Chautauqua Sonnet by Joannie Murayama

Chautauqua Sonnet
By Joannie Murayama

This poem, which was shared with Chautauquans at the beginning of the Redwood Vaudeville Tour, describes a strange phenomena that can happen when living with 60 other people for 24/7. She introduced the poem by saying,” You may never feel this moment of self-doubt and not belonging. But if you do, remember this: we all belong to be here. Welcome home.”

Oh Personal Chautauqua !
How I love thee and how I am discomforted by thee, at the same time
The 60 pairs of eyes that applaud my good deeds and clever speech
Are the same 60 pairs of eyes that I imagine won’t look at me when I don’t do what I said I would do or when I misspeak
Oh the misery, confusion and horror!
Do they like me? Do I like me? Do I like them? What am I doing here?
But I am often hit on the head with a cosmic meatball of understanding
And then I see or feel a shift to okay-ness
And like after a dark, stormy night
The Fear is gone
And in its place is a juicy new day

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