Shared your poetry with the young Indian girl I am tutoring in English. She recently ‘escaped’ here to live with her Aunt and Uncle. She is a bright lady with a love for reading. So I gave her your piece to read and then asked her to read it outloud (to practice her English) — about midway through she broke down in tears.
When I calmed her down, she told me that your description of the storm reminded her of her life in India before she left and of how she and her sisters would hide in the darkness so that men coming in would not see them.
She worries about her sisters she left behind because she fears they have been kidnapped and she will not see them again. She is a very determined young girl and I told her that living through storms does make us stronger and long as we don’t let them make us angry.
Needless to say, after reading this comment I was... speechless, to say the least. It sounds odd, but sometimes I forget that people read this blog. There are times when it feels I am just writing in a journal; it's as if no one will ever see it and no eyes except for mine will ever read it.
In the beginning, that's what this blog was: simply a journal, a way for me to look back and say this, this is my journey. This is where I've been. This is where I will be one day. I did, of course, create the blog with the intention of having people read it, and yet - that always seemed like such a far-off dream. It always seemed like one of those things that happened to other people, having regular readers and followers who were impacted by their words on a daily basis. It was never something I could achieve.
Writing has always been my way of dealing with the world - whether it's lyrics, or stories, or poetry. I've always written for myself, because I am the one person I know best: when people haven't been there for me, the pen and paper never once left. Life is such a roller coaster, and my seatbelt has been the power of words.
So when I started posting on this blog, I never truly thought that anything would be different. I thought that it would be the same as always: I would write and only a handful of close friends and family members would read it.
Things have changed since then.
Nine days ago, July 20th, was the 1 year anniversary of this blog. It's funny to think that just one short year ago I was typing up my first post. It's funny to think of how far I've come.
One year ago, I never would have imagined that my words could have such an impact on someone else, someone who, for all I know, could be halfway across the world or just down the block. This girl in the comment is a stranger - I'll never know her name. I'll never know who she is; if I meet her one day, at a coffee shop or on a train or in a grocery store, our eyes might catch on each other's for a brief moment, but that will be all. We'll never truly know each other.
That poem has drawn a bond between us that can't be broken. Those words are connecting us in a way that won't ever be forgotten. And maybe that's what I was missing all that time when I was simply writing for myself - because isn't that the true function of words? Aren't they bridges, spanning immeasurable distances that no human being could ever cross? Aren't they messages in bottles, thrown into rollicking waves and bringing together people who never would have met otherwise?
One year ago, I never would have imagined that my words could affect anyone else so deeply.
And now here I am, and here in my hand is a message in a bottle, and this is the utter magic of writing that I was never quite able to fathom before I began this blog - it is that you, my dear readers: you are the ones who get to open it and decide just what it says.