When I started writing ‘Moon Full of Moons‘ (published by Peaceful Daily), I didn’t know it would be a book. I also didn’t realize the poems would become a companion through one of the most difficult transitions in my life: the final, true acceptance of my mother’s schizophrenia. Until then, I had accepted her illness in pieces but part of me, subconsciously, thought she would return to a somewhat-normal life. My denial was epitomized by keeping my mother’s furniture in storage, as if she would one day be able to live independently again. Many do, but she will not.
Cleaning out the storage and tossing the family heirlooms that had been destroyed beyond repair by circumstance was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I literally “cleared out the dark corners”. I still use this phrase today on my twitter bio as a reminder of the personal power of transformation that can come from acceptance of that which we cannot control…and deciding to live.
So, although some poems in the book are inspired by many types of dark “New Moon” sadness such as loneliness, fear, vulnerability, motherless mothering, mental illness, and death, it does not linger in the darkness. Not at all! As the poem “Hope” says:
Make your sadness
as malleable as clay —
A necessary sadness
that builds a new place
…and so the book builds a place of hard-won happiness (a “Full Moon of happiness”), through acceptance, rebuilding, faith, healing, the invention of love within oneself, and other subtle internal changes.
The sequenced collection has been called “self-help expressed as poetry”.
Meanwhile, twitter has provided a wonderful community of skillful writers as well as feedback for experiments in poetic phrasings. I practiced drilling down to the essence of emotion, the nugget that was universal so that others could understand it, even if they could never know the specific situation from which those emotions grew. I reflected on the process of finding happiness after sadness from both the level of high clouds and from the low center of its center. I kept my favorite poems sequestered away from social media like a secret project.
And so ‘Moon Full of Moons’ was born.
For three years, I wrote poems in the 1-2 hours after the kids went to bed. I carried printed poems with me in a brown and blue polka-dot satchel on the chance that a few odd moments would present for editing. Whenever I could, I retreated to my favorite rock in the river. I carefully arranged the 75 lyrical poems and 27 moon micro-poems to describe the emotional journey.
A sincere thanks to readers – loyal and new – for accompanying me on this journey of undergoing my transformation and then understanding it more fully. My greatest wish for the book is that it is helpful to others in their own transformations. For when something I do helps others, it feels like my struggles had a purpose that goes beyond myself.