I knew the last week of 42 was going to be an emotional one;  I’ll be honest – to borrow a phrase from Dickens, this year has unquesionably been the best and the worst of times.  There is trepidation about leaving this year behind and what 43 will bring.

What I hadn’t expected, this week, was the response evoked by one of the poems.  I know many of them have sparked emotions and I’ve been a bit blindsided by the heartfelt and raw comments many of you have made throughout the year about them…but to say the response to ‘David’ was a level up is an understatement; and a valuable lesson for me in how powerful words are and the responsiblity a writer has when recklessly throwing pieces out there; not knowing what you are unlocking  in the people the words find. There’s a paradox: the minute you start overthinking and overanalysing, the authenticity is compromised.  I did over-think and over-analyse but thankfully it was in the hands of someone who implored me to ‘not change a thing’.

There was a moment this week when I wanted to throw away the pen, summon a power cut and crash the internet – a little too overwhelmed by the response; as beautifully positive as it was.  It was an, ‘Ok…maybe they are better than I realised” moment…followed by a “I’m not sure I’m cut out for this” moment…followed sharply by a “Buckle up Dorothy, you’ve got to!” moment.

On the eve of printing, realising I’m letting those words and sentiments go and do the thing they do is actually more than a little bit scary.  The intention behind ’42’ was always ‘unity in a time of division’, to draw people together through what we share not how we differ.  The pieces, I hope, convey that… And positivity.  To celebrate always seeking out the ‘crackles of light’…authenicity, honesty and kindness without agenda; a word version of a scorching cup of tea with a trusted friend.  The little things that are actually huge.  Stripping back the chaos of the world to reconnect with the real core values that make us who we are.

There is nothing contrived about any of these pieces…they are all firmly rooted in truth, like a trailer for a bigger story.  And whilst I may be an over-thinker; I can’t lie!

There have been times in the last few days when I’ve been tempted to pull the whole project and just put it in the loft with everything else; afraid of losing my control of it, I guess.  But it’s too late for that now…I’ve told David I’d put him on a shelf in a library…maybe that’s why he crashed back into my mind this week; ever the mentor making sure I see this through, see how far it can go…even if he did wreck havoc with my page numbers!  I wondered whether ‘David’ fitted in ’42’ as all the other pieces are directly connected to something current, whilst that piece was more a reflection on memories from 20 years ago…right back at the start of my teaching career.  I’m still not sure that it does fit, but it makes me smile…perhaps a reminder not to be too rule abiding … ever…even when they are your own rules!



Author: Lowrey E. Gray

Usually found with a cup of tea, a pet or a book, I am most content with life's humble gifts. A catch up with friends and home baked cakes is my idea of bliss. My heart beats where my family are close but my soul will always be in that place between sunset and sunrise. 💚

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