Sunday, April 19, 2015

don't give up

I know as a creator, a writer, I have varied things I want and need to express, that come from different aspects of myself , my life, my experiences. Sometimes I sit down to write with an idea of what I want to say or create, but a voice rises and wants to be heard, and the words, like a current, move in that direction. I find that the creative energy is not entirely interested in what I thought I was going to do or say, and sometimes something needs to be let out, a part of me needs to speak and be heard. That voice from within can be like a most unexpected and sometimes challenging visitor. Sometimes that is uncomfortable or even extremely painful for me. Sometimes I want to slam the door in her face. But when I receive her, it is a birthing, a birthing towards healing and freedom. When I allow what comes forward to come out, especially the painful parts, the wounded parts, I free them. Each time I open and welcome what wants to be spoken I arrive into a little more freedom.

I also notice that the poems that come from my more shadowy side are scary for me to share. I wonder if that says more about me or the culture I am living in. I think we live in a culture where it is taboo to share openly about your struggles, your pains, your grief, and please don't even mention aging, illness or death. We live in a culture that shuns vulnerability and favors numbness over feeling. I sense this intense pressure to put on a smiley face and get with the program. The program is about success, status, achievement, and that can get dressed up in all kinds of ways, but don't let them see you sweat, or hurt, or break down, or for God's sake give up. We are never allowed to give up. I am not saying I am an expert on any of this, and maybe I am off base, but this is what I feel.

So when I write a poem like the one below I take a long pause, to consider if I want to share it, out here in the open. I wonder if it really is better to keep these things behind closed doors, hidden away from the people around me and maybe even hidden from myself. Would that be better? Kinder?

The voice that gave me this poem would have published this without hesitation. My young adult self, so rebellious and defiant. She didn't care very much about what anyone thought of her, but because she was lost and in pain. I want to receive her and hear her now, and give her what she so truly thirsts for and deserves, which is not a truckload of expectations and demands, but love, and permission to rest in the perfection of her beingness.

That is what this poem is about.

don't give up

those words have been driven
deep into the veins of me
saturating every space
filling every gap
i overflow with it

too much of a good thing

when i was standing on a ledge
one foot dangling
those words were my savior
divine messenger
angel wings

they are heavy now
boulders tied to my delicate ankles
a fine line between medicine and poison
somewhere it crossed over

i didn't give up

i got better and nicer
learned the rules
showered off
dressed it up
they say i clean up real good

went and got a heap of hopes and dreams
things to strive for
so much to prove and an ego to feed

fuck is it hungry
never satisfied

i heard about hungry ghost
from a medicine woman
a spiritual infirmity
that's what she called it

i'd say i got it bad

i wonder when they told me
don't give up
if this is what they had in mind

i was a death star then
a starving phantom now
still hoping to get with the cool kids
feeling in my bones
i belong to the outcasts

how to give up on not giving up
without giving up

how to die while living
how to die while living

that is what i seek

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