Sharing his life’s journey
GREENFIELD — Vincent J. Interlande was living what he thought was a “normal” life more than a decade ago, when the bottom fell out and life’s pressures took their toll.
Interlande said his 30-year marriage ended around 2000, the father he’d had a somewhat disconnected relationship with for many years died in 2003 and he found himself facing his demons — alone.
“The divorce was friendly, but devastating,” said Interlande. “My father and I had just reconnected in a meaningful way and then he died. We didn’t have the time together that I’d hoped for.”
The self-taught entrepreneur and contractor-carpenter, who opened Second Hand Rose on Avenue A in Turners Falls in 1998 and closed it in 2003, said he started writing poetry and thoughts about some of the feelings he was having at a time of so many losses.
In his new book, “Emotional Transition: A Journey Of The Human Spirit,” Interlande writes about the demons he faced and how he overcame them.
He said his hope, and challenge to those who read it, is for people to take a “good look at themselves in the mirror, find out who they really are and what they really want and then figure out where to go in life from there.
“Just like I did,” said Interlande. “No one is going to take the same journey or have the same problems as I have had, but there are ways we can all work through our own issues and come out the other side in a better place.”
“I’m not Dr. Phil or some leading psychologist, but I’ve used my experiences to help others understand that there’s always going to be darkness in each life, but so, too, will there be light,” he said.
Interlande, who is planning a book signing on Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Whitney Hill Antiques, Consignments and Collectibles at 102 Main St. in Greenfield, has a bachelor’s degree in physical education from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.
The 64-year-old, who was born and raised in Greenfield and raised his daughter Gena and son Ryan in Turners Falls with his now former wife Maureen, said he spent a few years living with and taking care of his mother until she died earlier this year.
“It’s been a tough dozen years or so,” he said. “I felt I had to share some of my thoughts with others.”
Interlande did just that in his 351-page book.
He writes metaphorically about a wolf and a bull elk’s battle and about finding peace. He writes about his complicated relationship with his father, his divorce, and the joy and heartache of raising two children. He writes from birth through today and talks about how every step he and everyone else takes leads to a new horizon.
Interlande writes, “My father passed away at 77. At first reflection, I felt that I had cheated us from having a much longer, fuller life together by not coming forward and stepping beyond our differences sooner.”
He said a second reflection offered him a less punishing attitude about himself and his relationship with his father.
“We sometimes forget to take that second reflection,” he said. “I just wanted to remind people of that.”
Interlande said one of the first things he wrote about after his divorce was “shadows in the night.”
“All of a sudden ‘things’ started coming out of me, and at me, and it almost always happened when I was alone at night,” said Interlande. “I felt like I was being haunted, but I was doing it to myself.”
Interlande said he started writing everything down in a notebook; his feelings, thoughts, observations, everything.
He said he had self-image, self-esteem and self-confidence problems.
“Those are difficult things to overcome,” said the former teacher.
“I just got to a point where I thought, ‘enough is enough,’ and I knew I had to move on,” he said. “I don’t want people to let life pass them by like I was doing.”
Interlande said that, for him, writing was a way to come to some realizations about his life and relationships.
“People should at least try to write about their feelings and experiences,” said Interlande. “Sometimes I write and then put it away for a couple of weeks. When I return to it, I might have a completely different perspective.”
He said writing can be very cathartic, and he feels like he’s gotten better at it as the years have passed.
Interlande said “Emotional Transition” is a product of his personal quest to understand himself and others. A collection of poetry, prose and story, Interlande said he hopes people will read it and become more self-aware, as well as simply enjoy it.
“Each step taken along our paths is filled with meaning, purpose and a little mystery and adventure,” said Interlande. “We need to find a way to conquer our demons, rather than become their puppets.”
In his poem, “Finding Peace,” Interlande writes, “I often come to this place, when I need to find peace.”
He continues by talking about a hidden place in the woods, where nature is excited and he can look down at the city.
“This is the place I come, to ease my state of mind. Here is my place to hide, when escaping the clicks of time.”
“Everyone needs to feel some peace,” said Interlande.
He said he thinks people will enjoy “Emotional Transition” just because so many people in Franklin County know him.
Interlande, who self-published the book, said it can be found at Barnes and Noble and on Amazon.com. It can also be purchased for Ereaders, and Interlande said he’ll be talking with local bookstores to see if they will carry copies.