Are we really as different as we are led to believe we are? Or are we the same, with the same motivations and desires and hopes for our own lives, our families, and the future?
As the past several years have worn on, I’ve watched as our faith in each other faltered. But along the way, I started to wonder if it was real, or if a less nuanced media was having too much say in how we saw our own neighbors—and even ourselves.
Why do we all vote the way we do? Are the basic values consistent across party lines?
How do we decide what’s best for our kids? And how much does it matter?
When we gather, what do we do? Who are we with? What foods do we cook?
Who are the people we listen to most in our lives, whose advice we truly value? Are the opinions of people we see on the news even the ones that matter?
What makes us judge people without looking at ourselves?
Where does the divide come from? Or is it even there?
As I’ve looked back on the past few years of my poetry, I started to see poems that mattered because of who I wrote them for or who inspired me. Like “letters to the world”—these were words I wanted people around me to know. To keep.
I also started to look at what has been missing from my life, so I started freelancing as a journalist again. And I’ve found myself, over and over, wanting to write profiles—deep-dive narratives into who people are, not what their ideologies are. To get to know their idiosyncrasies. To see each other for what we are:
That’s why I’ll be starting what I hope will become a monthly series of what I’m calling Poetic Profiles. I will get to know a person and try to show you their lives. And for my patrons, I’ll be providing exclusive poems inspired by these profiles.
To get started, I’d like to ask you for help:
- Nominate someone you’d like me to profile. It could be you, someone you know, or a stranger you’ve wanted to learn more about.
- Share this with your friends. Tell them what I’m doing and ask them to nominate someone, too. Make sure they’re signed up for my emails or to follow me on Patreon to know when a profile goes live.
Join me as I take an honest look into our lives, so that we can try to understand each other better, and in so doing, better understand ourselves.