• Who are You?

    “A recovering workaholic,

    A dutiful dad”

    I always get a seat on the left side of the train car. It was one of those transparent blue winter days, and I was looking forward to seeing Mystic Harbor again on my way to New York City.

    After 25 years of being wed to my job and fulfilling my responsibilities as a father, I was burnt out, mentally drained, emotionally flat lined. I was spent. My life needed something else and I didn’t know what. Things needed to change. I was hoping the creativity workshop I was headed for would be, at best, the beginning or, at least, a pause to take a deep breath.

    “Who is now on a journey of reflection, soul searching, and self discovery

    With the aim of rekindling the whispering voice of intuition that lies within

    and listening to it.”

    I was hoping I could reignite the passion that seemed a mere memory from my youth. Where had it gone? A part of me was missing and I didn’t know where to look for it.

    As the train trundled over the iron swing bridge I saw a lone soul walking on the beach leaving footprints in the cold windswept sand. We rounded the corner into Mystic Harbor. The boats, stilted on shore, were wrapped in shiny white awaiting the return of summer breezes. The quaint shake sided houses seemed all closed and self-contained. Was there anyone inside?

    “I am a stifled boy in a maturing man

    Who has spent his years convincing others to do things.”

    My thoughts turned to the impending workshop. All twenty of us participants would, no doubt, be asked to introduce ourselves. Well, the change had to start here, I told myself. I refused to introduce myself as I usually had; a designer and consultant that works for a leading international consulting firm. I would not continue to be defined by my work! So how would I introduce myself in a new way? Who was I anyway?

    I pulled out a notepad and I wrote. I just wrote. I don’t know where it came from but I just wrote. For the first time I was writing about me in a non-bio, non-resume, non-marketing way. I wasn’t trying to convince anyone. I was just writing me. I was going to offer them a glimpse of this human named Dan.

    I looked up from the notepad as the train slid to a stop in Stanford. Businessmen donned their overcoats and hustled off the train, cell phones pinned against their ears. Were they as trapped in the vortex of work as I felt? Did they too long for something more? Had they left some part of themselves behind like the abandoned newspapers on the seats?

    “Now I want to illustrate and illuminate those whispers inside,

    And to the extent I am a part of the collective soul of the universe,

    the human condition.”  

    My glaze returned to my note pad. I read what is written there for the first time. I was amazed, no stunned! It was more then descriptive it was aspirational. I had aspirations? Aspirations other then getting the next big client? Aspirations to reveal what was deep inside? To live life out loud? Who knew? Certainly I didn’t!

    Eventually the train glided into the tunnel arriving in Penn Station. I gathered myself together. The trip is over, the doors opened, and I began the climb into the glittery city. I stopped and paused.

    Early the next morning, high in a building on the lower east side, all of us creativity seekers gathered. We were asked us to introduce ourselves. Only one stipulation, we couldn’t say what we did for our work. What? I thought. Really? Well then, I have to go first and I did. My heart must have read to them that morning because they were moved. Some of even cried. I had touched something, something very human. What was it? What was it about my introduction that had connected with them?

    I turned and gazed out the window. The vista of the city lay before me. It seemed like I could see forever.

    Months later I shared “Who I Am” with a friend who surprised me with, “That’s a poem, Dan.” “A poem, really?” I replied. “I don’t write poetry.”

    Over the past few years I have come to realize creating poetry is less about writing. It’s about allowing your heart to be heard.

    What is your heart yearning for you to bring into this world? What is waiting inside to become a poem?

     

    Who Am I?

    A recovering workaholic

    A dutiful dad

    Who is now on a journey of reflection, soul searching, and self discovery

    With the aim of rekindling the whispering voice of intuition that lies within

    and listening to it.

    I am a stifled boy in a maturing man

    Who has spent his years convincing others to do things.

    Now I want to illustrate and illuminate those whispers inside,

    And to the extent I am a part of the collective soul of the universe,

    the human condition.

    ~ Dan Buchner © 2012