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Archive for April 19th, 2010


The title caught my eyes, Loving Through Heartsongs.  I found it in my forays at  the bookshop at Metro East Mall. Yes, hubby, my daughter and I went back to the place after the 9am mass last Sunday to buy some groceries.  What a perfect time to visit Booksale again, after having been there last Friday.

I never heard of Mattie J.T. Stepanek  before but the short write-up about him says that he has been writing poetry and short stories since the age of three. He has actually published five books all entitled Heartsongs.   It is  disheartening to learn though that he died before his 14th birthday last June 2004 but he left a legacy – reflections about life, loving, illness, death, family, country and most of all faith in God. I was so moved while reading his poems that I cried.   His idea of happiness is clearly depicted in one of his poems simply called About Happiness.

To me,

Happiness is traveling.

Not really “me” traveling.

But my Heartsongs traveling.

When the songs in my heart

Travel out and around the world

In the things that I say and

In the poems and stories that I write

And in the prayers that I feel to God,

And when the letters and words

Of those Heartsongs bring some

Peace to the countries and people

Who have war in their lives,

That is real happiness

To me.

He struggled with a rare form of  muscular dystrophy which also claimed the life of his three siblings.  I think this was his last book in the  Heartsong series.  The selections were divided into “Finding Love From Lessons”, “Witnessing Love inCreation”, “Sharing Love Through People”, Keeping Love Amid Challenges”, and Learning Love for the Future”.  It’s love everywhere for this young poet who shared himself to the world through his poems.  In his poem  Gift-Rapt, he has this to say:   “Let us think gently, speak gently, live gently….and the world may be blessed gently with the greatest gift of all…Faith.”  So true, when everything fails, it is our faith in God that will carry us through.  I remember my own struggles being a cancer  patient.  “It is truly impossible to learn nothing when you believe”,  because life is a constant learning experience, it teaches us lessons that decide how strong we are  when confronted by and faced with situation that is beyond our control.   He is matured beyond his years.  And here is what he says  About Promises:

Promises

Should be

Taken seriously

Because

They involve

Something

that will

Somehow

Touch

The future

Of some life.

Some people are not good at keeping promises.  These lines somehow remind me of our present political situation.  I don’t want  to explore this much-hyped scenario, that is why I seldom blog about politics.  We should learn a lesson from this 13-year-old.  He  surely has too much love in his heart and sincerity in his soul to be able to write passionately about life, sharing his thoughts, reaching out to people belonging to an older generation like us.

Kudos Mattie, I am inspired discovering your poems.

Photos courtesy of Mix 107.3/WRQX-ABC Radio.





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