Marge Piercy is a favorite poet of mine. Here is a poem that spoke to me today. I turn to it every time I’m feeling a little defeated. It is best heard, rather than read.
I was actually searching YouTube for something completely different and I stumbled across this Ted talk about artistic flow. It resonated with me, so this is going to be a permanent addition to my Ted Talk collection .
I hope most of you know what this day is about, but if you do not, here it is:
Are we almost there? Not even close.
Another daily practice I have commenced during this time to keep me grounded is to, among other things, read a poem a day. This morning I randomly selected Mary Oliver reading her well-known poem Wild Geese. It made me tear up. I empathized with everyone in this world to whom this poem resonates.
Inside of me is a vast, tempestuous sea where all my idea toss and churn. Occasionally, those ideas wash ashore on islands where I comb for creative inspiration. Those “islands” for me in the physical world are journals. I am one of these creative-types that has a bookshelf full of notebooks, journals, and sketchbooks, all of them islands of ideas and I turn to for inspiration.
I came across this video this morning about creating a commonplace book.
I so agree with the speaker in this video below:
Today’s Ragtag Prompt
Why do I write poetry when I’m not very good at it? Primarily, I create poems as a prose-writing exercise. By writing poetry I practice being precise in my word choices in order to create vivid images in as few words as possible– striking and colorful nouns, lively and intense verbs, fewer adjectives and adverbs. I create poems to improve the lyrical flow of my prose-writing.
So that’s one reason.
I discovered a second reason I write poetry: it is therapeutic. I certainly do not set out to write poems about my inner well-being (or lack thereof on certain days). While engaging in the April NaPoWriMo Challenge (writing a poem a day for 30 days), I found that some of the poems I wrote “took over” and out came some of my issues. So obvious this was to me that I am now researching the use of poetry for emotional healing and resolution. Poetry writing could become a daily meditative practice and inner work. I’ll see where that leads me.
Here are a couple of media resources I came across that you may find of interest:
A podcast episode of Poetry Spoken Here devoted to Poetry Therapy
And these Tedx Talks on the same subject:
It has been a long April so I am off to rest now.
I’m not certain if I will have time today to write a NaPoWriMo poem. I will try to do something this evening if I can, but in the meantime I give you this:
Do you think you’re weird? Are you living the life that you think others would approve of and are sick of living with that? Then embrace your weirdness.
And even if you don’t think you’re weird, do your weird friends a favor and watch this video.
In this coming new year, one of my goals had been to do some sort of sketching each day. I have been hesitating in making a commitment to this goal because of the self-doubt that comes whenever I try to create in a medium in which I am not particularly adept. I know that this lack of confidence would become too burdensome and I would quickly drop the practice.
Then it occurred to me to try “zentangle” drawing because of an article I recently stumbled upon in Psychology Today on the psychological benefits of this type of doodling. Some might say that such drawings are not really “art,” but the final product is not the point of the activity. The point in creating these pen and paper doodles is to relax and de-stress. This is really the whole reason of my making this an evening after-work exercise. It has been a stressful 2018 and I don’t foresee 2019 being any different. So today, I have been exploring the basic techniques. Below is a video on what I want to someday achieve and after that is a basic tutorial I watched this morning.
Zentangle Time Lapse (about 2 minutes):
And a tutorial in case you are interested too (about 30 minutes):
I came across this TedX video about the benefits of a daily writing practice. Since life recently threw me a curve ball, I have fallen out the of that practice. This video has motivated me to pick it up again and make it a part of my daily spiritual routine– just like prayer, meditation and yoga. If you are a writer — or even if you are not– I encourage you to take a few minutes and listen to this writer’s entire presentation. She really provides some practical advice for developing a daily writing routine.