A writer whose encouragement drives others to achieve their own personal power, through poetry.
Honestly, it may have been better if I left this page entirely blank. The personal acceptance that some pieces of work gives to you is almost indescribable in feeling. But I absolutely must tell you. I would want everyone to achieve the level of peace I endured while reading the works of Summer Javadi and getting the opportunity to have the most befitting conversation with the Kansas City writer. Her work and her life continue to demonstrate the amazing ways we can connect with one another. This begins with listening and the sharing of ourselves.
Javadi’s impressive tagline is filled with many titles. Mother, wife, daughter, poet, advocate, student, educator, and the list go on. Through these things she finds and reflects her authentic self, so much that it relinquishes that same power to each of us. Realizing that this is no easy feat for it takes turning a critical eye to oneself. More importantly, what our responses should be when what we witness, disturbs our personal image. I cannot say what that looks like for everyone, but I know a strong intention is set in two things: understanding and openness. Javadi’s efforts as a mental health advocate truly explores this exchange with the universe and our minds.
Before moving to Kansas City, Missouri, at 18, she and her brother experienced high school as the only minority students in the small city of Rich Hill, MO,. If anyone could relate to a young Summer, being forced to front of the classroom full of students to “choose” which race she had to be known as, would be her brother. I imagined it to be all angst and befuddlement spurring in those seconds at the chalkboard. She could not be both Black and White in the eyes of her teacher or her peers Her relationship with her family gave her purpose, to stand firm in who she is and the permission to shape who she was going to be. Knowing this, one could understand what pivotal emotions erupted from losing the one person considered to be an important piece to your self-identity.
Her intentions and path began to become clearer for Javadi once she stepped foot on the Historic 18th and Vine district in Kansas City, Missouri. There were many emphases on the Jazz museum and how it expanded her knowledge of the Civil Rights movement from Black Midwestern perspective. Being so enamored by the stories of change and a yearning to reclaim that time period, Javadi contributed in her own way by leading poetry tours of the historic sites with a group of minority youth. During this time of growth, she also partnered with many different programs, strengthening the conversation on mental health at other places in the district, like jazzy-upscale nightlife attractions known as, The Juke House and The Blue Room.
Javadi’s 1st published collection of poems, Zen Tao Ghi: DNA Untangled includes award-winning pieces such as, “If Guns Were Made of Crayons”, “The Nuclear Family Blew Up!” and one most inspiring, “Amongst the Wildflowers”. Javadi admits that her creative process usually includes an emotional response to something. “There’s a satisfaction that helps mental health come to a wholeness”, she stated thoughtfully. After reading the collection, I can confirm that feeling of wholeness for myself. We hadn’t by far lived the same life but yet somehow, her words evoked feelings of seeing myself from a new angle. Holding a fine mirror to those imperfections I thought that I had finally tucked away far enough. But I was seen. Line-after-line, reading myself down to a bareness that I needed, to start my own acceptance and my own healing.
With a reflection of her name, the book has a bright pink hue for the cover, like a summer warmth nestled in your hands. To my surprise and awakening, the pages felt full of Fall days of the eager traveler’s heart. We find this especially baring in poem, “Blurred Angel There”. My mind attempts to hold onto those images, those pure visual moments on the eyes, of seeing something in person and up close.
Times are calling for a unique stillness and I feel like a literal flower in the wild, taken home to wilt. Creatives like Javadi are setting us up to acknowledge our changing world and the emotions that move with it. Her advocacy through poetry teaches us how to speak to ourselves in a familiar kindness, so that we may outlive what chaos comes our way.