Butler Ink is the dream child of Marsha Butler - born in Alabama in 1948, transported to Texas in 1958, escaped to New Mexico in 1972 - she moved to Florida in 1991. A trial paralegal for almost thirty years, Marsha still lives in Florida, where she now writes, edits and teaches. This is her story.
Since my debut as a feature writer and editor of my school paper, writing pieces of all kinds have felt the lilt of my tongue and the stroke of my red pen. From business letters to legal documents, promotional materials to manuscripts, articles to poems, legislative bills to short stories, I have researched, written, designed, laid out, edited and/or proofread a myriad of documents. I have taught and tutored English, reading, history, natural science and civil litigation. But never have I applied for or held a job with the title writer, editor or teacher, even though those were my childhood dreams.
I let my parents dissuade me from pursuing writing and editing on the basis that I wouldn’t be able to make a decent living at it and from teaching because I was too much of a rebel to last in the educational system. I accepted their judgment reluctantly, but finally came to embrace it. I let it define me for decades. No more. I am claiming my gifts, owning them and naming them.
The words of the poet T.S. Eliot have long haunted me, as I circumvented my true life’s work:
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
-Four Quartets, Little Gidding (Part 4)
These words no longer haunt me. Today, they inspire me. I have arrived at the place where I started and know that I am home. From this home base I can now begin a different kind of journey - a journey of fulfillment, a journey that embraces who I was born to be.
I invite you to join me, as you too Butler Ink. Let me share with you on your journey what I have learned thus far on mine. Join me at www.swmpwriter-takeflight.blogspot.com for inspiration and tips on embracing who you were born to be.
Marsha L. Butler
August 22, 2010
Mount Dora, FL
In 2009, a 48-year-old Scottish spinster rocked the music world with her performance of “I Dreamed a Dream” from “Les Miserables.” That night, Susan Boyle showed herself and the world who she was born to be. The lyrics to her new song, “Who I Was Born to Be,” are particularly applicable to those of us taking flight today:
Though I may not know the answers,
I can finally say I’m free,
If the questions led me here, then
I am who I was born to be.
And so here am I,
Open arms and ready to stand.
I’ve got the world in my hand,
And it feels like my turn to fly.