Hello everyone, well, it’s been a somewhat eventful year for me and my family. My parents live in Seattle, and I am going to spend time with them on Christmas Day. My brother and his family live back east, but we keep in touch. We have had a bittersweet year; people have come and gone from our lives, and problems and joys have both been visitors throughout the months. As we come to an end of another year, let me just say that we put our creative work out there in the public domain not only to share what we thought was beautiful and revealing of ourselves, but also to witness our faith and be a blessing to others. I do hope that you have been touched and blessed by my creativity. Although creativity is a way through which we fantasize about which could have happened, but did not, the love we see and experience in the stories is forever etched into our hearts, and did happen. Happy Holidays, and Merry Christmas. From my home to yours, have a magical holiday!
Today I thought of a free verse poem entitled, “Two Reflecting Mirrors.” It is a short, simple poem with one idea. The reason I had wanted to share it with you is that I mentioned in one of my poems the idea of, “eternities.”
In my poem, “A Sweet Love Poem III,” found in Poetry Beside Rippling Waters, I told you, “I saw eternities in your eyes…” (p. 5). But I suppose some might have difficulties understanding what this means.
So, I have written a new poem:
Two Reflecting Mirrors
When I look into one mirror, I see eternity.
When I look into the other mirror, I see another eternity.
We are mirrors.
When we look at each other,
I see my eternity in your eyes
And you see your eternity in mine.
We are two reflecting mirrors.
K. E. Ward
It is a love poem. Just as Poetry Beside Rippling Waters describes the conflict between marriage and formal vocation, it is also a collection of love poems, and this idea which came to me today might actually complete the book of poetry. The imagery in my poem is one that I particularly like. I used to take photographs of mirrors and reflections in the mirror. And the “glass-like silhouette,” in “The Billowy Wind,” (p. 10) is in reference to a reflection in the water, water we also see in the title of the book. Of course, the title alludes to Psalm 23 in scripture, in which “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.” (Psalm 23:1-2 KJV).
Poetry beside rippling waters is when God begins to speak to us. You see, a reflection allows us to see ourselves. I like Norman Rockwell’s painting, “Girl at Mirror,” in which a young girl is pondering her own reflection. Like St. Catherine’s, “Know Thyself,” so must we examine our outer and inner selves.
But in the love poem, my mate and I look at each other and see Infinity. That is the idea of love for each other, forever, or, “true love,” love that never dies, or a fondness that never ends.
True Love between two people is entirely different from examining ourselves by ourselves. In the myth, Echo and Narcissus, Echo sought revenge from the goddess Nemesis, who cursed Narcissus to fall in love with his own reflection after he turned her affections away; meanwhile, she was doomed to despair as an endless echo. Needless to say, this is an unrequited love myth, and what it means to me is that Narcissus and Echo would never have true love as long as Narcissus never pondered himself, for Echo was the first one to fall in love with him.
I grew up in Chapel Hill, NC, moved to Princeton, NJ where I graduated high school, and moved back to Seattle around the year 2001. Creative writing was my first major in college, but I was asked to leave the campus. I did not pass any of the subjects and was diagnosed with a more severe form of depression. I was rejected by my college boyfriend. I was hospitalized numerous times for psychiatric problems, put on medication, and forced to attend meetings at mental health clinics for many years. I eventually did go back to school, and studied psychology and law. Though I introduced myself to all my instructors as disabled, after I enrolled in the disability program, I was one of their best students and got into the psychology honor society after having earned a 4.0 GPA, majoring in clinical psychology. It was my goal to receive a scientific bachelor’s degree and master’s degree, and become a clinical psychologist. But my family was moving back to the Pacific Northwest, and even though I was admitted to a university in Seattle, I changed my mind an transferred to one of their community colleges, where I took just one more psychology course, art, English, another term of English grammar, environmental science, and then decided to take legal classes to earn a certificate. Also around that time I went through a religious conversion. I grew up going to various denominations of Protestant faith, but I sought to know more about Christianity, other religions, and God. So, in my late 20’s, I began to research a wide variety of religions on the Web. I grew dissatisfied just reading books and wanted a real, personal experience with the Divine. I read books and books and books. My readings began with stacks and stacks of popular paperback books, but I got a sour taste in my mouth from them, and I moved on to higher brow fiction and non-fiction books concerning religion and law. A couple of years after my religious conversion, my father, who has seven college degrees, received his fourth master’s degree, this time at a theological seminary. He was always giving me clever books. So, after school and after my religious conversion, I went back to mental health clinics, and with my psychology education, I tried to become a peer support specialist. I looked for work both at mental health organizations and also at law offices. I self-published The Heart Grows Stronger at the same time as my mother self-published the first edition of her narrative poetry. After moving away from Seattle, I published with free-ebooks.net, eight more books. I began to volunteer as a peer support specialist, but I was not paid to do so at that point. I inquired about becoming a Roman Catholic cloistered nun, but was asked to leave because of my psychiatric diagnosis. However, I received spiritual guidance, and I am very happy that I spent a night at a monastery for a vocation discernment retreat and saw a vocational counselor, because the information I gathered was invaluable. To this day, I try to remain active in my community, read as many books as I can, and spend time in prayer every day.
I grew up a painfully shy girl, with many heartbreaks and worries. I have been broken-hearted by many boys, and chose to date again a little bit after having been turned away by the monastery. I never found the right one, but my faith tells me to carry on as though I were living in a cloister, and also as though I were married and had many children. You see, the constant conversion towards God means that I do not ever assume that I will have these things. The constant conversion towards God is self-sacrificial and unassuming. It would have been happy to become a nun, because of the joy in Christ that I have become his bride, and it would have been happy to be a wife and mother, because I would have a man to love and children to mother. But the self-sacrificial attitude allows God to bless us with that which He desires, leaving aside all our wants for ourselves and for others.
I look back at my creativity, my academic achievements, and my relationship with God and I realize that all three of these things are happy things. I may have suffered pains in the past, but to focus on that which brings us joy is what we are called to do, and not just wallow in self-pity. I have made outstanding achievements, despite my psychiatric disability. I have had the opportunity to love others, through relationships, gift-giving, and service. I can be happy right here, right now, as soon as I brush aside all worry and convert towards that which brings me joy.