1. mcullen Post author

    What I Learned

    I once wrote about
    a street car
    and the clackety-clack
    that emanates
    as it traverses the track.

    My friend didn’t like it.

    I once wrote about
    an elevator ride
    and the sinking feeling
    then weightlessness
    as it ascends, descends.

    She didn’t like that either.

    So I learned not to write.

  2. Karen Reid

    It’s too bad we are so often defined by the opinions of those around us. It’s taken me until old age not to care much about the opinions of those around me; now that I’m old and ornery, if you don’t like the way I look, look somewhere else! If you don’t like my opinions, talk to someone else! If you don’t like the songs I write, listen to someone else’s songs! And if you can’t be a true friend, it’s your loss. Oh, the joys of the wisdom of old age!

    1. mcullen Post author

      Love your attitude, Karen. It’s definitely important to like yourself and not let others define you. Easy to say, hard to implement! Good for you for being on that track.

  3. karen53

    It starts when we’re young and eager to please. It grows into fear, of failing and being seen to fail. It ends up enveloping us, and stealing our ability to glory in the raucous world around us. Sometimes age and wisdom can help us reset the clock, to a place and time where we are not afraid to be ourselves. Sometimes reading the message of a tight, taut, verse can spark a rebellion in the soul … thank you ladies!

    1. mcullen Post author

      Wow, kareneely . . . Awesome message, awesome writing. You are so right. Your writing feels like a prose-poem. Moves quickly, thoughtfully with a powerful message. Thanks for posting.

  4. PamH

    The poet William Stafford says “The place we meet the muse is in our own true voice.” I find that after years of struggling to say only the correct things, searching to find authentic words is a completely new frontier.
    From the beginning of first grade we were taught there is a right and a wrong way to think. I found myself constantly out of sync by becoming too interested in assigned tasks—either dreaming of colorful possibilities or following numerous investigative leads to solve problems. Either way it was always one more demerit in the “starts and completes work on time” report card column.
    Little by little education becomes training in subtraction — subtracting rich imagination, openness to experiences, experimentation.
    My experience now reveals that truth is often paradoxical. Yes, I still often spend way too much time investigating details and interests but it is and has been these very qualities that have made me successful in my restoration work. Sometimes I fail, sometimes I am inept, and sometimes I have adventures I could never have imagined. I feel much happier being authentically myself.

    1. mcullen Post author

      Yes! Yes and yes. You are so perceptive and so right. I can “see” you now. . . unafraid to color outside the lines, knowing your true, authentic self is a creative being with many insights and things to say that others will benefit from hearing. I love your wisdom . . . it comes from experience, from failing and understanding the really simple part. . . you are who you are. The Stafford quote is perfect! Thank you for posting.

  5. karen53

    “Little by little education becomes training in subtraction’. That gem will be passed on to my teacher daughter and will probably bounce around in my head all night. It was perfection, Pam – as was the rest of your post.

    1. mcullen Post author

      I agree, kareneely. Pam’s observation “Little by little . . . ” is brilliant. Sad, but true.

  6. PamH

    The kind words from two ladies I both like and respect makes my day. Thank you.

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