So fellow travelers, I was recently accepted into the Bedlam Bloggers Collective. I am mindful of the responsibilities this honor carries.
“Abandon all Hope, Ye who enter here.”
I remember being struck by the profound despair embedded in Dante’s line describing the inscription above the gates of hell, as I read them for the first time in high school for my World Lit class. If you’ve read The Inferno you know that line is just the beginning of an epic filled with doom and gloom.
One does not have to look far to find parallel tales of doom in contemporary times. All the more reason the Bedlam Creative Group and the new Bloggers Collective are a treasured oasis. It’s guidelines state “this is a group for committed bloggers, people who have blogs, believe in them and maintain them.” It was started by author Jon Katz, as a spin off of the Bedlam Creative Group. Jon believes “blogs are the embodiment of Jefferson’s idea of media as being open to all, not the province of corporate marketers.” As with the main Creative Group, there are firm guidelines to create a safe and supportive environment; hostility is not tolerated. To share one’s creative efforts within a community of genuine encouragement not only nurtures artistic growth, it empowers contributors to be authentic.
My blog is less than a year old, the direct result of the original group’s encouragement. To be included in the roll call of bloggers whose writing I admire and gain much inspiration from is a gift I will not take lightly. At any given time I have several entries in various stages of editing. So I have weighed carefully the first submission to be posted after crossing this threshold. Ultimately I completed this poem which has been a work in progress from a few months ago. It first emerged as I watched creative responses nudge a negative reaction into a “first post” by a hesitant contributor.
Reclaim all Hope, Ye who enter here
The entrance stands open
or is it?
“Leave negativity at the door”
Some walk right in, confident, assured
some hesitate and wonder,
“Can this fatal wound stay hidden long enough
or will secrets betray and deny comfort once again?”
Not all authentic thoughts are light and joyful.
Will their words be welcomed or
if found failing to meet muster,
be cast aside to wither in neglect?
The leap of faith once taken reveals.
Inside a garden of color inspires,
the music of poetry opens hearts,
stories bring healing tears and laughter.
The silent dared to speak.
They were heard
and it is Good.
The entrance to the West Shore trail of Onondaga Lake, one of my favorite walking trails, requires passing underneath a bridge which is part of the NYS thruway. It is dark and loud. The dogs do not care for it, but knowing the exotic scents which lay along the seven mile trail ahead, they bravely pass through.