“…Sometimes we are the only light in another person’s life and a lifeline in a way that we do not fully understand at the time.”
Here is the second story installment for this week. In looking back through my notebook from a writers’ workshop last year, I found several pieces that I would like to share. This piece, a prose poem, is one of them. It is based on the prompt: “I am from”.
With this piece, I just let my mind go where it wanted. I started with an image that inspired a short story (“Doorbells”) that I wrote several years back, the image of a young child stuck in poverty and abuse, her head thrown back as she screams in anguish and a child’s need to be saved and held. But, this piece takes on a life of its own and continues to speak to the issue that I have with the fact that there are generations of children who are taught to have no hope because of the circumstances in which they are born. It has always been a challenge for me to try and reconcile being one of the “haves” in a world of so many “have nots”.
I spent all of my twenties working and volunteering with at-risk children, working to help them find them hope in their potential and their purpose. There are success stories from this time in my life; and there are stories that, sadly, ended in tragedy. But, what resonates with me is how the simple act of seeing and understanding a child (or adult), learning their fears and encouraging their dreams and gifts can change their future. I do not mean to oversimplify the very real crisis of the cycle of poverty (including spiritual, emotional, artistic, etc.). Yet, I have born witness to the fact that sometimes we are the only light in another person’s life and a lifeline in a way that we do not fully understand at the time. And, that sobering fact is a constant reminder for me to never be indifferent to another person’s circumstances; it could be a matter of life and death.