The text is from a Mary Oliver poem titled Mockingbirds. I read it a few years ago and this section, the last three stanzas, compelled me to bookmark it for later review. The words seemed to me to embody a level of freedom and acceptance I’d never felt. But I knew that I would feel it someday and, when that someday came, I wanted to read the poem again and rejoice that these words had gone from foreign to familiar:
But then my someday arrived and the poem was gone. I didn’t remember the title. I didn’t remember anything about it except that Mary Oliver wrote it and that the last lines said something about opening windows or doors. Not a lot to go on.
I searched and searched and dug through over half of her published work and then, empty-handed and frustrated, I went to a poetry forum and asked if anyone there might know the poem. No one could identify it based on my pitifully meager information but when I included the now broken link where it once appeared someone found it immediately by accessing the site on archive.org. Simple. Simple for them, I should say, because I didn’t know about archive.org at the time.
And I guess I think that’s how it should be – if we want to know something and are willing to put in the effort to find out, we really ought to be able to learn. I didn’t know the title of that poem. But thanks to the knowledge of someone more internet savvy than I am, I do now. Which means I can also find out which collection(s) it’s in. Then I can go to my local used bookstore and buy a copy. I think that’s pretty great.
What I don’t think is pretty great is wanting desperately to learn more about something, searching and searching, and finding only the same, tired crap over and over and over again. I also don’t think it’s pretty great that the people who identify themselves as the professionals – people, in other words, who ought to be able to teach us what we want to know – by and large discourage reading more, learning more and when pressed, don’t seem to have much in the way of information to offer anyway. But that pretty much sums up my experience with Dissociative Identity Disorder. And I don’t believe that’s just me.
So as long as I can do it without hurting myself, I intend to continue to share whatever information about DID or related to DID that has been helpful to me, as well as point out the attitudes, beliefs, etc. that have been particularly unhelpful to me. I figure if I write the articles I would have wanted to read when I was first diagnosed, I might not make the lack-of-accessible-information-about-DID situation better, but I can’t possibly make it worse.
Mockingbirds appears in White Pine: Poems and Prose Poems.