My First Book – The Sabbatical Months

After encouragement to share my story, I’ve published my first book, The Sabbatical Months.  Without writing experience, my path began from experimental writing, to the creation of this blog and now to print.  This is a travel through poetry of my six month journey healing from darkness.   The preface of the book is included below.

I was not a writer, nor a poet. I was just a guy who was living life the best I could and suddenly found himself surrounded by darkness.  After years of suppressing the stress of life and career, I took the unusual step of hitting pause and stepped off the path to stop, reflect and heal.  Although that was my intention, I had no idea how to get there.

I don’t know why I picked up a pen to write. The only poetry that I had written was decades ago for a high school assignment.  It was an uncomfortable feeling to expose myself on paper, especially since I am not one to share what is inside.  But the words came and I tried capturing them as best as I could. Most of the poems were written in the moment, without multiple drafts to perfect the message or grammar.  Many of the poems have overlapping phrases, images or sentiments.  I only noticed this after the sabbatical when re-reading my writing in aggregate.  Although tempted to exclude some of the poems that felt a bit repetitious, I later decided against it because these words reflect the true outpouring of the moment.  These phrases or themes are the result of a part of me that needed time to birth, grow, age and eventually move on.  Others still remain with me either waiting their turn to depart or continuing to make themselves at home within me.  Everything has their own time.  Such is life.

The following is raw and unrefined.  It reflects six months of healing where I faced my own darkness, accepted who I am, revisited memories of my past and eventually was able to move forward.  My life is still a work in progress.  The only difference now is understanding how to coexist with the darkness.  Sometimes I may win, other times not.  However, the journey from these sabbatical months provided me the strength to continue on.  The following pages reflect this journey.  This is me.

Any comments or support is appreciated.  Please click on the link below to view my book on Amazon.

Amazon: The Sabbatical Months

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Bent

Compass arrows on an old map

Telephone poles, passing one by one in the middle of nowhere

Fresh white chalk from home to first before the start of a game

Pencil marks drawn against a straight edge from point A to point B

But not everything lines up in a perfect straight line

Some things are meant to be a little bit bent

Especially me

Summit Conversations

Every step I hear his voice

Switchbacks, zigzagging from one memory to the next

Back and forth between present and past

My father walks beside me, still

Together we summit

Looking down at cloud tops

Leaving behind hellos, goodbyes

Placing them gently for safekeeping

Until next time, next time

Slow grateful descents, alone

Other summits in our future

A handshake, a hug

Waiting for another time to continue our conversation

.

Originally posted September 1, 2015

Moments of Escape

The sound of whitewash slowly reaching the sand

Seagulls gracefully gliding overhead

Trees rustling, leaves singing a beautiful melody

Tall grass bending with the sound of the wind

Quiet buildings’ stoic shadows

Strewn from streetlights in the midnight hour

The beautiful echoes of silence

Sitting in a pew of an empty church

Bending down, closing my eyes

Smelling grapes in the middle of a vineyard

These memories of quiet moments

Such a beautiful escape

As I manage through my busy days

*Originally posted June 12, 2015

Fly Away

Waiting at train stops

Watching trains wisp by in a blur

I can see their faces

Wishing one of them were mine

.

A black bird sings

Singing a lonely tune

Reaching out to me

Asking me to fly away

.

I close my eyes

Thinking of long forgotten roads

Roads that have fallen off maps

Waiting to be found

.

Silence jolts me from my thoughts

The train is no longer to be seen

Only the yearning remains

The black bird has flown away

.

Originally posted July 3, 2015

Remembering

Black and white photographs

Unfinished journals frayed at the edges

The scratching sounds of a vinyl record playing

The sweetness of her voice losing me to my past

Eyes closed

Open heart

A numbness takes over

And I forget how to remember

Or maybe remembering makes me want to forget

But it’s a part of me

Always with me

In the front of my mind

On the tip of my tongue

Or in hibernation

Waiting for the next time to wake.

Originally posted June 13, 2015

Puddles of Lost Voices

Falling rain

Each drop free falling faster than the next

The sound of a million needles splashing on my skin

Tiny droplets reverb in the background

A lonely melody emerges

Puddles of lost voices begin to sing

Their faint voices, distant

Burrow deep inside and stay with me

And I’m certain

There will never be a storm like this again

But I will always hear this song

Whenever it rains

Originally posted August 22, 2015