Poetry: The different minds of a writer

Following last week’s post, I decided to share a little more about my past writing – thanks to Savvy Sister and Single Malt Monkey for suggesting it.

This is the first thing I wrote that seemed to make sense. At least, my dad took it seriously. He whipped out his guitar and played a little tune to it – and then, it became a song. It is my earliest memory of him approving something I did. Looking at the poem now, it was so simple – perhaps too simple. I miss the simplicity that life had in those days.

“Jesus was my rock yesterday,

Jesus is my rock today,

Jesus will be my rock tomorrow,

He is my rock forever.”

The task mistress, age 7.

Sometimes, I am able to stand in someone else’s shoes like I did with this poem written four years ago. It’s the last poem I wrote. I think it lacks that emotional element and is rather mechanistic, perhaps because it didn’t come from “over my shoulder”. I basically sat down and said to myself, “I’m going to write a poem, damn it!”. I’ll let you judge for yourself but I think solitude had already left me at this point.

“I wish you could see me now,

The wonderful person I turned out

To be;

Even though, I don’t live the life

That you had planned for me;

And you never said how proud

You were of me,

I still dream that one day,

We will stand,

Face to face;

On an even playing ground,

And I could say the things that

I always wanted you to know;

The words that failed me;

When you left in the snow.”

The task mistress, age 29.

And there were those times when I was so overwhelmed – to the point of compulsion that I had to put myself in a room and write. Those poems hardly needed a rewrite as they were what they were – raw, honest, and with a tinge of prophecy…

“The complexity of the mind has continued to fascinate the humble and small.
A wave of emotion brings to an end pain of old, no matter how tall.
Great and mighty one, keep this wind from swallowing me up.
I want to think with my head but now I can’t stop.
They say the storm has calmed but I am frightened to come out and play.
My heart grows daily. It has increased even in my shell.
The peace is enormous, who can I tell?
These are the things that are bigger than me.

The rooms get smaller when it’s just she and he.
Have the doves told my secrets too soon?
May life bring to us what we hunger and need.
Each sows and gathers a multitude of seed.
So the sun will be bright and the harvest will come.
The fruits are plentiful and my heart finds a home.
These are the things that are bigger than me.

I’ll tell you a tale of her instant redemption.
The mountain was high but she ventured to try.
Her feet had almost slipped, her faith had nearly stumbled.
Then, white were the garments He wore –
Luminous, blinding her thoughts.
Up on the peak was His face.
The harvest had indeed brought with it grace.
Many will gather to see this day go by.
All that is in my heart He knows. Why?
Some struggle to escape this fate.
Some succeed but others do not.

I’ll tell you a tale of her instant redemption.
The story that is told from here for her generation.
Of a man without a face and a mountain that touched the sky,
Of the time she swore she’d never cry and,
On her knees prayed that she could fly,
Of a love grown so deep and a river with no real source;
Of the music she heard from across the room and,
The way she would hum the tune for seasons to come.
These are the things that are bigger than me.

For the very reasons we build walls instead of bridges,
From the harvest fields to the mountain tops,
Grace and peace this tree will yield.
For these were the things that were bigger than me but my heart did grow and find a home,
Now she waits for rain and what dreams may come…”

‘Bigger than me’ (Unedited version); The task mistress; age 19

I write because I have to

I fell in love with solitude twice.

Photo Credit: Girl Mogul

The first time must have been before the age of 10 – I don’t remember exactly but I know that by my teenage years, I relished being alone. It was an odd thing for a natural extrovert like me. I found myself looking for those moments where I could hear my own thoughts.

By the time I was 14, the thoughts had turned to words, words that needed to be put on a page.

Then I started writing poetry. That was it – I was head over heels with writing – and the solitude it required. The compulsion to write was at times overwhelming. Sometimes, I ignored it, deeming it a “weakness”, a flaw that made me appear soft and sensitive. This and many other things meant I stopped writing poetry. But I never really stopped writing. It manifested in letters to friends, emails and even little ‘sorry-I-missed-you-while-you-were-out’ notes. My friends thought I had a way with words.

Life is the busiest it’s ever been and solitude is rare and precious.

Photo Credit: Gotham Girl Chronicles

I have found that I can’t hear my thoughts as often as I’d like. I can’t express words as clearly as I used to. Solitude eludes me. But I still write. This time, solitude is a former lover that I never really stopped loving – one that only needs to meet my eye and I’ll come running back. So perhaps, I fell in love with solitude once. Maybe one day, he’ll come back to me, the noise will quiet down and I will hear the words coming from over my shoulder.

Inspiration: Home office decor

I’ve been browsing for decor ideas for my new home office. Kay’s blog has been an inspiration in art and design so I thought I’d share some of the decor ideas I found on DigsDigs. My study is medium-sized, not as big as these 2 below – but I’ll see what I can get away with. Enjoy!

I like this one below because it maximises a small space. What do you think?

Now this is lovely …but ambitious. It’ll be impossible to keep it this shiny and white!

New friendships: to be the person I have become

Most of the people I know are closest to friends they have known for years – usually from as young as age 5 to early 20s. At my age (and what age is that?), I’ve started to meet many folks who are simply not “interviewing” for new friends. That’s fair enough.

But I have discovered that making new friends, regardless of my age, can help me be the person I want to be and establish the person I have become. I’ll explain:

You might agree that sometimes, people change. They change because of their experiences or they make a personal discovery that motivates them to change. But their friends don’t acknowledge it or respect it. Changing becomes difficult or they change but nobody reinforces it or allows them “display” this change. Even to them, the change is doubtful. “Have I really changed if my friends keep treating me like I haven’t?” It’s easy to continue being that good ol’ pal who is all those things that you don’t want to be anymore.

I recently moved house, about 25 miles away from where I used to live. The little village is lovely and the people are friendly. I have found myself meeting people who I could make a new impression on because there is no prior evidence or past knowledge of me in their minds. It is an opportunity to be the person I have become at 32. I have started to feel excited about this opportunity. With my knowledge of the past and my hopes for the future, I have opened up and let people in. Yes, I have begun “interviewing”. Some of my concerns that I haven’t learned from the past or that I’m not the person I want to be has evaporated. I anticipate that this will be even more established in 2012.

Indeed, some long-time friendships may be holding us back, making us believe that we are still that “little person” who will never change. But think about it. What if you have become stronger, faster, better? What if you HAVE changed? Make a new friend today and find out for yourself.

Thanks for reading.

We laugh at the oddest things

For some strange reason, things that used to be regarded as rude and annoying are now funny and entertaining. I want to address 5 of those things that seem to have the majority of the population laughing like they’ve inhaled laughing gas. But, I’m not amused.

Badly behaved children. I cannot count the number of times I see a child behaving badly e.g. being rude to an adult and the nearest “grown-ups” stand by laughing. Why is this funny? I see this most often on sitcoms where a nine-year old tells her dad that he’s stupid (!). Please don’t laugh – shake your head in disapproval!

People falling down. Someone is walking down the street and suddenly slips and falls. If your first instinct is to laugh, then you’re not going to be fond of me. I understand your laughter to mean that YOU tripped them? Or have I misunderstood your hysterical giggles? What happened to showing empathy and helping them up? Or are that generation of people long dead?

Being rude or sarcastic. A whole industry seems to be built on people being extreme rude and insulting to others e.g. Hell’s Kitchen. Numerous “entertainers” make fun of others just for laughs. It has become lucrative to bring people down purely for entertainment! When did this become ok? And WHY is everybody laughing??

Swearing like it is a natural part of your sentence. People do this in regular conversation now. It used to be when you’re angry or frustrated you did the unthinkable and swore. Nowadays, it is a must-have adjective. Why? I’m having a nice cup of tea with friends, talking about the weather and boom! Someone decides to describe the onset of snow or rain with colourful language. The sad thing is some people think swearing reflects a don’t-mess-with-me attitude that can be attractive. I just see folks like that as trying too hard to be cool. Sorry.

Being drunk beyond recognition. It is really annoying when people drink till they lose control. What’s even more annoying is the glee with which they discuss their escapades, in public – no sign of remorse – just shear achievement. Somehow, it is fine to be irresponsible as long as your excuse is that you were drunk. I don’t get it. Are there large populations of people just looking for an excuse to misbehave? Tell me it isn’t so.

Am I the only one who finds this stuff obnoxious and very un-funny? What socially accepted norms do you hate?

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