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  • April 3rd, 2011 | 3:31 AM
Poem a Day #3

For the month of March I gave myself permission to not write and to try and learn how to play (mostly with art.) My hope was that I could find a way to reconnect with my lost writer self. Now that the month of play is over I am trying to distill what I have learned on my journey in my poem-a-day project for National Poetry Month.


I spent a lot of my play time thinking and a lot of my thinking time wondering, where did the silence I was feeling come from? Even after a month of pondering, I'm still not sure I know. I cannot remember a time when words hadn't been there to save me when I wasn't strong enough to save myself so this silence, this utter inability to put words to the page frightened me, as though a part of me had died, but was still trapped inside. I've always been a rule follower. I like to know the expectations the world has for me so I can meet and exceed them. But I never thought about the expectations I should have (if any) for myself.

Women, mothers, daughters - so many of us are conditioned to take care of the rest of the world before we take care of ourselves. A month of play seemed totally selfish, decadent, frivolous and at times, just plain crazy. Much of the first week I wandered around the house not doing anything except to pause every so often to slap some paint on the page or watch an art video. I picked things up and put them down again. I didn't know how to be still, how to be in the moment, how to let my mind and body tell me what it needed me to hear.

I have always had an overwhelming need for silence. It's the introvert in me. But this was more than usual. I craved intense and immense silence. I watched the art videos with the sound off. I couldn't listen to music. And when I painted in those ten minute blocks I was thinking about nothing but paint on the paper. Blue on white. Yellow on blue. Scrape. Scratch. Twirl. The brush on the paper was the only sound I heard.

I soon learned that to paint you have to be in the moment. Paint dries too fast for you to do anything else. I don't know how many books I've read on how to quiet your mind or how to learn to be more Zen but none of those lessons ever had the effect on me that paint on paper did. Paint. Here. Now.




How dare I
spend my day mixing multitudes of blues
wondering
which becomes the ocean's murky depths
and which reflects the simple summer sky?
How dare I not?

© 2011 Susan Taylor Brown. All rights reserved.



Kidlitosphere Central has the master list of all the poetic events going on this month.

There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.



Comments

( 6 comments — Leave comment )
(Deleted comment)
susanwrites
April 5th, 2011 05:31 pm (UTC)
Right back at ya! :-)
kellyrfineman
April 4th, 2011 12:42 am (UTC)
Love this post. Love this poem, too.
susanwrites
April 5th, 2011 05:31 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Kelly.
d_michiko_f
April 5th, 2011 04:11 pm (UTC)
I love this one!

Let's dare!!!
susanwrites
April 5th, 2011 05:30 pm (UTC)
Absolutely!
( 6 comments — Leave comment )
WHO AM I?



Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

Who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, and even, gulp, a grandmother.

Who am I? A writer who never gets tired of playing with words, even when the words are hard to find. A writer of books for children and articles for grown-ups and many things in-between.

Who am I? A motivational speaker, writing instructor, workshop leader and full-time follower of dreams.

Who am I? Read and find out.






Susan Taylor Brown

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"Successful writers are not the ones who write the best sentences. They are the ones who keep writing. They are the ones who discover what is most important and strangest and most pleasurable in themselves, and keep believing in the value of their work, despite the difficulties."
--Bonnie Friedman

"As writers, we must be willing to feel our sadness, our anger, our terror, so we can reach in and find our sweet vulnerability that is just sitting there waiting for us to come back home."
--Nancy Slonim Aronie

"Writers write about what obsesses them. You draw those cards. I lost my mother when I was 14. My daughter died at the age of 6. I lost my faith as a Catholic. When I'm writing, the darkness is always there. I go where the pain is."
--Anne Rice

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