True confessions now. I was only seventeen when I was first slapped for sentimentality. Or I might as well have been. A teacher, an authority figure, gigged my writing for being too romantic to be worth anyone's while. He used the word romantic. He meant sentimental. I was crushed, and tried to defend my writing. The school put up a tribunal of several teachers, including one who had previously often praised my spirited writing. I did not prevail. I have never quite gotten over it. Forty-seven years later I am still haunted by echoes of that shame.
I've done well enough with intellectual stuff, and sarcasm, cynicism, anger, and other critiques of this gorgeous world, but my true voice was in that bud of beauty that was nipped. I couldn't believe it. I still can't. I'm just so astonished that so many things of great beauty are held to be unworthy of respect. Including people. Including most especially women and their typical yearning for beauty and peace. (Yes, there are other types of women. But that's a topic for another time.)
Starting with college, America has been better to me than that stuffy old self-righteous German teacher. America has been more receptive to my flights of fancy and my sentiments. For that I am eternally grateful.
I've wanted to write love songs to this world from the very beginning. In German. In English. In French. In Spanish. Doesn't matter. I still want to. It's hard to be told that I am sentimental and that is, unfortunately, not respectable. Of course I want both: love and respect. The truth is, though, I've done very well with my life and much of the time without either one or the other or both. So I will just carry on.
Maybe I'm just in the thick of the woods in some fairy tale here, and maybe what I see over there beyond the edge of the forest and way across the valley is the castle I was meant to find, with all these spell-bound princes and princesses in it that I am meant to set free. I'm working on it!
Be enchanted today!