23 May 2012


while sitting at bongo java roasting co. on the east side of nashville yesterday, a tall silver-haired man in black walks up to me.

"are you a famous musician?" he asks.

dead serious.

i laugh. "no, sir, i'm not."

"well, you look like a musician or songwriter or something," he says to me. "and you look like a writer working on a great novel or something," he directs at the young lady with hipster hair, wearing huge headphones and a short pencil skirt at the table next to me. she stops typing on her laptop and frees her ears.

"well, i am a writer," she says. "but not working on my novel right now."

"i'm a writer, too!" i say.

"well, of course you're a writer!" says the man in black to me. "that's just wonderful! what do you write?"

"well, i write poetry and several other things, depending on the day and the assignment"

"oh wow! you're a poet!" he exclaims, as the woman he was with walks over to the table. "carolanne, you've gotta meet her! she's a famous poet!"

dead serious. again.

"oh my! what's your name?" she asks, extending her hand to shake mine.

i laugh again and squirm and stumble to introduce myself. "well, i'm not . . . uhhh . . . famous, errr, i'm . . . uhhh . . . ciona. my name is ciona."

so we all chat for a bit, and i finally ask the man in black his name and if he's a musician.

"oh, my name is scott, and i'm a famous photographer, actually."

and as we continue to chat the kind of chat of four mostly strangers, scott whips out his famous camera and starts taking photographs of me.

and i decide right then that i love this moment. it's taken me so long to even say, "i'm a poet." and while the goal of being well known and admired isn't a driving force in the soft focus of my future desires, i decide that i love not only being a poet but being an amazing poet in that moment. and i love that scott, who may have spent his life flying around the world and sharing work in galleries and books or taking snapshots of strangers in coffee shops, claims his art in a grandiose way. and i love that none of us asked each other what we had published or where our photographs were seen; we were just famous. as simple as that.

may you all love your art, your work, your life in a grand way today! go ahead, be famous.


Connie said...

This makes me cry because I for so many years would not claim my craft either. My family would say, "She's a writer," but I stammered like you did today whenever someone would inquire of me. But for today and every day hereafter, I am a famous and phenomenal writer, too, regardless of what I have published. Interesting that you have written a book, a documentary and over 200 articles and you still stammered. The important thing is that you did what so many of us fail to do -you gathered yourself and declared. Some of us deny who God created us to be to everyone. We simply hold it in our hearts and whisper it before mirrors. God bless you for living out your dreams and inviting others to do the same. The simple fact that you will soon be very famous and he will own your photographs will make him an even more famous photographer! Smart guy! He knows beauty and talent when he sees it...when he sees it...when he sees it! May we all see it in ourselves and others as we declare and encourage!

fungirl-bookwoman said...

Yay, Ciona!

--From one of your many fans!

Heather Truett said...

This is beautiful. I love it.

It took me years and years to say, "I'm a poet," and once I got good at it, I started writing novels. Go figure.