Tag Archives: meditation

Poetry Out Loud : Testimonial

Poetry inspired me today. I was reading about an event called “Art Squared,” set to take place in Fountain Square on Saturday, September 17, 2011. As part of this event, a person can take the opportunity to participate in the popular Masterpiece in a Day, a one-day (of course) art, music and writing competition.

Make art. Be art. Buy art.

But writing? In the past, I had overlooked this element of the competition, and was interested in learning more. Plus, participation is FREE. Most of the time, artists pay for even the chance at getting work out to a larger audience. This was great.
Masterpiece in a Day Participants
The rules for writing require the participant to choose from three elements in three categories, and incorporate those elements into his or her story or prose. One of the key elements is a series of pre-selected poetry. So, to avoid doing any real work this morning, I read every single poem. One of them brought tears. This is it:

Testimonial By Rita Dove


Back when the earth was new

and heaven just a whisper,
back when the names of things
hadn’t had time to stick;
back when the smallest breezes
melted summer into autumn,
when all the poplars quivered
sweetly in rank and file . . .
the world called, and I answered.
Each glance ignited to a gaze.
I caught my breath and called that life,
swooned between spoonfuls of lemon sorbet.
I was pirouette and flourish,
I was filigree and flame.
How could I count my blessings
when I didn’t know their names?
Back when everything was still to come,
luck leaked out everywhere.
I gave my promise to the world,
and the world followed me here.

Rita Dove, “Testimonial” from On the Bus With Rosa Parks. Copyright © 1999 by Rita Dove. Reprinted by permission of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc..Source: Poetry (January 1998).

Here is the website where I found the work: Poetry Out Loud : Testimonial. You can read a lot more.
Taking the time to read poetry is akin to meditation. You cannot go fast. You cannot push for the finish line. You cannot…compete with others. There you sit, you and your thoughts, savoring words in moments of quiet like the most delicious meal you have ever tasted. Opening up to the feelings the words evoke, you understand now the quiet power wrought by the gentle manipulation of letters, the ordering of simple vowels and consonants written in language common to us all. Marveling at what only a rare few are able to ignite into emotion.
My luck leaked out everywhere today, over filigree and flame, because of Janet Dove.
Interested in registering for the Fountain Square Art Fair “Masterpiece in a Day” competition? Go here.

Cultivating Creativity vs. Wallowing in Reactivity

Like many Americans, I have spent the last few days gorging on delicious food, spending time with friends and family, and generally being grateful for what I have. And trying like heck to NOT focus on what I don’t. Hoping and trusting you were able to do the same thing.

Necklace by Nancy Lee, photo by Paul d'Andrea
Necklace by Nancy Lee, photo by Paul d’Andrea

Paired with that thankfulness has been the loss of my business computer AND backup hard drive, and dealing with the doldrums during the aftermath. Without going into the gory details, let’s just say I type this from ground zero. There exists a certain nervous energy surrounding starting over, technology wise. On the one hand, it’s great having a new computer. While I’m all gaga about getting it whipped into shape so it can take care of me and my bidness, I don’t want to backslide into “reaction mode” regarding the loss of my entire virtual world of technology and the slog of recreating it from scratch.
So, Monday marks a new, important week of moving forward into creativity, even if it’s in tiny steps! Interestingly, my inspiration is not wrapped in a shiny new package of magic tricks. Right now I need comfort and familiarity. My focus is on a tender mashup of five little tools in the creativity kit already at my disposal.*
1.       Meditate – even though it’s not done in a true Zen way (I mean, who can sit like that?) I do plan on sitting for at least 15 minutes and visualizing nothingness. Doing nothing clears a path.
2.       Write – since this summer, I’ve kept a dream journal. I write in it a lot, and often take extra time to look up my dream symbols in The Dreamer’s Dictionary: Translations in the Universal Language of Mind by Barbara Condron. It’s been deeply helpful and brings me a kind of secret powerful joy that I’m getting to know the workings of my dream-brain better (say that three times fast).
For example, last night I dreamt of dozens of cooing babies floating before me as I swaddled them in soft translucent netting cloth, wove the cloth with satin ribbons, tied the ribbons into bows, and then folded the cloth down and around the babies like the petals on a flower. Happy-happy joy-joy. In the dream book, babies are new ideas. Coolness.
3.       Listen to music that makes me feel like dancin’ just for the fun of it.
4.       No TV. Sitting there staring at that cube really sucks creative motivation out, like totally!
5.       Be grateful – each night, 5 things I’m grateful for will be listed in my gratitude journal. This gets me thinking of gratitudes during a regular day, and noticing with joy the things I’ll be able to write down later. WOOT! SCORE ONE FOR GRATITUDE!
I’m so looking forward to getting back to the bench. And SO looking forward to hearing your ideas on moving forward after being stuck. Please share!
P.S. Just for fun, there is an example of “past creativity” posted on the page!

*Many of these ideas are adapted from the teachings of Christine Kane. Read a great blog post of hers entitled “21 Ways to Be More Creative”


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