Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water
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My adventure into poetry continues, and the plot thickens. I learn about the lives of poets from my podcasts and reading. I am highly encouraged by the diversity found in the population. Any and every kind of person has written poetry in the past, and the platform only expands now. There were people who worked in mundane industry who took up writing after retirement and found smashing success. There are prisoners, idealists, and students working diligently to create verse and other written art forms. Many of my fellow writers involved in #ROW80 have years of experience and much more instruction under their belts as poets. This feels like a good place to learn from those who have already mastered and shared words carefully placed and edited, intended to express something beyond what the reader can see. I notice that I might be better instructed by poems that do not suit my fancy than by those I instantly like. I also notice my subject matter is similar every time I work on my poetry. I am like Claude Monet and the water lilies, just can’t stop.
I see merit in making series or building on a theme, but in a couple of weeks of daily poetic practice I seemed to be pleasantly slipping into a rut. My drawings are mostly stylized butterflies, and the poems related dream images and psyche flying around the world bringing messages to daytime consciousness. I did say I was not entering this practice to be self critical, but I did need to nudge myself to move beyond the butterflies and tell some kind of poetic story. All the poems I hear and read show contrast and variety, while mine are running flat in a straight line, going nowhere. I aspire to be like Monty Python and Dorothy Parker, yet my current offerings look like rorschach tests with brief captions in explanation of my personality. I do hope we can improve on that.
I made an attempt to write a witty little ditty about the execution of my famous poet ancestor as a story. This truly haunted my dreams and daily life for a couple of days after I learned about the incident in history. We know details of his life and death because he was an aristocrat. We even have several portraits of him. Reading his work and imagining his last 6 days in the Tower of London in January freaked me out to the bone. I skipped a day of poetry writing because I could not come up with any angle from which to create this story. I know I dreamed about him, and developed sympathy for his plight, but nothing carried over into my writing. I found that my boundaries restrict my creative muse. My desire to capture emotions was not as great as my will to make a statement and be done. I finally wrote a short poem with him in mind, but it was not the big leap I wanted to take. I have decided to keep Henry Howard with me as my ancestral muse. I will confer with him before and after I write. I think that by reading more of his work and keeping his memory alive in my dreams I have a chance of expanding beyond my comfort zone as it is now.
I am grateful to all the writers in the #ROW80 challenge for showing me that all of us have similar issues, both helpful and obstructive to our process. The support and sharing within the group is a great incentive to keep the faith. Thanks to all who check in on Sundays and Wednesdays on this adventure of ours. I appreciate knowing we are in this as a team. I have high hopes for all of us.
People walk through the doors of your expectations. This has been my belief for most of my life, and has proven to be a valid one. I have high standards, but notice how I am much more likely to apply them to others than to myself. I do set goals and make commitments, but not usually in a public way. This is why the #ROW80 challenge is perfect for me. I have set myself an expectation of working more creatively and do a daily bit to achieve that goal. I want to practice being more poetic in all aspects of life, so the drawing, photography and poetry are intended to build on themselves . I expect to become more observant in all aspects of my habitual life. There are already a few good results:
The addition of the art has made this exercise natural and easy for me. I have written poetry before, and even looked for art to use as inspiration. Making the art myself is a new and interesting way to tie my attention to a written project. Usually I write the prose, then add the visuals. Starting with color and form is a good way for me to see action and hue within the emotional tone I want to set. I have not attempted to draw anything realistic. My best work is not representational, but based on geometry and color. I am not afraid to try, and am considering going to the botanical garden and trying to do a depiction of the cactus section. Words to go with the cactus poem have been rattling around in my brain as a think about the idea. Although I do publish my work, the purpose of this venture outside my normal writing style is completely personal. I am not seeking adulation or followers. I am curious to see if my writing practice can expand and include more comedy, enlightenment, and beauty. So far, so good!! Now, for the poetry of others:
In general the poetic life is off to a fine start here. I have also started a food preparation calendar, which I think of as an extension of poetic thinking. I want my home life, my cuisine, and my fitness regime to reflect creativity and artful planning. The food preparation trip is actually a very good foundation because it concentrates kitchen time and frees me to wander off into the world of visual art and poetry. I have had some funny thoughts about food and drink poems I want to write. I think a cocktail series could be pretty funny. Asking “What would Dorothy Parker say?” is a fabulous prompt I am using. In my heart of hearts I want the ROW80 to turn me into a glib, sophisticated observer of the details of living. I don’t think that is too much to expect in 80 days.
I just read in a fellow blogger’s post about the ROW80 challenge. I have just started a practice to improve my writing by creating poetry and art. I had not planed to commit to a daily routine, but I am finding that starting the creative day by drawing, editing photos, and making visual art I am more likely to be observant for the day. Observant includes in this case a full attention to detail as I go through my life, and easy flawless observance of boundaries I have set. Since the group is making personal goals a shared conversation, observant will also mean that I pay attention to my fellow writers and the way they express themselves. This idea arrived at a most propitious time, since 80 days of tracking my goal of a more poetic life will give me a good jump start to a full time practice. I look forward to learning how other people contribute to this exercise.
Observe and Grow are the key words for my goal. I hope to grow my vocabulary, my skills, and my creativity by publishing art and poetry. By observing the world, as well as my dreams, I will find richer, more vibrant subjects. I tend to be a scribe, writing just the facts, and supporting the facts with some photo documentation. I still enjoy that, but feel I could do some story telling, humor, and abstract sound pieces if I develop my poetic sense. I want to see where poetry leads me. I am not seeking approval for the work as much as I am wondering what will happen when I apply myself.
For the next 80 days I will observe what happens when I write a poem each day. This is an adventure I will share. It will include:
It is my desire to explore a different way of using the written word. I think it will open new doors for my self expression. I also believe my daily life will be enriched by looking for poetic subject matter. I publish my art and poetry on my Tumblr blog, The Flow.