Counted Sorrows

December 29, 2009

The other night my friend Natasha and I started going through my tattered old notebook.  I’ve had it for at least 15 years, and it is where I write story ideas, poetry, and pieces of other people’s writing that has inspired me.  No matter how many journals or notepads I try, my red, falling-apart single subject notebook always gets picked back up instead.

In recent years I haven’t cracked it open much.  Life gets going and I don’t have a chance to do much writing.  Writing – that I can be proud of, anyway – takes more time than I’ve had (or made, if I’m being truthful).  I love writing this blog so much, regardless of my readership, because it’s given me back my voice.  Or helped me to start rediscovering it, anyway.  I’m still rusty, but at least I’m using more than 10% of my vocabulary, which is a start!

One of my favorite poems of all time came from the front of a Dean R. Koontz book, The Bad Place.  I don’t remember a thing about this book, and since I’ve never been a big Koontz fan anyway (other than Trixie Koontz, who is dog) I must have borrowed it from my best friend Rachel circa 1993 or so.  You can go ahead and laugh about my favorite piece of poetry coming from Dean Koontz, but it spoke to me then and speaks to me now on a very personal level. 

In its entirety:

Every eye sees its own special vision;
every ear hears a most different song.
In each man’s troubled heart, an incision
would reveal a unique, shameful wrong.
As we read through things I had written and things I had painstakingly copied down in teenage-me’s handwriting, Natasha asked if I had struggled with depression.  The answer, sadly, is yes.  I never felt like I belonged anywhere.  As an adult I know that lots of people have felt that way.  But back then, I was totally alone in the world, because I was a teenager and no one could possibly understand.  All I can say is: my poor, poor, patient parents.  Reading those pages reminded me of how painful my adolescence was, and made me want to give teenage-me a big hug.  Which teenage-me would have resented, I’m sure.

Stranger fiends hide here in human guise
than reside in the valleys of Hell.
But goodness, kindness and love arise
in the heart of the poor beast, as well.

~The Book of Counted Sorrows

I try to keep this blog fairly light-hearted, but I’m going to post some of that old stuff every now and again and talk about them in the now.  Maybe I’ll even poke fun of teenage-me, now that I’m old enough to laugh about it.  Or not.  We’ll see!

Originally posted at The Sweet Life 4/23/2008 7:08pm

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