Lansing, MI USA
Hello everyone. . .
There have been many who have asked about the title of the Collection of poetry that I have written called "The Lantern Bearers". This is the story.
13 years ago, I was a Counselor-in-Training at the National Music Camp here in Interlochen, Michigan. (Side note, if you've never been to Interlochen, or have heard of it, send me a message and I'll be happy to tell you about it!!) The woman that I talk about in the poems was also in the same class as I. I wasn't looking to fall in love with anyone, but she and I became close very quickly and fell in love. It was the first time, for both of us, in every way. . .
It was definitely a long-distance relationship, with me living here in Michigan and she living in Ontario. But not as long-distance as it could have been. We talked on the phone a lot and wrote long letters, we even got to see each other a couple of times during that period. It was then that I began the poems that would one day make up this collection. Some of the poems that I have posted in Open 4 and 5 and in Dark Passions are from that group. The ones in Open 4 & 5 show the longing of seperation and the joy of new love. The poems in Dark Passions show the aftermath. . . which was quite painful to me, she being my first true love.
Our relationship lasted one year to the day. . . when suddenly she broke it off with me. I was so devestated that I didn't even bother to ask why she was leaving me. . . this was a painful time in my life. . .
"The Lantern Bearers" is in three parts. . . the first is called "The Flame Burns", the second, "The Flame Dies", and the third is called, "The Flame Flickers". The third part is an Epilogue of sorts, because there were some feelings which I still had when I showed her this collection after I had completed it.
The name "The Lantern Bearers" comes from this poem, which was written by her. . . from it came the inspiration for the title. . . and my love. . .(and yes, I do have her permission to use it)
THE LIGHTING OF A LANTERN
Picture if you will, a darkened and lonely place,
full of confusing thoughts and endless fears
Picture a small, seculded child growing up--
Not knowing the touch of a lover's hand
Nor the caress of superior emotions
A dark and lonely world for a growing child
One day, in the mist of a summer field,
Golden sun, green grass, blue skies.
A relationship unfolded
--Like the bloom of a never-wilting rose.
Miracles became truth--as love was explored
to its fullest dimensions.
Days that can't be forgotten.
Now I am back in my darkened and lonely place.
But there lies a light at the end of the
You, my love are the bearer of this lantern
--only you can hold its warmth and carry its love
The dark seems not so dim and the place not
--for now I have you
--memories are precious
You can see that she was indeed quite gifted for a woman of 19 (which was the same age that I was). This collection was written over the next two years and finished when I was 21.
The idea that love was a "lantern" that we bear to the one that we love was very interesting to me. . . it's a theme that still shows in my work today. . . I have her to thank for that.
I still think about her from time to time. . . by the way, the poem, written in her hand, is the only thing that I have left of her. I destroyed all the letters and the photos and everything else. . . in my anger and pain. . . I thought that I needed to do it. . .
I'll let you all know when a poem that I post is from this collection. . . the ones that are in now. . . I think that you'll be able to find them. . .
Thank you my friends. . .
That which gives light must endure burning