Poem on Your Pillow Day

This morning I checked the list of celebrations for the day. Often I find inspiration in that list of little known holidays. I knew today was going to be very full and I hoped one of the national days would grab my attention. 

One did, Poem on Your Pillow Day. I didn’t take the time to read through the explanation for that holiday this morning. I just tucked the thought away and let it simmer all day. 

Poem on Your Pillow Day
In a seemingly unrelated train of thought, my birth name kept coming to mind. Although I go by Cindy, my real name is Cynthia. I am named after my great-grandmother. Not for the first time, I wished I had adopted her nickname of Cynthi as my own. I wondered when she began using that name and laughed at the thought of her going by Cindy, as I do. 

Late this evening, I returned to information about Poem on Your Pillow Day. It seemed this was how I was meant to play today. This holiday was established recently, in 2015, and seems connected to Twitter. The specifications for celebrating were simple…leave a poem on someone’s pillow…a child, a friend, a neighbor (that seems creepy!) or a lover. 

Poem on Your Pillow Day
I considered options. And realized the holiday is called Poem on Your Pillow Day. My pillow. Me. I thought about how my own name kept popping into my mind this morning. Cynthia…Cynthia…Cynthi…

It almost seemed like someone was calling my name. 

I decided to go with it. I would leave a poem on my own pillow. The holiday site offered a variety of short poems for use. I selected one and started to copy it on a card I could lay on my pillow. But no. It wasn’t the right poem. 

Poem on Your Pillow Day
Turning to Google I searched for a poem. The one I immediately found was the perfect length for copying onto a notecard and the words resonated with me. Wild Moon Woman…you were not made to be tame…you are an earthquake shaking loose everything that is not soul…shake, woman, shake. 

Suddenly understanding dawned. Cynthia…Cynthia… My name means “Moon”. Wild Moon Woman. Oh! Way before I knew I’d be placing a poem on my own pillow tonight, I was being both invited…and guided. Invited to express love and tenderness toward myself. Guided to a poem that captured a deeper truth. 

In 2014, during my Year of Firsts, I wrote a Love Letter to myself. Now it seems it was time for a poem. In the last three years the oh so crucial relationship that I have fostered with myself has deepened. I have come to know myself in ways I never dreamed possible. I have lovingly filled in some of the gaps within, parenting the frightened child, encouraging my inner artist, becoming a lover of my heart, soul and body, shaking loose everything that is not soul. 

The journey of loving myself, at deeper and more intimate levels, continues. I am taking this relationship as deep as I can. Tonight I left a reminder of that knee shaking, soul stirring, heart opening love on my pillow. 

Poem on Your Pillow Day

Becoming Poem

I selected a new creative activity today, after another break yesterday so I could write a Father’s Day post. When I unfolded the slip of paper I muttered “Oh boy”.  Not an excited “Yay I get to do this one,” oh boy. More of a “Why did I include this activity?” oh boy. 

I drew:

Write a short poem. 


I knew this one would challenge me. Although I have fun writing haiku, it’s been years since I wrote a poem. I added this creative action to push myself, to grow in my creativity. As I stared at the slip of paper, I wondered if I had made a mistake. At least I said a short poem. 

I wrote my early poetry around inspired thoughts. A line or two would come into my mind and I’d let inspiration flow. My last poem, written 16 years, was crafted around the thought, She stepped into eternity, hand in hand with God, immediately after my grandmother passed away. That poem was read at her funeral. 

I knew staring at a blank piece of paper, attempting to force inspiration, would not work for me. So I asked for inspiration to come. I truly did want to fire this arrow, timidly perhaps, but I chose to follow through with this action. In my Morning Pages, I wrote: 

I can always do a haiku or two, if I have to. For longer poems I need a line to inspire me, something to start the creative process. So I’m open to inspiration. I’m open to receive. I’m open…

And I went about my day, refusing to overthink the creative action. In fact, I pushed the activity away completely. But I stayed open…and receptive to inspiration. 

As I walked to my car, mid-afternoon, to run an errand, inspiration suddenly struck. The first two lines of a poem came fully formed into my mind. Before I drove away, I typed the lines out in the Notes section on my iPhone. 

I have learned to jot it down immediately when an idea or inspired thought arrives. While it is still so fresh, inspiration is fleeting. I won’t remember it later, accurately. 

By the time I parked at my destination, inspiration was flowing freely. I captured more of the poem, as it was forming, and completed it when I arrived home. 


I am very pleased with the poem, which reflects my  journey during the last decade, a journey that went inward before it manifested outwardly. And as a gardener, I love the reference to a flower. This little poem captures well who I am becoming. 

What I am most pleased about is that I rose to this creative challenge by opening myself up to receive inspiration. I had a choice between closing, and saying I couldn’t do it…or opening to see what would happen next. This became another arrow of desire that drew me beyond myself and what I thought was possible. 

I created a meme of my poem, using the WordSwag app and a little extra creative effort. In spite of my initial reaction, I’m so glad that I dropped that creative action into my glass pitcher. And I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn more about how inspiration comes to me. I’m remaining open. 

I am becoming. 

Surrender 108: International Haiku Poetry Day

Today is Haiku Day, presenting a wonderful and fun opportunity for expressing creativity. The art known as the haiku is a Japenese poem characterized by three lines of verse containing 17 syllables. 

 
Line one of the haiku employs five syllables, line two uses seven, and line three completes the poem with five syllables. The haiku (pronounced high-koo) is created using sensory language to capture an emotion or image. They are often inspired by nature, a beautiful moment or a poignant experience. Being observant and appreciative of nature and of life is helpful when writing haiku.

I enjoy writing haikus. My children and I used to sit at the dining room table, creating these short poems together. When I discovered that today celebrates the haiku, I was inspired to write a couple, in honor of the occasion. 

  
The river inspired one of my haikus, which is very appropriate since it is my symbol for this year. 

River stills its flow

Reflecting both sky and me

We reveal our depths

  

 

My beautiful garden inspired another haiku. 

Garden awakens

Wind chime sounds gentle alarm

Life stirs in me too

  

These poems came together quickly. In fact, once the creativity began, they popped into my head unbidden. Little purple wildflowers, dark storm clouds, delicate China tea cups, all were fodder for haikus. My first two, shared here, were my favorites. Perhaps someday, I’ll put together a book of haiku and photography. 

For today, I had fun celebrating this ancient art form. Have you haiku’d today?