Recently while I was visiting my mother she mentioned she had found something I had written quite a long time ago and wondered if I wanted to take a look at it. Of course I said yes and what she brought out was a poem I had written about the tragic event that befell the Space Shuttle Challenger on January 28th, 1986. I was a 15-year-old junior in high school at Benson Polytechnic School at the time.
My love of poetry was an escape, a coping mechanism for things that seemed so far removed from our own everyday lives. I watched on live television with classmates as the space shuttle launched and met its terrible fate. I don’t write to bring up painful memories for those that hold this event close to their hearts, rather, I mention I mention it to show that for me I didn’t have a coping mechanism and turned to poetry to get out some of my thoughts. Or at least allow me to process them in some way more constructive than some other ways I may have done so.
At 16 I was uncertain of what I would do after high school, where I would go or what anything meant for that matter. I felt so uncertain about a great many things that I turned to writing and drawing and various other activities that kept me less focused on what I should really be focusing on, the future and planning for it.
Not that I regret my life or the choices I have made to get to where I am now. I think I have perspective and life experience and look at life a little differently. I still write to express myself sometimes and appreciate others who do the same.
The long and short of this post was not to bring up sad memories although that may not be a bad thing necessarily in the proper context, but rather I am writing so that I can embrace the person I have become through my experiences as a young man and how they have shaped me as an adult. I am not saddened in the way I was so many years ago when I wrote this poem when the world seemed to be spinning out of control. I have perspective and understanding and think back at that time as maybe a turning point in my life where I started to write to embrace my thoughts as opposed to running from them.
Peace be with you!
More to come…