I once learned from Elizabeth Gilbert’s podcast Magic Lessons a trick to get writing done. Set a specific amount of time to write, say an hour, and tell yourself that for that set amount of time you will only write. For all you writers out there this has been one of the best writing tips that I’ve ever received. I cannot tell you how many days I can go without writing.
So today I set a timer for 1 hour, and after a few minutes I still hadn’t written anything on the page because I was thinking about what to write about. Then I wrote this:
I don’t know what to write.
I want to write a poem.
I don’t know where to start.
I want to write about…
but at the same time I don’t want to right about it.
And then I wrote this:
My deepest secret right now
And magic happened. I wrote an incomplete draft of a poem with lines that I absolutely hate and with lines that I love. I was so into the writing process that I was startled when the timer went off.
You know me
Now and then, I’m a mess
Please don’t hold that against me
I’m a girl with a temper and heat
I know I can be crazy
I’ve been reflecting a lot like I always do. Veronica Krestow says that we are like diamonds and that we all have different facets. Some of these facets are more difficult to accept than others, so naturally we tend to hide some of them. For a long time I have known that the facet I am most uncomfortable with is the part of myself that say’s I’m beautiful and I’m worthy just as I am right now. I was taught to be humble and modest, so allowing myself to express confidence in myself comes unnaturally. I’m also a pretty shy introvert, so I don’t like to be in the spotlight. But there are days when I see the powerful effects of acknowledging and accepting my greatness. When I feel comfortable in my skin, it’s easier to smile to others, and others easily smile back at me. I’m also able to focus less on my self and focus more on the service I’m providing. When I’m in the middle of being of service, I notice that people open up and ask more questions, and surprisingly I find that I have most of the answers. There are other facets I’m still struggling with. Some which I find too personal to post online at the moment. But I no longer want to belittle this facet of myself, this part of myself that wants to radiate confidence, self-acceptance, and self-love. When I have my next existential crisis, I think it will be important for me to remember that maybe all I’m here to do in this life is as simple as loving and honoring my life as it is. Maybe this is enough to cause positive vibe ripples in this world’ ocean of people.
I think that the reason for why I like poetry so much is because I can find a short and to the point phrase or paragraph that speaks of both beauty and wisdom. When I find beautiful and wise lines back to back I know I have found a new favorite poem. Sarah Kay writes in No Matter the Wreckage, “Some of us are born chasing poetry” (128). This is me. This is probably you too. In this same poetry collection she reveals to her readers that poetry can’t save us. I think we know this, yet we are not done chasing poetry. We never will be. Kay writes, “There is hurt that cannot be fixed by Band-Aids or poetry” (97). I like how she describes hurt. It’s the type of hurt that doesn’t form tangible scars because it’s invisible. And no matter how universal poems can be, it’s true, they’re not enough to erase my own personal hurt.
image: “doodles” by brian ochalla – http://www.flickr.com/photos/bochalla/5111059737
I can’t believe it took me so long to pick up a book by Sarah Kay. The first time I heard her spoken word I fell in love with her poetic style. It’s been a successful lazy Sunday. Her book No Matter the Wreckage has made it to my list of favorite poetry books. Don’t be surprised if you find me rereading this book again and again. She writes, “Somewhere in between then and / now I learned that every move you make echoes outwards from your body like ripples on the ocean from a skipping stone” (Kay 42). This is beauty.