I have heard a few times that my writing voice is very emotional, very raw, very visceral. I have been told that it can sometimes make people uncomfortable, that it can make them cry. One reader wrote to me tonight and asked if writing has helped me heal and whether sharing my writing with others has helped me heal. I think these are incredibly thoughtful questions.
When I started my blog back in October I had no idea that I had anything to say. I was just trying to get one post in an easily accessible place. I had not written poetry since the early 1990s and I had no idea that dam was about to burst and that a lifetime of experience was going to rush out of me. Writing about my feelings, about my experiences, quickly became a form of therapy. It has helped me in so many ways.
Writing helps me let go of some of the heavy weight of these hard, isolating feelings. It lets me dump them out on the screen and step back and really examine them. Sometimes not even I understand the import or meaning of what I have written until I can do that. This processing doesn’t happen all at once, but is an ongoing process. I continue to learn about myself, about how I see and experience my world, through my writing.
One of the most powerful discoveries for me about my writing is that I have the capacity to serve as a voice for the voiceless. I am deeply humbled every time somebody tells me that I have captured their experience, their feelings, perfectly. What an amazing honor and privilege it is to hear that someone who is living with depression, going through a medical crisis, struggling with PTSD or who has experienced sexual trauma feels less alone because of something I have written!
It has been incredibly powerful and liberating to find my writing voice. I strongly believe that poetry does not need to be obscure or abstract–not that there is anything wrong with being obscure or abstract, it simply is not my style. Poetry can affirm, it can teach, it can connect and yes, I do believe that it can heal. Every time I write and publish my work I assert that my truth, that the truth of others who have shared my experiences, has value. That my voice, that our collective voices, matter. There is incredible healing power in finding our voices, in speaking our truths.
© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved