Today’s a very special day to me, and it’s also a very special day for poet Maxine McIntosh-McCalla (affectionately, Miss P.) of Barton, St. Elizabeth, Jamaica. All her nieces and nephews call her Aunt P.
Today, February 25, 2020, is her birthday. She turns sixty-one.
Over the last four years, she has played an instrumental role in helping me find my life’s purpose. In fact, she has now been immortalized as an indelible part of my journey. In my first novel, What’s in a Name, I both mentioned and credited her in the Author’s Note. Why? I discovered that she is a poet. She had written me pieces that ended up in the novel as the words of one of the pivotal characters, Dell-Dell.
Today, I think it is not only opportune but appropriate to share with the world the powerful and wonderful pieces that Aunt P. has written to me for encouragement and personal development on my writing journey. I find her words deeply inspiring. I believe you too will also find that they are. So without further introduction, here are the words from the mind of Aunt P., my poet, Maxine McIntosh-McCalla:
The first two pieces can be found in What’s in a Name. I took creative licence and as mentioned, placed them in the mind of the character Dell-Dell.
Sunshine, you measure life by loss, not by gain and not by the wine drank but by the wine poured forth. Love’s strength stands in love’s sacrifice and he who suffers most has more to give.— What’s in a Name, Garie McIntosh
There is troubled water, but don’t you worry, girl. You’re headed to be the sunshine queen. Stand up, firm enough (you are), to keep your light shining. For you’re the woman you are and will always be.—What’s in a Name, Garie McIntosh
You can’t see the stars in the daytime, but you can see them in the night. So you have to enter the darkness.
Like a marriage, when two become one, you have become one with your writing because you have dedicated yourself to it.
You have built yourself over the down-fallen words that people had to say about you.
To fall down is not a knockout,
To fail is not a tombstone.
I know it’s kinda tight sometimes for you. Keep your fingers crossed, you’re on the bigger side now. Don’t let go.
Anything that comes upon a good attitude, you don’t even see.
Jump over misfortune and stay ahead of it so that it chases after you, not the other way around.
When people do things to you, it is for your upliftment.
The man is left in me and the boy is passed on to you.
Trample them with silence.
Drown them with good thoughts.
You must make a choice to take a chance to make a change. Ride on in life.
The world is changing. Focus and learn to deal with it.
After you have brutalized them, used them, you will then have to subordinate yourself to them.
I have preserved my keys to open doors.
I lost my keys but I have found them. I now keep my eyes on my keys. I have shined them and hung them up.
Nothing beats a person who tries to keep things in line and in order.
Life has a lot of things in it that we have not come upon yet.
I can be imprisoned, but imprison me with love.
You are my judge and my jury all in one.