This volume was 20+ years in the making. It's about life, and love and growing up in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri. It has been a difficult journey as well. It is always difficult to "let go" and let other people read my work. This is because, what you are looking at, is not just words on a page. When you open this cover, and look at it's contents, you are looking at my soul laid bare for the world to see. Me at my best, and at my worst. Raw and bleeding, right there on the page. It is never an easy thing, to take something as private as my thoughts and emotions and turn them into something so VERY public. This whole experience of writing this book has been a healing one. I've grown and evolved into the man, and the horseman that I am today, BECAUSE of the adversity. I own it, it no longer owns me. It's amazing how writing helps heal the troubled soul. I started out as a young man, very troubled and tortured in my soul. I felt as I did not matter and I was awash in feelings of despair and self-pity. Hey, it happens to the best of us occasionally. In time, I learned that the more I put these feeling on the page, the easier they were for me to recognize and deal with. So, in a way, I suppose, poetry has been my therapist. Through the written word, I discovered that I WAS of worth, and that I DID matter, even if only to me.
This brings me to another point. It's very difficult for me to read my own poetry. I can remember, vividly the state of mind I was in when I wrote each one of them.The highs, and the lows in turn. Each poem brings with it a memory of a time and a place that is sometimes quite painful. That makes it hard for me to revisit them. They are not ALL bad memories by any means. However, even the ones with pleasant memories attached are still painful to read. I am reminded of how young, and immature I was, and of the mistakes I made. I truly am the person I am today, because I learned to write it all down. Am I a hot mess still? Likely. Do I make mistakes still? Most certainly.Do I still doubt and second guess myself? Occasionally. The difference between then and now though? Today I understand that anything you want in life is worth ALL the blood, sweat and yes, even tears put into it.
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