Tara Pohlkotte lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two children. She writes about life, motherhood, and memories at Pohlkotte Press. To get a feel for Tara’s work, you should start here: And For Tonight; Pocket of Sorrow, Six feet deep , or Birthing Warrioress. She is a contributing author to two upcoming titles, as well as poetry publications. To keep connected with Tara you can follow her Facebook page for the latest updates. You may also find her Tweeting on occasion!
I could only see the sharp creases on my daddy’s dress pants flash from behind the pulpit, being barely old enough to see over the pew. I was lulled by the sound of his cadence, the rise and fall of his voice. In the hushed pause when he shut his bible, the sound of the tiny upright piano filled the room and voices rose; so different from one another, but for that small moment in time, united. Within three stanzas, a grown man somewhere beside me broke down. Sobbing, he came to the alter and fell to his knees. It was then that I learned the power of the written word. How groups of people came together around ancient text. How a five-versed hymn could break open your soul. Once you have seen the power of words, I don’t know that it ever leaves you.
And then, as a new mother, I watched as the sands of time ran straight through my fingers, pooling at my feet until I was afraid I would drown in missed moments. I kept journals written to each of my children, moments of our history together that I wanted to keep, frozen, so we could come back to them together, and even if we didn’t remember each one, my love would be scrolled out across pages and pages for them to see.
Just over a year ago, with a click of one shared link on Facebook, I was brought to the site of another young mother, using her words to write down her heart, to share her thoughts; and in that moment I realized there were other people who processed life like I did. I wasn’t alone writing poetry on the back of coloring pages, spending hours at night writing – unable to sleep until I had recorded the way the moon that night broke something open in me. So, slowly but surely, I began to bleed onto a dusted off blog page I’d started but neglected, and wept and laughed as I read words of more and more people out there doing the same thing. Through these blank spaces that we sent our words, I felt shoulders next to mine, and I realized that we are all connected, just as I had been in my daddy’s church. All of us different but united through text, through telling the stories of humanity.
In March, I finally admitted it. I wanted to “be” a writer. Not just a girl who writes, but someone who processes life through words. Who can capture moments inside a mason jar, and who can come along side others on their walk through this life. I am so young on this writing journey; with so much to learn and so many more people to unite with. I am committed to this process, to use words to become more alive. Just as the art of writing rooted my childhood, so now I will document each of life’s blooms.