it? Holistic Wayfarer doing Popeye…Probably a faster lane to fame. I appreciate the sweet word, K, though it wasn’t my words but me in an altogether different context that was maligned. I am thankful for the comfort you all have been so generous with. I will stop by when I come up for air.

        Xx

      • Sometimes the things I say end up alienating people, though that is rarely what I seek and certainly not what I was seeking now. Sorry for revealing my insecurity, now ONWARD!

  15. Diana,
    Now I can see why I haven’t received any new postings. This is worth waiting for. Congrats kid!! I’ve read your poem and as with all your writings, is most unique and thought-provoking. Many can identify with that which is the substance of this poem. Again, an honor well earned and deserved.
    -Alan

  16. Congratulations again on your poem Diana! It must have been so exciting to read it there on stage. I’m in San Diego too and could have come watched!

    Life sure does throw us for loops at the most inopportune times, huh? Sorry you’re going through a rough patch. It sounds like you’ve got your priorities straight though in trusting in God. No truer statement than this either, “There is much more to my life thanโ€ฆme, and what people think.”

    • All right, (if there is a ) next time, I will post only after the event so you don’t double the congrats. *grin* The reading was in April. But either way, I hope you’re navigating those one-way streets ok. They killed me, haven’t had to manage them behind the wheel since NYC a lifetime ago. T loved exploring the Gaslamp district, the Marina, & LittLe Italy. Have fun!

      Love,
      D.

  17. The piece is highly reflective, D. I love the passages on the reflections about humility and the value of struggle. Your writings are always transparent, allowing your readers to participate, experience. Perhaps that is another reason. Good writers share to inspire others. Thanks for letting us in.

  18. Those last couple of sentences are perfection. Life throws us curveballs. Take a swing or let them bounce off the catcher. Hard work pays off. It’s nice to stand on the podium once in a while.

  19. Congratulations, Diana. ๐Ÿ™‚ By sheer coincidence your public reading comes around the same time, my niece was interviewed on national tv news on her take re romance novel writing. 2 happy people as creative writers.

  20. Hi Diana, this is such a beautiful post with much to take away for your readers. First of all, Congratulations on your reading – that is so exciting and a wonderful accomplishment. Beautiful cover, too! Secondly, I don’t know what you’ve been through this year, but I hope and pray the tough times begin to fade for you. I admire you, also, because I have not yet developed the confidence to read my work in public. So, for now, I enjoy sharing in this virtual space and I believe some do enjoy what they read. ๐Ÿ™‚ Take care of you! ๐ŸŒผ

    • Thanks so much for taking the time to encourage, L. Must say I thought I’ve seen a lot, but people don’t fail to surprise me still. Just beyond sad when it’s those you trusted in the Christian world. We’ll have to find you a platform for your voice, a literal podium. =) There’s always Youtube, when you’re more confident. *wink*

      I’m grateful for the love and cheerleading.

      Love,
      Me

      • Sadly, I’m not surprised to hear that about Christians you knew. I’ve been shunned by a few at our church, so going to church, people saying that they’re Christian, doesn’t go as far as actions. But it is disappointing, for sure. You’re very welcome. Hugs, L

  21. Congratulations Diane I wish I could have been in your audience I love recited poetry, especially when done with the passion of the original author.
    People like to tear people down I never understood or understand why they just do. I’m glad you’re out the other side of it. Sending my love and best wishes Charlotte x

    • Very sweet. Thanks so much, C.
      As for the sad, strange ways of people, well it’s a power trip, for one thing. We don’t care what we enjoy at the expense of others. The world needs more Charlotte Hoathers. =)

      Diana

  22. I am late to the party, but—CONGRATULATIONS! And yes, I’m shouting it:). So glad to hear your talents are being more widely recognized. And this: “In the quietest, deepest places, I know real growth comes by loss.” Amen.

  23. As I read your post, three things came to mind. 1) We see your beautiful smile with the reason for that smile: your son! 2) Congratulations on a well-deserved honor. Your writing touches people from all walks. 3) A Scripture verse from Isaiah 32:17-20. “The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest. Though hail flattens the forest and the city is leveled completely, how blessed you will be, sowing your seed by every stream, and letting your cattle and donkeys range free.” (It sounds like you have grabbed hold of the quiet assurance available to us!)

    • So good hearing from you, Deb. I hope it’s good things that have kept you from us. Thank you for taking the time. I hold this gift of words close bc yes, it certainly felt like ice rocks! But the most amazing thing happened recently, and I was vindicated. Totally unexpected, while everything I had held to in quiet trust played out. Thank you for the encouragement!

  24. Thank you so much.

    Life {each and every one of US} are participating in the GOD TEST… Isaiah 43: 7 & 21

    Life is less about us than it is what we do with it. And discovering that God is in charge, even perhaps, when we wish He were’t is SHOCKING for most of us.

    Life is sorta like cash money given to us to spend; some we are to spend on ourselves and our families, some on charity, and some for God. The talents we gaven are on loan from God.

    It is wonderful to see a mom still in school, and one who shares her life publicly through your gift of poetry;and writing. That you wisely include God in each of these activities., is evidence of your humility and love of God.

    Don’t stress too much about others failures; keep your expectations low so that they can easily be met. Nothing succeeds like success.

    May God continue to guide your path,
    Patrcik

My Two Gold Cents in the Holistic Treasury

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