Pulse August 2017 - Page 54

A Day in the Life! B Y A S H L E Y A LT The life of a spa professional is a continuous cycle of daily responsibilities that help make the spa world go round. Pulse asks ISPA members to give us a sneak peek into their daily lives to help us understand the roles they play and the difference they make on a daily basis. “Unquestionably the most important moment of his life pertaining to his career was the day he received a phone call from the White House with news that he had been chosen as President Obama’s inaugural poet.” RICHARD BLANCO, POET T hey say every poet is writing one poem all their life, meaning figuratively, that every poet’s work is rooted in some kind of central obsession. If this is true, Richard Blanco’s obsession comes down to one word – home. “All that big word calls to mind with respect to my family, community, cultural identity, sexuality and all much more,” Blanco says. “I have been searching for ‘home’ all my life, personally, and through poetry.”Richard Blanco is one of the most beloved and influential poets and story- tellers of today. Traveling the world uniting people to reconnect on the human experience, Blanco encourages us to embrace our differences in one another and find the beauty in diversity. As the poet, memoirist, public speaker and teacher likes to say, he was “made in 52 PULSE ■ August 2017 Cuba, assembled in Spain, and imported to the United States.” As much as Blanco loves writing poetry, it can be terrifying and frustrating and difficult to do so. Those are the challenges, though, that make the thrill of communing his self with the world all worthwhile. As a child Cuban immigrant raised in a working-class family, poetry wasn’t exactly encouraged growing up. “Art, and especially poetry, was not part of our lives,” Blanco remarked. “When the time came to decide on a major in college, I chose civil engineering and tabled my creative impulses for the moment.” And oddly enough, engineering is what paved the road to poetry. “I knew poetry was more than a curiosity or casual interest—it was love, a vocation,” he recalled. Unquestionably the most important moment of his life pertaining to his career was the day he received a phone call from the White House with news that he had been chosen as President Obama’s inaugural poet. “At first, I was bewildered, wondering if it was some cruel joke a friend was playing on me,” he said. “Before any apprehension or pressure set in, I thought of my father, my mother, my grandparents – all their struggles and hard work to make a better life in America for themselves and my brother and me. I began to weep thinking, ‘This is because of them.’” Understanding that his story, along with many others, will always be a part of the American narrative is essentially what Blanco would like for people to take away from his poetry; that America is ever- changing and fluid. “While sitting at the platform waiting for my name to be called to read my poem to the entire nation, for the first time in my life I knew I had a place at the American table.” In his day-to-day routine, writing is undoubtedly Blanco’s favorite part of the day. “I’m ‘addicted’ to poetry because every time I write a poem I learn something new about myself, my life and (CONTINUED ON PAGE 54)