Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Go write a poem

Modern existence sometimes feels out of control. Economic pressures, personal differences, traffic, demanding schedules, and the uncertainties and dissatisfactions that arise from the high expectations we place on health and on love leave us, oftentimes, restless and discontent. Life seems unfair and monotonous.

Expressions of gratitude moderate stress and allow us to experience that ephemeral feeling of "happy" as we realize why we have reasons to be content.

Poetry is a retreat. Writing a poem requires slowing down, savoring, remembering, selecting, crafting, revising. When hateful words fly, when words like daggers leave me feeling isolated and wounded, the haven of a piece of paper all my own is a shelter from the collective denunciations of a culture turned harsh.

When I feel a need to escape, I find hope in the certainty that words are trustworthy and stable expressions, even when they describe sentiments that change. The right word brings a flood of endorphins, a rush of knowing that I expressed what I wanted to say, and that perhaps someone will read the word and we'll have communicated. The blank page is a space that invites discovery, creation, and communion. Poetry is a contract that puts faith in community. Let's meet there!

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