Recently, my brother Ian was encouraging me to write poetry. He always reminds me that he loved the poetry I wrote when I was younger and urges me to continue doing it. However, sometimes there’s just nothing there, you know? It’s not that I don’t have things to write about because I am always filled with feelings, awarenesses and reflections, but sometimes those synapses are just not firing when I look at the paper.
So I told him on that day, “Ok, how about this? You text me a word or a sentence to stimulate my brain and I’ll bounce off of it by creating a poem.”
Now here I am, sharing what we came up with!
Ian sent me a quote written by a man named Hayden White, from “The Historical Text as Literary Artifact”, as follows:
“It is frequently forgotten or, when remembered, denied that no given set of events attested by the historical record comprises a story manifestly finished and complete. This is as true as the events that comprise the life of an individual as it is of an institution, a nation, or a whole people. We do not live stories, even if we give our lives meaning by retrospectively casting them in the form of stories.”
To which I concocted the following poem, that has no name, so I just call it Poem #1:
I want to live
In the reality.
I desperately want it.
I long for it I pray for it
How silly I am!
Longing for something that I already am, longing for a place where I already am.
The story that is the reality where I live….exhausts me….
What a strange existence.
If I have to live and die like this, I’m not sure if I can forgive myself.
But to think like that, fuels my story even more….
Can I surrender my precious pitiful empty story?
Can I be brave enough to face the vast loneliness that unveils when that story is peeled away?
A great teacher once said, “if you can watch your loneliness, you can be enlightened.”
Perhaps it is true of all of history, of the entire human race – we are all just bunnies running away from the tiger of loneliness, not realizing that it’s just a paper tiger, after all.
It felt good to write that poem! I just put the pen down, not knowing where it would lead, and a bunch of different things that were processing inside of me organized themselves and came out 🙂
Ian’s response was: Loneliness!
Interestingly, just a week ago I was invited by Linda Yoonjin of Change TV to do a podcast with her, chatting on the topic of ‘loneliness.’ I will be posting that podcast here as soon as it comes out for the public. So, more on the topic of loneliness to come….
Thank you Ian for knocking on the dusty door of my inner poet once again and inspiring her into action!