Well first of all, the antidepressant meds finally seem to be doing what they are supposed to do. Although my natural skepticism asks for how long?, With that said I think I’ll just enjoy the smiles that have crept back into my life.
A week ago I participated in Wordfest, a poetry event held annually in Asheville for the last ten years. It was an honor to be asked to share my words with an audience that actually paid to hear poetry, which certainly had a great deal to do with the anxiety I suffered for the weeks leading up to it.
All that faded away as I stood at the microphone to read my poems, the more I do this the easier it becomes and more the emotion that went into their creation comes through. The poems were well received, especially the one called “Closure or What’s in a Name?” a lament about not being accepted by life long friends that begins, My name is Fucking Rachel!
It was after all the poets were finished that the true magic happened, I was approached by two women separately who shared with me their connection with the trans community.
One related that last week would have been a young relatives fifteenth birthday if they hadn’t been overwhelmed by the difficulty of living in this world as trans and taken their own life. Her tears and the hug she gave me touched me very deeply, leaving me to wish there was something I could do or say that would help. The other woman told me of her daughter’s desire to begin transition. She wanted be supportive, to do all the right things but she was afraid that she wasn’t doing it right. We spoke of all the support that is available in the Asheville area and the importance of her simple acceptance. More tears flowed, and she thanked me, again I was touched by her reaching out in support her child.
It was these unexpected interactions that have stuck with me, the realization that sometimes my words strike home in ways that I don’t foresee, expect or even really understand.
I continue to be amazed.