I, Edith Close-Vaziri, was never considered a writer during my education years. My writing did not improve until I participated in a teacher training that gave some pointers. In 1998, I took part in the USC writing project where the leaders and we as members of the class shared a lesson with the others. One day one of the fellow teachers led a lesson on poetry which I really expected to be a disaster. She had us make scribbles and then write about what we were thinking as we scribbled. My thoughts were going in circles about my husband, my son, the school where I taught, and the church I attended. I had become overwhelmed with all the demands on me and needed some release. To my surprise the poem I wrote “Vanishing Dreams” was a release because I spoke to the four and came up with a solution.
After that I did reintroduce some poetry in my teaching; I had found a model of free verse in my early years of teaching which the principal told me was basically an unacceptable. (It was modeled after well known poets.) However, my spiritual poetry actually started during the serving of an interim pastor when I wrote poems inspired by his sermons. I realized that I had received a special gift from the Holy Spirit when I wrote a poem about a young woman that I had heard a little about but had never met. She died in a tragic plane accident that was reported in international news. I wrote the poem before I attended the memorial service with my husband; very little was added to the poem after that service.