Last fall Nanaimo resident Alice Casey was going through a period of “reflection and soul-searching.”
She had recently experienced some losses in her life and found herself turning to poetry to articulate and communicate what she was feeling. She said she was partly inspired by the coming Christmas season.
“Around that time of year … I feel very close to the spirit of God,” Casey said. “And so I think it was just a culmination of things at that point in my life that spoke to me and I felt a really strong spiritual presence of God and of His love and all the people that I was missing at that time of year.”
After writing a poem about the people Casey lost, she was moved to write about other aspects of life, including relationships, faith, hurt, pain “and just all the obstacles in life that we all encounter.”
Casey said she was motivated to continue writing after sharing one of her poems with a woman with whom she does volunteer work.
“She was really, really affected by it … and when I left she said, ‘Would you write me another poem sometime?’” Casey said. “And I said, ‘Oh, gee, I think that was just a fluke, I don’t think I can do anymore.’ However, after that, I ended up writing many, many poems.”
Casey compiled those poems to create her first book, Open Up. She said the title refers to the need to open up about the thoughts and feelings people keep hidden away.
“It’s just a contemplation of life and God’s love and the value of relationships and caring people in the world,” Casey said of the book, which she will be presenting at a signing event in the entrance to the Port Place London Drugs on Saturday, July 13.
Aside from some letters that had come out in verse, Casey said this is the first time that she’s written any poetry. She said it was a natural way to get her feelings out.
“I just felt that it was kind of like a dance for me and it was set to music in my heart,” she said.
Open Up is available from Casey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 647-453-9340.
WHAT’S ON … Alice Casey presents Open Up at the Port Place London Drugs on Saturday, July 13 from noon to 4 p.m.