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.
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.