Yesterday I mailed some of my Kickstarter poetry books out. (I’m having to mail them out in slow, small batches, because of all the problems I’ve been having producing them.) I went to the ghetto post office that is near our house. I wouldn’t say we live in the ghetto, but that we live on the border of one. But I don’t know, I guess it depends on how you define ghetto. (I just looked up the definition of ghetto: a bad neighborhood where minorities live. This definition irks me, but unfortunately it is as true as it is irksome. Anyway.) Two of the books were going to Israel! I have never been to Israel. For the purposes of shipping them, I debated the value of the books with the postal clerk, a black woman who was not young and not old. I said they were books of my poetry that I had made and that I would have to make up a value. I’m not even sure what made me tell her this since, truth be told I sometimes run these negative thoughts that most people aren’t interested in poetry, and this must be even more true in the ghetto where just surviving is an issue, plus people don’t read books. Call me As Prejudiced As The Definition Of Ghetto, I know. So I surprised myself by telling her and then she surprised me with her response. She was excited. She asked me thoughtful questions about what I was doing and why. I told her I write about my life. And I write about callings and living authentically, that I want to do this for myself, and also support others in this. She said, most people don’t know what they’re supposed to do and it’s hard to figure out, you can spend your whole life trying to figure it out. I said, I’ve known since I was very young what I was supposed to do, and it’s still hard, especially because my thing is poetry and you need money to get around in the world and the one does not usually beget the other. I paused and then added I also write about codependency and addiction, that these dynamics encompass much more than just our own lives, they describe this system we live in. She said she is studying to be an addictions counselor (I can’t remember exactly what she called it) and she’d just had her first class. She said it was hard. We looked at each other in recognition of the synchronicity that was happening. As I was leaving I said, hey, we just confirmed each other!
I love when this kind of thing happens.