Poetry, feelings, and the NINSAABO scale

I may have mentioned this before. I tend to follow the shiny bouncy ball of life, but only once it’s smacked me in the face a few times. My stubbornness gets in my way, and even when it’s a decision I already teetered on the edge of, I demand the push before I fall up.

Only three days into the new year and I’ve been smacked left right and up the back of the head. Poetry and feelings. Two things I have love/hate and decidedly complicated relationships with.

I used to cry a lot. But after years of being told to suck it up, years of learning to school the icy shards of emotions from my face and reactions. And while the tears have been easy to tame, I have never stopped apologising for my excitement over what others deem insignificant. I still get ‘overly’ enthusiastic about the things I love, only to ruminate about them later and worry I expresses TOO much emotion. But when it comes to crying, I don’t. Or at least I hadn’t for a very long time. Not only had I come to think of tears as distasteful in myself (I love people who can cry) but almost impossible to reach.

Enter last year and my introduction to some of the most amazing authors and human beings I have ever been lucky enough to know. The LGBTQIA writing community I have found have been ridiculously supportive and boosting.

Last year, 5 books made me cry. I almost fell over the first time it happened. I remember it clearly. I was stirring a pot of pasta, ensuring it didn’t stick to the bottom of the pot, I’m not a terribly good or attentive kitchen person. But I was reading, holding the book in one hand while the other hand half mindedly stirred the pasta and water. I didn’t realise I was crying. I was reading and my chest grew hot and tight. Being constricted as though wrapped up by a boa. My cheek tickled. My brows furrowed and I lifted the hand stirring up to my cheeks. Before I could really take in the tears I yelped as hot water splashed on me and my book. Saving me from investigating the phenomenon. 4 more times it happened. And by the end of the year I felt a fear and an excitement over being able to. More than that, I felt indebted to these amazing authors who plucked at the chains wrapped around my emotions and let them be expressed.

Three days into the new year and the first book I’ve read has made me cry. The second book is a poetry book and I’ve felt winded as it talked about societies pressure to not feel. To not admit we are human with all the ranges of emotions. Bring on my burgeoning relationship with poetry.

As if these weren’t enough, just this morning I had a conversation with a fellow author whom I am beta reading for, below is what happened when she asked me for some specific details and feedback for the book.

My first reaction was horror. How can I be associated with sobbing? But that lasted a mere micro second because now I can’t take the smile off my face.

So here is to a new year of poetry and feelings. A year of rating books on the NINSAABO scale.

Here’s to not apologising for my emotions, the sadness, the fullness, the fear, and the excitement.

Be Safe
Be Brave
Be Kind


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