I had the pleasure of spending five days down on the Gulf Coast during Mardi Gras.
The sun was shining and the water, from afar, was quite blue and peaceful. It was a refreshing change of pace from the buttoned up, cold, and frenzied pace I've been running for the past few weeks.
We walked along the beach, peaked into quaint shops, and simply slowed down, something that is commonplace in that part of Alabama.
Orange Beach, Point Clear, and Fair Hope are the three places we spent the majority of our time and the two of the three places I would definitely consider as writing havens. I learned that a lot of the people in Fair Hope simply did not leave, just stayed there and kept writing, drawing, and creating because the community was so welcoming to creative types.
When we returned to Missouri and hit the ground running, barely unpacking, my mind kept taking me back to the beach and the calm appreciation of the world we experienced. I thought about what we could do to bottle the experience and bring it back here.
We collected sea shells and forgot to bottle sand, took loads of pictures, and tried to breath in as much as we could. It was idyllic.
The return to Missouri brought with it some of the reminders of why time away is so refreshing to the soul.
We only have this one life, these few moments between our life dash, and all of it should not be stressed away because one political party wants to destroy the middle class and bring back a slave state. Our life dash should not be compromised because greed supersedes need and there are some who can never spend all they take from those who have so little. The space of months and years should not be stressed away through dogma.
I walked along the pier and looked out over the waters and determined that since I am probably right in the middle of my life, I have an opportunity to make the rest of it what I want it to be, that the expanse of the universe will open up and make room on the page for the words that tumble out of my soul.
When I decided that, I accidentally on purpose met a publicist on the FloraBama border on one of the last days down there. She and I chatted and exchanged business cards.
There may not be a market for poetry, as the owner of the Page and Palette told me, but there is a market for a story written for women like me who know there is so much more to us than the exploitative literature currently being passed off.
The people I met were friendly and accommodating, the feeling of Mardi Gras infused me with love for my culture, and the time away renewed my soul.
I want for everyone to be their fullest and authentic self and for the vitirol and hatred over the other that has plagued our news for years will go away, remove the fear, in the end, we are all have a right to life, liberty,and pursuit of happiness.
The Gulf Coast was where my soul found her place.