Kerry asked me to interview a writer. While I could have chosen one of my many poet friends, I instead, chose a poet whom I knew very little about. Attracted by her poetry and her own series of interviews, I asked the very interesting and animated Sherry Blue Sky to share some thoughts with us. ~ Robin Amaral
Hi Sherry, could you introduce yourself and tell us what makes you - you?
Whoa, that is a question that could take a lot of cyberspace to answer! I am a lover of life, of the beauty of nature, an environmentalist and a dreamer. I live on the beautiful West Coast of Canada, on
Vancouver Island. What makes me “me”? Dementia? Crazy hair? The answer is having survived 65 years of living. My life has been the usual mix of difficulty, challenge, struggle, loss and a few enormous leaps into radiance and blessing. The blue sky and my love for the beauty of this world has gotten me through the rough patches. Cackling accompanies me through everything. I look back at how I started out, all that happened in between, and am amazed to simultaneously see both how far I’ve come and also that I basically have returned to my authentic self. That circular process seems to take a lifetime for some of us late bloomers. One of the things I most admire in humans is our ability to transcend our circumstances with grace and humor and, thus, help others. I feel like I have burned off enough karma in this life, that the next one should be easier. (It just sucks about global warming, hee hee!)
You have a favorite quote you say you live by: "We live in hope!" Why do these words resonate so strongly within you?
It is a quote a friend of mine said often, back in my coffeehouse days in the 80’s, and I adopted it. Because of all the struggle, and my stubborn refusal to be anything but positive, I have lived my life with an unusual amount of hope, hope that things will get better – and they always do.
I like writing late at night. Is there a special time or place for you, where words flow more easily, where inspiration is a brighter light?
Now that I am older, I find my brain doesn’t work the way it once did. I mourn that I no longer create inspired lyrical poems like I used to. My current work doesn’t have the same flow. However, I am simply grateful to be writing at all, and the reason I am is the community of online poets, which has given me the creative community I lack where I live. It blows my mind that people are reading and encouraging my writing, and that is a very great blessing in my life. I work best in the morning, when all is quiet. But occasionally fragments come to me at other times too.
What does music mean to you?
I was born and raised in music. My dad was a musician, and so it is the music of the 40’s that really speaks to me, though I like many types of music, from classical, to world beat, to pop, to jazz. Music is inside me, though, oddly, I never learned an instrument. I would love to play classical violin and I suspect that’s not going to happen. But when I hear live music, inside, I am playing. For much of my life, I sang, but now I croak. Sigh. And I beat a mean conga drum!
What is the message you would like the world to hear from your heart?
I love this question so much! I have a deep belief – or hope? – that good will ultimately triumph over evil, light over darkness. I believe humanity has the capability of creating the world that way it was meant to be: with resources and equity for all. I believe the transformation of consciousness, light against dark, is trying to happen right now, globally, and, if we can just make that shift, and the greedy multinationals lose their death-grip on the planet, we’ll be on our way to peace and plenty. However, the other side of that, if it doesn’t happen, is if everything collapses, humankind will have to go back to square one. If that happens, I hope the next humans do a better job than we have of living on this earth.
You have interviewed many writers. What have you learned from them?
That every single person has an extremely interesting story. Real life is more interesting than fiction, by far, and often is more “unbelievable” than anything we can make up. And it is the spirit in each person – the light that is theirs alone to shine – that draws me to them. That spark of life and hope and dreams that draws us ever forward, even through the swampy patches.
What books have you written or have been published in?
Hmmm......I wrote a book about my son’s and my journey through his illness. (He was stricken with schizophrenia when he was seventeen, and we took an amazing journey over the next two decades.) But it needs an edit and to be submitted, and I grow weary at the thought of doing what is needed to make that happen. It’s on the To Do list. In the 90’s, when I lived in Tofino, a lot of my poetry was published in a magazine we had there, called The Sound. I was invited to write for a West Coast anthology called Writing the West Coast: In Love With Place, and my Love Song to Clayoquot Sound appeared in it, which made me very happy. I did once submit to and had a piece accepted by Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul. I also have pieces in the Poets United anthology and Annell Livingston’s Red Shoes Project, as well as Risking For Change: Stories of Ordinary People. My problem is, I never submit my work anywhere, I prefer just writing. And now that I have people reading my work, I am more than happy with that, though I do want to do three chapbooks this winter: the Soul Card series, the Wild Woman series, and a book of my poems about my beloved wolf-pup, Pup, who died last January. Takes a lot of work though. It is daunting.
What websites of yours would you like us to direct readers too?