Perspective: A Poem Of Self-Love
I met my friend, Bonnie, through the art scene in Baltimore and she is an amazing, wonderful, joyful human being. I’m so happy to know her and every time I cross paths with her is a pure pleasure. She recently sent me an e-mail with a poem and the following message, “Mary, I’ve always felt different and when I was much younger, it bothered me in some ways. But as I aged, I began to see it as a blessing. Here is a poem I wrote in 1997 that I think you’ll appreciate.” I asked her if I could share it on my blog and she said yes, and I think you’ll really enjoy it. (By the way, Bonnie is an incredible photographer. I’m including some of her photos for you to check out! And you can also visit her website!)
I’ve always felt alone—
just never understood why.
Oh, there were friends, conversations, parties, family, busy-ness,
but it was as if we were all watching the same movie while
mine was in a different language
which only I understood.
I used to be jealous of the rest of them,
their 20-20 vision
I saw through a kaleidoscope,
or a microscope,
or an inner scope.
I was envious of their hearing
carefully defined sounds
coming from clear and
I heard shadows sliding and
unspoken whispers from
I tasted the same garden fresh peas they did
but was disappointed when I tasted only
green dream particles.
I failed to smell the fresh rose bloom they did because
a worm brought the scent of
rich brown earth to me.
I was envious of how they could feel the warm dishwater while
I felt only the bubbles
giggling against my arm.
Naively I tried to learn, imitate,
be one of them,
I was always looking up when
they were looking down.
I photographed cracks in walls
while they were snapping cracking smiles.
They asked who
and I asked why.
They raved about exotic cruises while
I rambled about
dust in ghost towns.
They looked at life from the outside in.
I always began on the inside, constantly lost,
sometimes even forgetting
there was an outside at all.
I used to wish that I—like them—
knew where to begin and
when and how to end.
I couldn’t get the hang of their perspective and
finally gave up.
Now I embrace
which leads the way
to life from the
inside of a kaleidoscope
and it is such a joy!
Do you identify with this poem at all?
Photos: Bonnie Schupp