There was a summer where I got panicked about paying for food and rent while living on Paros, a beautiful Greek Island in the Cyclades. As we were all being bombarbed by the Greek financial crisis I pulled myself through the summer heat dragging myself through the white washed streets of the island looking for a job. A friend of mine told me to call a restuarant, they were looking for help.
Effectively yes the woman ordered down the phone, ‘We look for worker’. I imagine myself in blue overalls. I manage to find out, with a mix of her broken English and my broken Greek that she is prepared to pay 5 euros an hour, an equivalent to 3.50 pounds.
‘You know i-ron?’ this woman shouts down the line.
‘Nai,’ which is yes in Greek.
‘You come now, now you work in restaurant, tomorrow you work in laundry.’
She hung up. I realised she hadn’t bothered to ask my name. As I sweated in the scorching heat of August I lay back down on the marble kitchen floor thankful for the cold seeping up to the most outer layer of my skin. Lying there panting I realised two things:
I do not want to be in a steam press right now.
I want to write a poetry book.
So I wrote to my friend about this terrible dilemma – could I be irresponsible and follow my heart? I also needed to follow my stomach. She wrote back, with a poem from Rilke:
“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.”
I decided to go for it.
And guess what? It worked! People bought it from me as I sold it from my bag in the cobbled streets, beachs and even people who I was hitching with. I managed to sell 500 copies!!! Yuppieeee!!! Each book was financally equilvalent to being in that steam press that I never had to see, thanks to words, thanks to the power following one’s heart and letting it be seen as it was born to be expressed.
See the results of poetry!
Now that I know how to make an on-line POD book, it’s the next thing I’m going to get published – so watch this space! – or ask me via mail and I can send you a digital copy.