The bittersweet truth of struggle is that it serves as unending inspiration for creativity. The beauty of poetry is that it serves as an outlet for struggle. The sadness of poetry is that it is eternal, which means the struggle becomes entombed in history. I’ve been writing a lot lately, thankful for the inspiration but fighting the sadness of it.
I looked at the clock around 9:45 tonight and thought, man, I’m going to get to bed early, finally get a decent amount of sleep to kickstart my Monday without watering eyes and sluggish limbs. But then the itch began, the compulsion tingling behind my forehead, radiating to my fingertips, the cusp of a poem aching to spill out. So here we are, an hour later, an hour of sleep lost to creative whims.
I’ve loved and been broken, dated again and been disappointed, and started the process all over again. Putting your heart on the line is exasperating, terrifying, and exciting and sometimes we feed off that exhilaration and put ourselves out there and other times we can think of nothing worse than going on a date. I wish I could say that taking the chance on love is always worth it. I’ve had several experiences where the heartache outweighed the benefit of telling someone that you like them. I just hold on to the hope that one of these days I’ll find that person that is as stoked to take the chance on me as I am for them. In the meantime, I write.
I know today’s guest poet well. She’s my mother and happens to be the most selfless person I’ve ever met. Let this poem be a reminder that love abounds in multiple forms: the love for yourself, the love for a partner, the love for a friend, the love for a parent, the love for a sibling, the love for a daughter, and the love for a memory glistened in tears of bittersweet heartache. Today as you eat your candy hearts, don’t forget to also love the one beating inside your chest.
My mom, Lori Ortbals, founded the Missouri Chapter of the Children’s Heart Foundation in 2010 in memory of daughter Rebecca Lyn. Becky died of a congenital heart defect at 16 months old. Lori started the chapter with the hope that no other parent would have to feel the loss of burying their child from a CHD. All funds raised go directly towards research to develop new technologies and techniques to save lives like Becky’s.
When she’s not volunteering at a fundraising event or running board meetings, my mom enjoys spending time with our family, cherishing every moment to its fullest potential. She’s an avid reader, moviegoer, and superhero.
I’ve failed to post my regular Saturday series for weeks. I have no excuse, except to say I’m human and anything but perfect. But it’s the new year and time to get back on track.
So, per my usually usual Saturday series, I give you a poem inspired by the title of a Twenty One Pilots’ song. Find the archives of all my TOP titled poetry under my featured tab and as always, give a listen to the band that’s held my hand with interlocked fingers for all of 2013 below.
This piece jumped out at me this morning as I scoured my Word document of poems named after twenty one pilots tracks, my ongoing Saturday series on She’s in Prison. Something about this poem grabbed me as I reflect and recover from a car accident a couple days ago.
As always, check out the twenty one pilots version of “Fall Away” below and find the archives from my other TOP titled poems HERE.