Sam Heughan and the poem “In That Year”

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Recently, Sam Heughan posted a poem he admired written by Kim Moore.  I love that he gives us these little looks into his life. In fact, I felt this little peek was very revealing.  There isn’t anything more personal than a poem.  And even though we all bring our own thoughts, feelings, and experience to a reading, I felt I could take a pretty good guess at why this particular poem spoke to Sam. I thought of what his life might have been like before Outlander.

I haven’t been chasing after an acting career, but I couldn’t help but relate to the feelings expressed in this poem. I think we have all had a year like this. It takes courage to chase dreams because as the words suggest sometimes it feels like catching your dream is well…just a dream.

And in that year my body was a pillar of smoke and 

even his hands could not hold me.

Haven’t we all felt as insubstantial as smoke? Haven’t we all felt ourselves to be the illusion of substance? The fire is there, but we feel like smoke. When we chase our dreams we doubt our choices, our abilities. We are strong in our resolve and yet, our security, surety, and sanity feel as if they could be blown away with the slightest breeze even if we have strong and loving people in our lives to help us hold it all together.

And in that year my mind was an empty table

and he laid his thoughts down like dishes of plenty.

I thought of the years of struggle chasing a dream like acting would require. How mentally exhausting.  Haven’t we all run out of ideas? Haven’t we all tired of trying to figure things out? Haven’t we all experienced not knowing what the next step should be?  I wondered what the role of Jamie looked like to an aspiring actor. My guess would be “plenty”.

And in that year my heart was the old monument, 

the folly, and no use could be found for it.

The heart wants what the heart wants. But, sometimes when your dreams seem so far away, your hearts’ desires can seem foolish, rash, futile, ludicrous.

And in that year my tongue spoke the language 

of insects and not even my father knew me.

Haven’t we all had the experience of becoming so altered and consumed by our dreams that those we know and love hardly recognize us and most certainly don’t understand us.

And in that year I waited for the horses

but they only shifted their feet in the darkness.

We wait for the moment that our hard work and efforts are sure to bring.  We convince ourselves that any moment now our career will take off.  At any moment, we will be stampeded with offers and opportunities. So, we wait in the darkness for the horses.

And in that year I imagined a vain thing

I believed that the world would come for me.

Dreamers hope against hope. We believe in the face of doubt.

And in that year I gave up on all things

I was promised and left my self to sadness.

And yet, we are human and sometimes the journey seems too long and way too rough. Our dreams seem unobtainable and we grieve. That big break hasn’t come and just when we are about to make peace with ourselves and move on…

And then that year laid down like a path

and I walked it, I walked it, I walk it.

I, for one, am glad that Sam’s path led him to Outlander and Jamie.  I smile when I hear of him landing a new role, filming a new movie,… because the world is coming for him.

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P.S. After publishing, I was reading about the poem’s author Kim Moore.  This poem was part of a series on domestic violence.

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The Heretic

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She was a woman out of time

Kind without caution
Her strengths had made her strange

She was a woman out of time

Passionate with purpose
She battled ignorance and lost

She was a woman out of time

Sensibilities that lacked sense
of a propriety and place

She was a woman out of time

Trapped in time
Now trapped in space

She was a woman out of time

Burn the witch

by Beth Wesson