There were so many enticing word-related opportunities lately, I overloaded myself and had to pull back. Here is the result of one that I enjoyed through a local group called The Village Writers School. The writing exercise briefly pulled me out of poetry into short-story writing. It was a 15-minute challenge based on a choice of prompts. The prompt I chose was “First Impressions.” Here is how it went:
What are the ABC’s, the rudiments, of your life? I reviewed my own when one of our basic bill’s came in much higher than last month, with no explanation or prior announcement of the increase. Unexpected price jumps like this come as a jolt.
This mode continues for me as I create designs according to inner guidance. Actually, inspiration can come from anywhere, but promptings to act must be validated by intuition or strong resonance. Literal affirmations are leading contenders for fulfillment, but anything inspiring, beautiful, fun, or whimsical can be considered.
My life is shifting. Early this summer I decided to resume doing artwork and calligraphy. Since then, ideas have flowed faster than my ability to keep up. That’s exciting and a lot of fun. My intent is to combine words and graphics into affirmations as often as possible. I have an affinity for artistic doodling, as featured in the gold-and-silver greeting cards pictured below: Continue reading
Phoenix designs are my latest affirmation-oriented passion. The first series of designs consists of these four eggs, each with an affirmation printed on the back side. The affirmations derive from my daily writing. Most mornings, I start the day by searching inwardly for an affirmation that fits my my orientation… then I find a picture that corresponds. I post these to my journal.
Saturday’s art exhibition was held in a lovely setting at Promenade Mall. The food court pavilion had a large alcove with tall windows and a central stone fireplace. The artwork set up there was beautiful—and beautifully arranged. Easy chairs and small tables were positioned nearby, which allowed me to continue creating designs all day. In fact, a newspaper reporter photographed me doing just that. During the afternoon, I almost completed the first stage of art-doodling an emu egg:
What bear hibernates till mid-July?! This one. ( …meaning me.) That long winter withdrawal of mine was actually a time of gaining spiritual “bear-ings” and incubating new dreams. It was a time of reviving and revising old dreams. A core one is to again have a formal studio, a creation place,
“How do poems come to be?”
I was invited to answer that question recently. After a decade of writing poems, I could honestly answer, “Any which-way.” Today’s “Trading Partners” is a good example. It derived from the crow tracks pictured above. Other influences can be tracked as well…
As a poet, why have I avoided traditional forms so long? …Arrogance, laziness, freedom, efficiency—or what? My response is: All of the above, plus a good dose of fear. To me, it seemed a violation of an emergent poem’s integrity to stuff it in a straitjacket of just so many lines, beats per line, rhyme patterns, or even a prescribed mood or theme. “Let the poem make its own choices,” I protested, considering myself more midwife than mother. Besides, following all those writing rules is hard work.
After a decade of writing near-daily poems, I’m surprised at how often I’m surprised doing it. When I don’t come to the task ready with a topic, I often simply position the pencil over the paper, clear my mind, and wait for some kind of flow (words, images, or emotions). If I resist writing whatever first appears, that resistance sets up a blockage. So no matter what comes, I welcome it, even if no poem results. In every case, though, a wonderful gift arrives—an absurdity, a memory, an exploration of pain, or something else altogether.
Writing this way is akin to dreaming. It taps into normally hidden or disowned realms of consciousness. Once retrieval is made, analysis can begin. Today’s poem-writing process illustrates that adventure.