It’s a very special day today. Kaci Buckley is having a birthday.
Who is Kaci Buckley? If you asked me that a year ago, I would have shrugged my shoulders. But now, my answer is, “She’s this really awesome person who read my books and loved them and loved Will Cooper and so she contacted me and sent me a really nice message so many months ago and created a Facebook group of other people who read my books and loved them and she supports me and encourages me and shares all my progress and updates and is selfless in her support of authors and even though words like “tummy” and “scoot” might be pet-peeves to her, she still loves the power of words and her support means the world to me and because of that, Will Cooper supports her and wrote her a slam!”
As much as I love the support Kaci has shown me, she’s one of many who make an author’s work worthwhile. The encouragement we receive from the people who love our books is why we continue to write.
Will Cooper feels the same way, so he wrote an “Ode to Kaci,” which is also my ode to each of you.
An ode to Kaci.
I write and perform poetry.
Some might laugh at that.
Some only wish they had the courage to do it.
It’s a very private, intimate process—putting words and feelings down on paper.
It’s a much scarier thing to speak those words in front of strangers.
to speak those words in front of people I know.
People I love.
As an artist, I think it’s necessary to surround myself with people who are also artists.
Or at the very least, people who can appreciate that part of me.
Because it’s who I am.
It’s what I’m all about.
Whether you’re a musician,
or a poet,
the need to be understood by at least one other person is vital to the passion.
To know that the words or the art you create make another person feel even a
of what you felt while creating it is what drives the passion for creativity.
It’s not the praise that an artist craves.
It’s the understanding.
The first night I introduced that side of myself to Layken, I could see the appreciation in her eyes.
When that first tear fell from her eyes as she watched the very first performance on the stage, I felt it.
I felt her.
As little as I knew her in that moment, that one tear was testament to everything I had been missing in my life up to that point.
Someone I could connect with.
Someone who would understand me.
Someone who could grab my hand and take a step back and look at the world and see it how I saw it.
I didn’t want someone who looked at a tree and just saw a tree.
I wanted someone who looked at a tree and saw a seed and rain and dirt and the story of how that seed became that tree.
I didn’t want someone who looked at a child and saw a child.
I wanted someone who looked at a child and saw a young woman and a young man and a first kiss and a love story that blossomed into a family.
I didn’t want someone who looked at an old church and saw ruins.
I wanted someone who looked at an old church and saw the hands that built it, the weddings that took place in it, the loved ones whose lives were remembered in it, the prayers that were prayed in it.
I didn’t want someone who looked at a book and saw a cover.
I wanted someone who looked at a book…
and opened it…
and dove into it…
and went to the places written about inside it…
and became the characters within it.
I didn’t want someone who finished a book and closed it.
I wanted someone who finished a book and shared it.
I knew by looking at that one tear as it made the journey down Layken’s cheek…that I wasn’t just looking at a tear.
I was looking at someone who saw the world the same way I did.
Not everyone in my life will always understand my passion.
Not everyone will appreciate it, and that’s okay. Love exists in many different forms and art is only one of them.
What I do know is that when I find someone who appreciates my passion…it’s important to thank them.
It’s important to let them know that their passion for my words are what drives my own passion.
It’s more important to hold on to them.
If you’re one who sees the world in words, thank you.
It takes more than a painter,
and a poet
to keep art alive.
It takes people like you who don’t just
You share it.