Life Lines – A selection of thoughts and poems by author and award-winning journalist, Rod Urquhart, may be from another time and place in the author’s life, yet most readers will find resonance in Rod’s soul-stirring words as they may remind them of their own journey in part.
“To find the truth, stop living to find it and you will have found it!” is a quote from the poem titled Man. Need one say more? His writing explores the edges of life. He talks about suffering in silence, and brings to light that many still do. Although there is much more dialogue around mental health, we still have a way to go. Kudos to Rod for unveiling these thought-filled and provocative words; and perhaps encouraging us as well to put pen to paper to explore our innermost thoughts, and heal.
Enjoy my interview with Rod.
What inspired you to write this book?
Too many people have mental health issues that aren’t being treated. I wanted to publish my book of poems, Life Lines, to illustrate that failing mental health is nothing to be ashamed of. When I wrote these poems back in the late 1970s, I had severe anxiety. I was in second year of a B.A. program during exams when my long-time girlfriend left me. I was devastated. Back then, mental health wasn’t as widely discussed and I didn’t know where to turn . . . so I took to writing poems to release some of my demons.
What do you want others to gain from your book?
I know some people will love Life Lines. I know others might take it or leave it. Regardless though, with this collection, I believe readers will gain some insight into how the mind works, and where my head was at that time. They may even get a different outlook on their own life while reading through my thoughts and poems. I hope it helps them wherever they’re at.
Sharing with permission, here is a recent email I received that really moved me:
“Life Lines is so uplifting it’s almost spiritual. And everyone can relate to the thoughts and poems. For me, it’s like medicine! As soon as I received it in the mail, I read it thoroughly three times. Everyone should have a copy handy! And it’s small enough to fit in my purse to take with me everywhere!” Christa Krislaty-Sofalvi, Portage du Fort, Quebec
What was your creative process for this project?
I am the author of Talk Turkey With Urqey and Tales For The Outhouse, with Life Lines being my third book. For all three books, I found that I had to search deep into my soul before the words came; then I had to trust what surfaced. I think this is common for many authors. For those on this path too, I hope that releasing Life Lines will illustrate, in some way, how the creative process works and how there is a book in all of us.
Why did you choose the story-telling format you used?
My first two books were humour books, all short stories, guaranteed to make you laugh or put a smile on your face. This time around, Life Lines is a very serious collection of writing I had to get off my chest; I needed to get them out before an audience. In short, I just had to release them and that’s why I chose the poem format.
What’s next for you as an author?
I will see how Life Lines is received. I certainly have more poems in me to get out of my system so-to-speak. But, I also have many more humorous tales of my life I could relate. To me, every day is an adventure, and I tend to find the more absurd or humorous in my day-to-day life! Having said that, assuming Life Lines is warmly received, I just may write another book of poems.
For good measure, here’s a little more from Life Lines, which is now available on Amazon.ca and in our own online bookstore.
“The gentleness of nature, stripped by humans, exists for itself, by itself. And humans can challenge it and either win or lose!” This is from the poem, Nature. I imagine you’ll agree that Rod was wise before his time.
I encourage you to sink into Life Lines, and reread anytime you could use a little perspective or company on your journey.
Thanks as always for your time, and supporting local authors. #Canadian
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