How To Save the World with a Poem

When I realized the storm was inevitable, I made it
My medicine.

-Andrea Gibson

Andrea Gibson finds herself at a Maya Angelou performance.  Maya begins speaking, and Andrea’s life is changed: every cell coming alive, inspired, saying ‘this way, this way’.

Andrea starts writing poetry and speaking it.  Those precious words fly out into the audience igniting others. 

Who go home and do the same. 

Who do the same

Who do the same

How a poem changes the world.

I find myself pregnant at 42 with my fourth child in my second unhappy marriage: lonely, sad and isolated.  I decide to start a mother’s group and through it I find a friend who sings and dances under the light of the moon by the firepit.

Something in me awakens.

I start a computer app to help others find those firepits underneath the light of the moon.

Some may think of concerts and baseball games during this covid wasteland, but I think of events and circles that I have gone to: the daughters of Earth in Pennsylvania, sitting in my tent in a field of tents, feeling so happy, accepted and at home that I never wanted to leave, that I would willingly stay in that tent to stay in that community.  And later, leaving, at the Boston airport, sitting there shell shocked, looking around thinking to myself ‘YOU have this potential inside you.’ 

And YOU do 

And YOU do, too 

Going to the desert in Arizona with fifty woman who have become friends over the years.  Showing up at the retreat with my usual protective armor, peeling it back, layer by layer and creating this absolutely amazing container of love.  Culminating in a circle, stock piled with love, acceptance, hope, joy.  Feeling all these juicy emotions wash over me continuously, again and again.

Best beach vacation ever.

Circle upon circle upon circle upon circle over the past nine years where we pause, find beauty, community, truth, common ground and respect for not so common ground.

People who come to the circles starting other circles, going home and seeing ‘I can’s’ where they used to only see I can’t.  Hearing others stories.  Giving them permission to live their’s.

Outside all of this, in the ubiquitous ‘out there’, fear is everywhere.  It constricts and amplifies all sorts of nasty stuff.    

But there really is no ‘out there’ is there.  It’s all ‘in here’. 

And I go back again and again to how a poem can save the world.

In any moment,
on any given day,
I can measure
my wellness
by this question:

Is my attention on loving,
or is my attention on
who isn’t loving me?

-Andrea Gibson

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