I want to share something very special with you. If you haven't had the chance to look at my previous post (Open Letter to Sonia Sanchez) from earlier, you should do so now to understand what's going on with this post.
But first I want to share a little story.
This morning, I had a case of the Monday Blues: The Writer's Edition. I felt that I was not being true to myself and the writer in me. I was upset that I did not have the time to write because I was rushing to work. When I realized that I would have no time to draft any of my thoughts, the first thing that popped into my head was: Don't quit your job today. It was a little unsettling. But it continued to drum through my head like a mantra. I had to keep repeating it. To calm this thought, I treated myself to Starbucks, despite my recent vow to save money. This is how low I felt.
Now let's back track a little. My previous post from the twilight hours, which is a letter to Sonia Sanchez, was a part of an assignment from an online writing course that I am currently taking called Digging Deep, Facing Self (whew, run on much?) I had to send a message, along with a poem to someone I greatly admire, but have never met or spoken to.
So I chose Sonia Sanchez.
I sent this to the publicity team of her publisher, listed on her website. I sent it with a quivering hand and let the universe have a go at words she may never see.
After having a mini breakdown in my head, I posted these thoughts in the course's super secret online meeting place. Feeling a little better about sharing these thoughts, I signed into my personal e-mail on my phone, since I was about to take lunch.
I found something that shocked me into almost a crying mess at my desk. There was a response to the e-mail I sent to Sonia Sanchez!
I read it...and then sat at my desk whispering Oh my god, over and over again.
Then I had to go into the bathroom and cry.
As I told my cousin earlier, I have never felt so blessed to receive an e-mail. I didn't even know what to do with myself.
Here's what was said (parts of the e-mail omitted for privacy):
From: Nicholas DiSabatino
Sent: Monday, July 22, 2013 9:16 AM
Subject: Sonia Sanchez
My name is Nicholas DiSabatino and I’m the publicity assistant at Beacon Press. Thanks for the lovely words regarding Sonia and her work. I’ll make sure she sees your note. Thanks again.
25 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02108
Then there was a second e-mail:
On Jul 22, 2013, at 12:08 PM, Nicholas DiSabatino firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Hi again Christina,
Sonia Sanchez was very touched by your message. She asked me to send you the following response (Ms. Sanchez unfortunately does not use email). Here is her message as dictated to me below:
Thank you so very much for your beautiful words and your beautiful haiku. Please continue to write. We need your young words. We need your beautiful words, moving in the light that is peace, love, and justice. I would love to send you an autographed copy of Morning Haiku and one of my other books. Please email us your address .
Sister Sonia Sanchez
To this I responded:
From: CRod Online <email@example.com>
Date: July 22, 2013, 1:06:32 PM EDT
To: Nicholas DiSabatino firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Re: Sonia Sanchez
Tell her thank you from the bottom of my heart. Her words mean more to me than you ever know.
I can't stop saying oh my god. People in my office must think I am nuts.
My address is: Omitted
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Christina D. Rodriguez
Let's start taking more risk together Write Queeners. The journey is going to be wild.
This evening I was listening to my voicemail as I (sometimes) do and I just discovered that she left me a voicemail!!! Ms. Sanchez wanted to make sure that I reached out to them with my contact information for the books! And she thanked me again for my words. Oh my goodness!
I cried for 20 minutes after I heard that. I am trying to find ways to save the voicemail now. I am in awe and incredibly touched.
ANOTHER EDIT - 7/23/13:
I called the number she left this morning, thinking it was the number to the press. It wasn't the number to the press! It was hers! I spoke to Sonia Sanchez on the phone! We had a seven minute conversation (according to my job phone).
What we talked about, I would like to keep to myself because this last surprise in this adventure was totally unexpected and amazing. All I will say is that if I can be an ounce of who she is when I grow older, my life would be complete. She is a beautiful run-on sentence - that's the best way I can describe the experience of speaking with her.