I attended a workshop on poetry at the Denman Island Readers and Writers Festival. The session titled the Poetry of Place was conducted by Billeh Nickerson. Billeh is a Canadian writer, editor, performer and arts advocate from Vancouver. He causally and skillfully led us through a series of writing activities focusing on enriching our writing by journeying inward through the recall of memories and emotions. We did this by reconnecting to specific objects from our past. I was taken back to my days as a young man in the first car that I had purchased on my own, a 1962 Pontiac Hardtop. It was good to revisit all the memories that went with it. It brought back some strong feelings about those years at my first permanent job as a radio reporter and news announcer, and my relationship with the woman I would marry and then divorce. It was good to go back and revisit those feelings and accept them for what they were without the pain that would follow.
It’s okay to remember
How wildly I lived and how deeply I loved,
And how happy I felt,
With the carefree boldness of a careless young man.
Fifty years have passed;
My heart has been messaged
So that it beats again
With and beyond the memories of these days long passed.
And I realize it’s okay to know
That the old feelings are still there breathing and laughing;
I can look back at those days and smile,
Because they are now there to remember without regret.