Left of Center

Jesi Kay

Jesi Kay, poet and aspiring novelist, was born in the Texas panhandle where wide skies, lazy summer days, and rolling thunderstorms sparked her imagination and left lasting memories in her blood. An early reader, poetry and mythology were her passions. So much so that when she was ten years old her step-father gave her his college mythology textbooks to read, which were full of classic poetry and more than enough tales to fill her romantic and inquisitive nature. Jesi loves reading, art, going to the theater, the romanticism of the Victorian era (but not the missing conveniences of indoor plumbing and central air conditioning), running when the heat and humidity cooperate, and cold weather so she can wear her favorite boots and knitwear. Also, she still has those college mythology textbooks, a little worse for wear over time but still intact and telling their stories to her. Jesi is a contributor at The Well Tempered Bards blog and at www.octpowrimo.com.

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20 Responses

  1. Dawn D says:

    The thing that made me react the most was this: I’m so sad that a beautiful soul like you, a magician with words, as skilled as you are, would think she has nothing to add to any conversation.
    I wish you’d be here so I could hug you and we could share a long conversation while sipping a cup of tea (yeah, sorry, I don’t live in Texas and the weather hasn’t gotten the memo that it’s now summer!).

    Sending you love, Ms not-so-shy, you can be whoever you decide to be.

    • Jesi says:

      So many hugs to you!
      Part of the reason I feel as if nothing I say is valuable is due in part to being told by a few people that I don’t know what I am talking about in relation to whatever conversation we are having in which their point of view is the only valid one. This has happened to me so many times over my life that it now makes me question what I say. Also, bring into it that I am one of those people who brings up almost brutal questions and ideas sometimes (the ones no one wants to think about), I question everything, and I practice raw honesty because I don’t believe in telling someone a lie just because it will hurt their feelings (though I do know how to be tactful-I just know that not being honest can do more damage in the long run) and I feel as if it’s better for me to listen than speak.
      I would love to talk with you over tea. I’m sure our conversation would be very long and the night would draw in upon us before we stopped. πŸ™‚

  2. bobcabkings says:

    When I read a story like this I have some difficulty getting hold of how I relate. I don’t recall ever being called shy, but in many ways I was also not “part of the crowd”, but also not quite a loner. When I look back with your words in mind, I seem to see my young and older self somewhere in the border land between “in” and “out”, very private and connected, intimacy valued, but with the boundaries guarded. When I learned of the idea in anthropology research of the Participant Observer it struck me as my default position in social situations, and I’m OK with that. Still, from that position, one is well advised to be careful in voicing the observations. “Somewhat Left of Center”- Yep, that’s the feeling. Thanks for sharing your story.

    • Jesi says:

      I’ve been reading a book called The Writer’s Presence: A Pool of Readings by Donald McQuade and Robert Atwan. It’s essays and speeches, short stories, etc. from many different people and I was inspired to try my hand at writing a personal essay to try and establish what my writing voice is, that sort of thing. This is one of my practice pieces.
      I wasn’t exactly a loner either. I had a few close friends who completely accepted me and I’m happy to say that these people are still my friends today. But, I am perfectly capable of entertaining myself and sometimes I prefer my own company to others.

      • bobcabkings says:

        I forget who said. “If you don’t like your own company, it is impossible to truly like any one else’s.” I’ve heard that idea of a writer’s voice. I would be hard pressed to define mine and often suspect i have more than one, in which case, maybe someday they will merge. There does seem to be something about it that is more than a matter of style or subject, more in the nature of Being Real whatever the subject or form. Whatever the case, the way to find it must be to keep writing.

  3. Lizzi says:

    I still feel like I’m WAY left of the centre, but as though I’m lucky because so many stars have moved their orbits to include me, which is what I always wanted and never had.

    My sister was the shy one. She would look at a situation and measure it up before joining in. I was more the bull in the china shop – I never stopped to think about the impact of my presence, or whether I ‘should’, or…anything really. I just went ahead, both feet in at the deep end, and then discovered I couldn’t swim. Time and time and time again.

    I’ve gone through long, long periods of thinking what I had to say was worthless or invaluable, and it’s only due to being told (and shown) repeatedly, by people who have chosen to love me, that I’m beginning to undo the constrictions of those former thoughts. The deeper-sown one, is that I’m too stupid to get things right; because I really, very often, DON’T see what’s going on around me, and I’ll miss a point or step out of turn or commit some kind of awful faux-pas just because I haven’t paid attention, haven’t measured it up. And somehow I still haven’t figured out HOW to do that – HOW to assess properly and make sure I don’t blunder.

    That’s the thing which makes me clam up – the feeling that I’m too dull, too blunt, to ever quite keep up with it all.

    • Jesi says:

      I very often find myself feeling the same way (that I can’t keep up)-more often I feel that I’m not quite as smart as every else. When that happens I try to remember to tell myself that in a class of over 300 people I was number 80, and that only because I wasn’t that good with maths and I had to work to help my mom and eventually, that it was more important to live than to be smarter than everyone else.
      I’m rather glad I’ve been spun into your orbit because you’ve spun me into some sort of providential gravity where I’m being bettered by the other bodies orbiting you. It’s rather a fascinating dance we’re all executing and one I find intensely more intriguing than the earthly one.

      • Lizzi says:

        Heheh I love that you’re one of the number of stars who’ve moved to encompass me <3

        Oh. The smartness *grimaces* I'm TOLD I'm smart. Evidence would suggest I'm smart. And capable. And all that malarkey. But…I can't help still somehow feeling as though I'm a few shillings short of a pound πŸ™

        Part of it is to do with (maybe) surrounding myself with people I consider to be Grown-Ups, where I don't yet consider myself to be one – I feel like a little kid trying (and failing) to keep up with the cool teens.

        • Jesi says:

          LoL…why do you think I let you girls talk when we were all together last time? I was happy to be included but felt I was missing out on something at the same time. It was no one’s fault, just me being left of center. I was simply happy to be there orbiting. πŸ™‚
          And I really just like listening to everyone.

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