A Year Ago Today

A year.

I’m feeling nostalgic today as a little pride swells deep inside so I’ll indulge myself and talk about a topic I rarely touch upon. Actually, I haven’t devoted a post to this subject in 12 months so maybe it’s time. Yeah, I’ll tell a little story…

After all, it’s been a year.

I don’t consider myself an accomplished poet, but the poems I share do find connections and that’s enough for me. A few years ago several people suggested I gather my poems and publish them in book form. H’m, maybe, but closer inspection revealed many awful efforts where the care wasn’t what it should have been. Too, there were over 450 poems!

Yikes! And yikes, again!

I guess the easy solution would have been to dump them all into a book and hide, but I couldn’t do it that way. It isn’t in my DNA, I guess. Instead, I began sorting in mid 2013 until I had around 110 poems (none of the 450 are still on the website). Next, I went one-by-one reworking and refining to achieve higher quality—if possible.

In some cases the quality I sought eluded me and two things happened. The first was that my 110 poems became 87. The second was discovering a pattern: a message of hope in the midst of my struggles to recover from abuse and the depression that’s dogged me all my life.

Cue 2014…

Photo: CA Hawthorne

Photo: CA Hawthorne

I sorted the poems into four sections: Sadness (abuse, depression, heartbreak), Awareness (perception and truth), Reason (choices, determination, mindfulness), and Renaissance (the longest section celebrates life, love, and creativity).

In retrospect it was an easy step despite doing it around a 620-mile move.The greatest hurdle, formatting, came last. I guess I could have universally formatted each poem and called it good, but, well, there’s that pesky DNA again. Instead, each poem was formatted individually. Some are left justified, others centered, and all are adjusted for length. I wanted each turn of the page to be a new, unique visual experience…short poem, long poem, centered poem, etc. I didn’t reinvent formatting, but I did work on it until I was ready to either burn the computer or publish.

Photo: CA Hawthorne

Photo: CA Hawthorne

One year ago today I published The Renaissance Cycle.

I continue to battle depression, but also believe in the book’s message. I still believe depression can be, if not beat, at least successfully managed, and in many cases without medication. I stumbled last autumn, but have fought my way back and am stronger than ever.

The Renaissance Cycle remains my roadmap, inspiration, and labor of love. Yeah, I’m still proud of it. As I say late in the book in The Beckoning…

Somewhere beyond,
past the meadow where the forest begins to grow,
where the mountains start to rise,
came a whispering voice that beckoned,
“Come this way, dear one
who’s long been gone,
lost where the tangled vines grow too long.
Venture forth and capture your soul,
become whole—for the first time.”
The great weight at the center of who I am
plunged to nevermore,
easing the pain that was the past long gone
and rendering my trembling hands a calming storm.
Dear heart,
the peaceful whispers I hear
must be you guiding me,
for my feet can no longer find the floor when I walk.
This must be what others call “tears of joy,”
this must be me finding happiness.

So, here’s where I say, “Thank you.” Thank you, everyone, for taking a few moments to stop and read poetry, a blog post, or anything else that’s caught your interest. Thank you for every supportive comment. Thank you for indulging me this moment on this special day.

Photo: CA Hawthorne

May 14, 2014. After taking a walk this was waiting at my door. Yeah, a little choked-up. Photo: CA Hawthorne

Photo: CA Hawthorne

And the cover design was also mine (with a little help from Leonardo). Photo: CA Hawthorne

15 Replies to “A Year Ago Today”

  1. Pingback: A Year Ago Today | Christina Anne Hawthorne

  2. Congratulations on your accomplishments! It’s always amazing to look back and see how far we’ve come within a year. Thanks for sharing your story, it certainly inspires me!

  3. Happy anniversary Christina! It’s such a wonderful book. I can’t believe it’s been a year! I remember when it was all happening and I had it all to come! You inspired me xxx

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