Why Poetic Acceptance?
because Alexis Jade was taken
People who are familiar with me and my 'life story' have a decent understanding how the blog-title-turned-book-title, Poetic Acceptance, arose, but I often wonder what others think. Without a doubt, there is a certain demographic whose reaction leans toward something along the lines of "How cheesy and melodramatic is that!?" So I've decided to explain how a universe of conspiratorial events throughout my life converged and gave birth to Poetic Acceptance, and its multiple forms. I realize it's a long post, I apologize in advance, and I've tried to break it up a bit, to make it easier to swallow.
Beginning with Poetics
Obviously, as my bio mentions, there is a love of poetry and a fascination with language to mention, though for now, I won't delve too deeply. I'll just say that I've been writing poetry, as well as I could, for decades. Poetry and writing are in large part genuinely responsible for my continued existence. Written expression has been my only avenue of depressurization and escape for as long as I can remember.
Acceptance, being the other, more complicated half of the title, deserves a bit more attention and explanation.
A Lesson Plan
I think for each of us, on one level or another, acceptance is a lesson we're forced to learn. Some of us start out with losing a T-ball game or having a pet die. Others are force-fed bigger bites, like the loss of a parent. I was fortunate to have lost my father to divorce rather than death, but it was a lesson in acceptance nevertheless. During my life there were other losses, other complications, other situations - mostly insignificant in retrospect, but each felt insurmountable at the time. There were self-inflicted problems (teenage pregnancy, teenage motherhood) and those caused by other people (rape, spousal abuse, infidelity, divorce.) And then, there were the undeniables.
The Building Blocks: Life
Seven years into my second marriage, there was a time when I finally came to accept my own sexuality. There had been many experiences that I'd called curiosity or had blamed on loneliness, drunkenness, or any number of other excuses, but I finally reached a point where I realized that my notoriously bad decision making processes were so flawed because I was sabotaging myself, setting myself up for failure, based on how I felt about being bisexual - a word I'd never said out loud in reference to myself. My parents had both been preachers, vocal and devout - and had taught me that sexual deviance was a sin and those who were deviants would burn in hell for eternity. They were bad people, sinners to be looked down upon for a dirty and obscene lifestyle.
The day I accepted myself, and was open enough to allow my husband to accept the me that he'd never been introduced to was (in my best Dr. Phil voice) a changing day in my life. Liberation is an understatement, though I can't seem to find a more appropriate description. That's not to say life was suddenly peachy, but it was certainly more emotionally stable.
The Demolition: Death
Then, in 2001 when my daughter was born with congenital heart defects that ended her life 12 days later, I got my most life-altering lesson in acceptance ever. Let me tell you, when your baby girl is laying on a recovery table losing her battle for life, and a doctor comes and asks you if you want them to continue reviving her each time her heart stops - acceptance is redefined in a way you'd never imagined.
There came a moment when we had to answer as to whether we wanted to continue, or let her go. No human being can understand that moment without experiencing it. As the words, "We have to let her go, she's been through enough" crossed my lips, the whole world was altered - and it was a change that left me personally with a choice - to accept, or die. Oh don't let me make it sound that cut and dried. I'd have died, and gladly - but the sun has a habit of being oblivious to your desires, and continues as it has and will for eons: to rise and set, rise and set.
Somewhere along the way I realized that death wasn't going to be kind enough to claim me, and through a process of writing volumes of poetry to her, about her, and about the experience, I accepted.
A Resolution of Sorts: Blue Prints
I soon registered a domain, you guessed it: poetic-acceptance.com, with every intention of starting a forum for bereaved parents to come together and find/offer support. Unfortunately, I haven't a clue how to write forum code, and so it fell by the wayside, and went up for grabs. Someone else registered the name for the same purpose, but they too accomplished nothing with it. You can still find it in a diligent web search, defunct.
My Hope: Rebuilding
The poetry I've written in the years since my 'coming out' and especially since my daughter's death, make up the majority of what's found in my book Poetic Acceptance - it's a journal of the chaos of emotions surrounding those years. To someone who hasn't heard the story, it probably comes across as a motley collection of poems, but the title is the clue to the common thread that ties it (as well as the unruly threads of my life) together.
My hope is that with the book, and this blog that follows much the same theme, I help someone else come to terms with the idea that sometimes the only thing that can reclaim your sanity and save you is poetic acceptance.