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MarathonDear Readers,

Thank you for reading my posts these last two years, for taking time out of your day to get to know my family and me.

Blogging has opened up new worlds for me. I now follow 20 fellow bloggers from different parts of the world. Every time I read one of your posts, I can feel my brain accumulating healthy layers of insights! Sometimes I laugh or cry. Sometimes, as a good Quaker, I’m just silent! I am grateful to have joined the blogging community.

I also have been able to stay in touch with new and old friends in what I consider a more meaningful way than Facebook posts. And I’ve gotten to know my husband and our daughter better as they often are the subjects of my blog posts!

Writing has always rescued me. I first had a poem published when I was 7 years old. By the time I was graduated from high school, I had been harassed verbally and physically every day for several years, but I had also won 15 or so national writing awards, most of them for poetry. I even had poems shown at museums and statewide arts exhibits.

In many ways, my writing voice has often been more confident than my speaking voice. I’ve written and spoken English and German all my life. As a gay man of my generation, for decades I could trust my written more than my spoken words to convey the me I wanted to convey. Fortunately, for the past 20 years, I’ve embraced who I am even without feeling like I have to win an award to be accepted.

In my heart of hearts I’ve known I’m not as natural or gifted a writer as many people are, but I’m pretty determined, and I love consistency!

Which is why in three weeks I will look to finish my 22nd marathon, why making deadlines has always felt good, why I’m starting my third year of writing this blog with hope.

Like most of us, I have felt time rushing by as I’ve gotten older. For the first year of this blog, I wrote every day except weekends and holidays; in the second year, just two days a week as I juggled other priorities such as taking a more active role in raising our young daughter and becoming a better friend (and yes, making work goals!).

In my third year, I will endeavor to write a poem a week as my post, although I’m stating in writing that I will occasionally go back to prose! I feel the new format for this blog will help me become a better poet because it will enforce a discipline for which I could otherwise make excuses: I had too many work deadlines, for example, or my daughter’s homework took over our lives this week, or I was just too tired.

A wonderful friend and artist told me 20 years ago, “I paint every day no matter what. Try to write a poem every day.”

My friend didn’t run marathons or raise children, but his message has stayed with me. I’m going to honor him in a modified way: at least one poem a week. I hope you will like the poetry, dear readers! Please feel free to give me your feedback. Thank you for being part of my life and for letting me be part of yours.