Life Iz Colorful by Barbara Kendall Reed

Reflective Poems

I have always believed that each of us has a book inside waiting to be written.  Occasionally I have reflected on how mine would read, and when it would be birthed.  In the meantime I remained Horton the elephant sitting on the egg called life, waiting to hatch something.

My journey has been interesting. At an early age I chased butterflies in the desert of Dugway, Utah, a military base where my father was employed as a scientist.  Surely I was the result of a lab experiment because I was an artist in a family of six who primarily chose traditional careers.

My high school experience was traumatic!  I was a highly creative child in an environment unable to support my creative way of being.  I used to write poetry for hours at a time while sitting on the nubby, burgundy couch in front of my bedroom window where I was able to see nature while I wrote.  These writings were not shared with anyone.  I just wrote what I felt and experienced.  I had an amazing moment that affirmed my imagination and ability to write poetry and short stories.  I wrote a short mystery story called The Black Orchid.  My English teacher, Mrs. Anderson, took the time to call my mom and tell her that I was a very gifted creative writer.  Boy did that feel good to me!  Prior to that statement, I was always viewed as different in a bad way.  I continued to write in my diary; it quenched my thirst in the parched desert that surrounded my daily existence.

After high school, I attended Xavier University in New Orleans, Louisiana and it was there I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and studied under the late MacArthur Genius Award Recipient, John T. Scott.

Upon graduation, I married a student, had a son and ultimately accepted the responsibilities for supporting my family.  As a result of this choice, I joined Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc, and for 17 years received a regular paycheck for developing and administering benefit plans for 28,000 employees.

One day, while sitting at my desk and staring out the window, an emptiness and sadness covered my spirit.  I didn’t seem to have anything that could touch or inspire others’ lives or my own.  So at the apex of my corporate life, I retired my six figure job to return to art and to search for the voice that had become muffled and lost.  This change happened 20+ years ago.

Once I left my job I found myself in the barren desert again looking for signs of growth and life.  But the butterflies were now replaced with art.  Through exploring artistic venues I began to remove the boundaries and self doubt that had prevented me from being an artist.  In spite of adversities, I continued to press through the uncomfortable process of discovery.  If you press hard enough and live long enough you will see that things have a way of repeating themselves on some level!

Again I found myself reflectively staring out the window.  I remember that it was a still, colorful, fall day in 2006. I grabbed my journal and recorded poetically what I saw and experienced from a window in the small town I called home. Writing poetry was always  a friend to me but the subject matter had matured from my earlier writings.  Little did I know that the seeds were being planted for Life Iz Colorful.  Six years later, approximately 160 pages filled with colorful images and reflective poems, Horton’s egg hatched!

Barren no more, I am now ready to share with you.  The book will be available in 2013.  Write on! Write on!