My Name is Matilda

My book

The Tilly Rivers Story- Part # 3

Dear World It’s me Tilly

Continued from part 2

Me- The Poet: I currently have four published poetry books, (I have other books published as well, and have been blessed with several best sellers); I have, however written probably a million poems.

I am thankful to be able to express how I feel in a poem, and grateful that my poems  have touched and are loved by others. I’m not sure if you truly know how much that means to me; poetry in itself is a hard sell, and sadly I believe it is becoming a lost art, less people write poetry, and less people read it.

My poetry collection “Just the Way It Is“ was written in 2004 after my father passed away. The poem “floating” has been reprinted over 5 million times, and translated in five different languages. My father is my life, and I miss him beyond measure!
As I am writing this, I feel as if I am betraying my mother, forgive me Mom, as I do not love you less, and do not miss you less. The truth is, as I write this, I realize, that it is not that Dad was my life, you both were, it is just that he left first…he left me…but he left you too didn’t he Mom? And you had a greater claim then I did. And once a selfish brat…always a selfish brat…God if I could reverse time, I would of been a better daughter Mom, I would of been there for you more. I am so, so sorry. I was so caught up in my loss that I didn’t support you in yours.

Just the Way It Is, was my way of grieving, and I am thankful and touched that others took comfort in my words, and that they too found a healing path after losing someone close to them. Was that my purpose in writing Just the Way It Is? I don’t know maybe for I am a believer that everything happens for a reason but at the time I wrote it because I just needed to write; I needed to find a way to express my pain.

I’m not a traditional poet by any means, and the truth is I am not a big fan of ‘formula’ driven works no matter the genre, I believe that you need to write from your heart, full of passion and emotion and that is the difference between ‘words-on-a-page’ and a story.  My poetry is free form, which means it doesn’t t rhyme, you will find no–Jack and Jill went up the hill…I do not write according to plan; the should ‘s or should not’s- not ever, not here, not in my books; not in my magazine articles, and NEVER in my poetry.

I no longer write poetry to sell, I don’t promote or advertise, I write for me and because I truly love poetry.  I could tell you that I have won many awards, I could tell you that by some standards I would be considered successful but that is not why I write, I write because it is me- I am it- words, stories, prose…it just is, it is who I am.

So….what shall I write about next?

Fuck it…I just can’t do it. I can’t write in sections. I mean come on, whose life is cut into nice neat sections anyway? The lines cross, jumble and tumble and are one and none. Nice sections, slots and categories seem pretty boring to me, and I am many things, but boring isn’t one of them. It is like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, sure you can do it- after all there is always a way- but does it belong? NO WAY- so you sanded down the fucking corners and made it fit, but why did you? What the hell was wrong with being a square peg? ~giggles~

Is that what I am I wonder, a square peg? I am – just me and you know what, that is okay with me- perfect in fact, as that is what I was meant to be! Does that make me unique? Hardly-each one of us is one of a kind, my life experiences are different from yours hence, I am different, you’re different, we share similarities sure, every person does, but each of us has the ability to dare to be different.

Cecil Beaton said- “Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.”

I believe that if you don’t become true to yourself and stop the formula driven nonsense you stifle your potential; but hey- who am I? ….~giggles~ well that’s why you’re reading this right? To discover more about who I am.

To be continued…

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The Tilly Rivers Story-Part 2

Dear World- it’s me Tilly

The Tilly Rivers story—Continued from Part 1.

Writing about yourself can be taken from others as egotistical, and to be honest with myself, as I try hard to look at both my strengths and weaknesses, I will admit that part of it is ego driven, after all I have accomplished a lot in my life, have walked the edge of brimstone and thought there were times I would fall into the pit of darkness never to return, but I did…return that is, and am proud of my walk, the good and the ugly, so maybe ‘ego’ isn’t the right word, maybe pride is. I am proud of myself, so if you are reading this and thinking- man what an ego- well my friend, your are right, but confident, not cocky.  The dictionary says ego is: a sense of self-esteem, with synonyms of : self-worth and  self-respect. Is life not about learning from your experiences and moving on?

The boring stuff about me….

Neither of my parents had an extra-large family, considering the time period when families had 13 or more kids. My father had 2 brothers and 1 sister. My mom had 3 brothers and 1 sister, relatively small when you think of the era.

Is this the part where I insert a bit of family culture? Sure…why the hell not. Oh, did I mention I curse a lot? So you can expect bad words like fuck, hell, damn, shit and motherfucker in here? I am sure I did ~giggles~

Recently I did some digging in my family history, and put together a small book about my ancestors and their journey for my siblings and immediate family. It was certainly eye-opening and I discovered that I am a miss-mash of European French,  Irish, Scottish and English- good lord what a mix of…..a mix of…..well…..mix of culture. (Tee Hee)

…and now the teaser…oh come on, you knew I was going to, it’s called a hook and every writer uses them…

It has been said that French lovers, are the best lovers- pour nous savons l’art de touche, et vivre la passion au plus plein. (for we know the art of touch and experience passion to the fullest ).  And hence the reason I will leave discussing me as a lover to the last…of course I know you can just skip to the last entry if you are reading this in sequence…so maybe the lover section will not be last after all but in part three…or ten….~ giggles~ truth is I don’t know when I will write it, for the stories and memories unfold as they do.

Where was I? God I even confuse me at times! Forgive the rambling- it is just going to happen, part of who I am.

Me- the Niece.  All of my aunts and uncles were married, and are dear to my heart, but the distance made it easy for me to be a ‘niece’. It was for the most part, a title, happenstance of birth as I only saw them a few times a year. To say I have a favourite aunt or uncle would not be a fair statement, as I did not have an opportunity to know all of my aunts and uncles well. But this I do know, the times when my parents were with their siblings, there was this vibe- an energy of love and laughter that I was VERY proud to be part of.  My parents loved beyond measure, their siblings, their parents, and most especially their children. I was very blessed, even if at times I was too young, or just to stupid to always recognize that fact.

Me- the Aunt…..~insert screeching brake sounds here~ Hey, I just noticed I did not mention sister in the line up of who I am in part one, how silly of me. Would this be the part where a physiologist’s spidey senses perk up? Come on- you know- spidey senses, as in Spiderman whenever there was danger- his senses would tingle. I am a firm believer that we all have them- spidey senses that is- or a sixth sense.

There I go again, off track ~smiles~ this mind of mine roams in a million directions at once. They say (and who are ‘they’ anyway and why are they always yakking? ~giggles~) – that is a sign of great intelligence- in this particular case I will agree with them, cause I am a very smart girl. ~giggles~ Just ask me, I’ll tell ya! he he- but I hate to burst your bubble, I love my siblings very much therefore the physiologist would be off the mark. Sure we have had our ups and downs- what siblings haven’t? But nothing big enough to break apart our bond.

Now that the side note is over, and back to my original thought- sister-no no wait, Aunt was my original thought, not sister ~damn are you still with me? I told you I would ramble! My point is  I will write about being a sister as well. After all I am the baby in the family- with 3 brothers and 2 sisters to my credit.

Aunt: and for the record, great-aunt…
I am the youngest of nine, six living members of the Rivers clan. Yes, Rivers is my real name- after the disaster of my first marriage I took back my name (along with my life!)- and no matter what the future holds- marriage or no- partner or no- I will NEVER take another’s name, I am a Rivers! I am me!

The countdown—
My eldest sister had 2 daughters; her 2 daughters have 5 children.
My eldest brother has 3 children(one is ‘technically” a step-daughter, but not to us!). They have 5 children.- are you getting scared yet? Hell- I’ve only just started.
Next sister-1 Child. Her child has 3.
Next brother- he has 7 children( 2 stepchildren) and they have 7 children- don’t worry- even I am getting confused.
The second youngest in the family ~insert drum roll here~ 7 children as well and at last count there are only 6 children born from the 7(4 of his children are still young).

Shit I’ve lost count, how many does that make? A shit load!

I love them all, even if I do not get to see some as often as I wish too. The fact is, as I was only seven when I was gifted with the title- aunt. Today, we (My nieces/nephews and I) rarely see each other, maybe once a year, and I suppose that happens in a large family. The second generation of nieces and nephews, sadly, is even worse-some I have only seen– maybe once– since they were born. I guess a family reunion is needed.

That is not really their fault, not seeing each other,  it is mine. I know that I put my career above most things, or at least I did. Not so much because of the love of money, or success, but for the drive not to fail, you see I had HUGE issues with failure; something I work on every day. Another touchy issue for me was being ‘poor’- as that is what I was growing up, dirt poor, as in having no money. I learned a very valuable lesson, not to long ago, when my Mom passed away about ‘poverty’ that I will share in the section about my Mom. She was a pretty amazing woman…and I think I will just wait to talk about her for a bit, if you don’t mind…my parents, and my abusive marriage will be the hardest parts for me to write about and the truth is I’m not ready to revisit that pain.

Why? Simple really in regards to my parents it’s because of how much I miss them and love them, they are both gone now. And my ‘X’ because of the abuse and while it no longer holds any power over me (most of the time) it is still a part of my life that I don’t shine a light on. I can say this— that my walk at the time through hell gifted me with 3 beautiful miracles. My children!!

To be continued….