Susan Polis Schultz and the poetry of Blue Mountain Arts were a big part of my junior high to high school years. Like Rod McKuen, her words often went to the heart of what I was feeling (lost, broken-hearted, dreaming of something just out of reach or deeply in love with my current boyfriend or crush) My mom and I didn’t always get along and back then she didn’t understand (or I didn’t think she understood) my overwhelming obsession with words, with poetry, with telling stories on paper. Being a writer was never taken seriously as a career option; it was something you did “on the side” after your normal job as a teacher or secretary. I wanted her to understand my need to write but I feared she never would. But one year for Christmas I received this poster with a poem. It was about 24×24 and packaged against a hard piece of cardboard and shrink-wrapped to keep it from bending. It was a glimmer (for me) of hope that she understood, or was trying to understand me. For all all I know she bought it on a whim and didn’t study the verse at all but I took it to mean it was okay for me to focus on my goal of writing.
For years (and I mean YEARS) I didn’t take the plastic off. I leaned it against the bookcase in my mostly-purple bedroom so it was the first thing I saw in the morning and the last thing I saw at night. When I got married and moved, it went with me, getting a little bent around the edges. So off came the plastic and I had to trim a bit around the edges to fix the broken parts. Over the years, each time I moved, something got ripped or bent a little more. It was, is, by now, just a faded piece of paper reduced to about 12×12 from all my cutting around the edges. It has a home now, in a frame under glass, and sits in my office.
- If you have a goal in life
- that takes a lot of energy
- that incurs a great deal of interest
- and that is a challenge to you,
- you will always look
- forward to waking up to
- see what the new day brings.
- If you find a person in your life
- that understands you completely
- that shares your ideas
- and that believes in everything you do,
- you will always look forward to the night
- because you will never be lonely.
- Susan Polis Schultz