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Staff Pick: Marty Schoenleber's Push for Poetry

Blog/FavouritesMay 17th 2017
Rachel Connell

This was my push.

My grade 9 English teacher showed me this video. It was during a period in my life where I was having a hard time fitting in. My life has changed a lot since then, and I no longer have the same insecurities, but the video still sticks with me in a way that I can’t completely comprehend. I seem to find myself feeling capable and inspired every time I watch it. This one line feels ingrained in me now, and I bring it to each new opportunity:

“For I am a mustard seed,

and nobody expects me to move a mountain;

or even cover it’s slopes in yellow.

But I still feel vastly important.”

Because I am. The analogy of such a small piece of the world reaching unfathomable lengths is stunning to me, and a lesson far greater than I would’ve known it to be in grade 9 English.

I’ve always been a sucker for poetry. I love the way poets are able to speak so honestly about the harder things to talk about in life. I think there’s something extraordinary about the power of words and their impact. To “move a crowd with mere words or play notes on a piano like bullets to your ear drums.” How beautiful is that? There is always potential to be who you are destined to be. We are all incapable, which in many ways makes us more capable than ever.

You could say I’ve changed a lot since I once watched this video in high school. My acne calmed down, I stopped hating my parents, I ditched the heavy black eyeliner and I’m (almost) over my Jesse McCartney obsession. By grade 12, it became obvious to me that I would soon face one of the most defining moments in my teenage life; I would begin to figure out my identity, and along with it, my potential. 7 years later and a few hardships past, these comforting words still resonate with me. Where I was supposed to be or should be may not be where I am now, but maybe that’s okay. We wake up each day with an opportunity to make ourselves proud and no matter how we accomplish this, we can always reflect back on our push – on the driving moment that brought us here.