i am the poet e.e. cummings.
I am the Poet,
I was once Poe, but was prematurely buried.
I am Didion. I am Atwood. I am Walker and Alexie and even Hemingway, when the mood strikes.
I am who I read. I am who I love.
I am so much more.
The more I read, the more I want to write. I have what some people consider to be a “nasty” habit of reading myself into the texts with which I interface. I find a way to connect with the text. What I read/watch/listen to becomes part of me. I’ve been told that this is cheating. I am to find my self and write my own story. The lives and stories of others are not there for me to usurp and wear like a patchwork quilt.
But my life has essentially been about me trying to create this thing that makes sense out of events and ideas and people that don’t fit, don’t connect, don’t match. The only thing that ties them together is me. I am the quilter and the stitching and the stuffing all in one.
I have always found the stories of other people interesting because I am not the only person in the universe who thinks about certain things. I am not the only six-year-old person who is unable to grasp why I can’t be both an astronaut and a prima ballerina before becoming President of the United States. I am not the only ten-year-old person to be bullied for not being “skinny.” I am not the only thirteen-year-old person who thinks that Nickelback is a really good band. I am not the only fifteen-year-old person who falls in love and scoffs when “grown-ups” say that I cannot possibly know what love is. I am not the only eighteen-year-old person to cope with trauma and fear through an increase in religious activity. I am not the only nineteen-year-old person to flunk college classes and never tell their parents. I am not the only twenty-year-old person who finds it ironic that I can enlist in the military but not buy alcohol. I am not the only twenty-one-year-old person who feels so jaded and alone that I write to the internet on the off-chance that someone listens or reads or cares.
I am all of these people, all at once. These people, and so many more.
I am a patchwork quilt. I will conjecture that you are, as well. It may be that we have some of the same patches. It may be that some of our quilt squares are the same fabric, in differing colors. Of course they are not the same. The combination of squares on mine are specific to me. The stitching is one of a kind. But it is ludicrous to say that each quilt is separate from the next when the only way we know how a quilt is to be put together is by looking at other quilts. By watching other quilters.
The more I read, the more I want to write.
This is what trying to figure things out looks like.