before we were bipedal
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
In the spring of 2017, I was finishing out a dance workshop. In the final session of the workshop, each person was invited to share a creation that emerged over the course of the five months. I’ve always been inspired by a performance I saw in college – a dance performed to a reading of Andrew Zawacki’s poem Georgia from his book Petals of Zero, Petals of One. So, for my final presentation, I wanted to write a poem and choreograph a short dance to pair with it. One of the themes we’d talked about was dancing from the heart vs. the head vs. the gut, and what it looked like to create movement from those three different places. It really resonated with me, and that’s where I got the inspiration for A Woman’s Intuition.
Love yourself open,
like outstretched arms
waiting to embrace.
like a syndrome
you can’t shake.
Change the course
of your life
with two lanes.
in love. Sometimes
wonder where you went.
in outstretched arms
waiting to embrace.
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
The piece of writing I wanted to share this week isn’t technically from 2017 or even the past year, but it’s a piece that feels very relevant. On October 1st, my husband and I are celebrating our one-year wedding anniversary. Last year, we had an extremely intimate and private ceremony in upstate New York, near where we’d gotten engaged the year prior. As a gift to our wedding guests, I composed and printed a book of eight love poems, one from each of the years we’d been together. Lost and Found is the final poem in the book. The last two stanzas really take me back to the place and time when I wrote this poem in 2016. I think almost any person who’s about to embark in a new relationship or marriage has fears of losing themself. But, when you’ve chosen to love someone and build a life with them, you come to realize that right there, with them, is where you go to find yourself.
Putting together this book was a big step for me as a writer for a number of reasons. First, it required me to revisit writing dating back to 2009 with more perspective and an objective eye. I had to be my own editor and decide whether to leave the words of my 21, 22, 20-something year old self intact or make changes. It also pushed me to put myself out there in a pretty vulnerable way. Until I started publishing some of my creative writing on this blog (just last week!), I’ve only ever shared my creative writing with professors and fellow classmates back in college and a very select few people since then. So, sharing some of my most intimate poems about my relationship with our wedding guests was a huge feat. Finally, even though I didn’t technically publish a book, it was the first time I’d seen my writing in print – in something tangible I could hold – and that was pretty exciting for someone who’s dreamed of (and is still dreaming of) publishing a book some day.
That phrase on the tip of the tongue,
that distant childhood memory
in dirty dishes,
in a man tying his shoes
Deep in intricate folds
where words go
Saturday, February 25, 2017
At the beginning of 2017, I was really trying to make an effort to get back to my creative writing. I set aside one day each week to devote to that head space – I felt it wouldn’t be as effective to devote say an hour each day and have to switch from a client-writing to a creative-writing mindset. I stuck with it for three months, but like any first of the year, New Year’s Resolution-type promise to yourself, the commitment faded. And, here I am now! Back in that same place! Putting my creative writing cap on again, and trying to shift my brain into that mode of thinking.
In my Creative Habit series, I’ve written about creativity as a muscle – like any muscle, you have to use it or you lose it. When I wrote Where Words Go, I was grappling with pretty typical creative barriers – comparing my current ability to creatively write to the past, judging every “poignant pairing” of words I wrote, and even doubting if I can still call myself a creative writer. Where Words Go felt like the perfect (first ever) poem to share because it pretty accurately reflects where I’m at as a creative writer right now – questioning everything and desperately wanting to dig “deep in intricate folds” to resurrect those words that live in me.
It has officially been a month since I lasted published on this blog. I’d like to say this was intentional or a result of writer’s block. I’d like to say I have an amazing story to tell about a great adventure I took over the past thirty-plus days.
The truth is, it has been one of the most strange and unusual summers. There have been a lot of unexpected personal and professional opportunities and obligations that have come my way. The truth this, this month-long hiatus wasn’t intentional at all, it crept up on me quite suddenly when I flipped the calendar page to August, and I thought to myself, where did the time go?
One thing I can share about the past thirty days is that, although I’ve not been channeling my creativity into this blog, I’ve made time for it elsewhere – in dance, in poetry, in a much needed weekend retreat. And now that I finally have time to come back here, to this space, I realize that it’s time for another Creative Habit Challenge.
I’ve learned a lot over the past month, but one of the most important things – the thing I’d like to share with you – is to allow.
Life is not a content calendar with carefully scheduled blog and social media posts. Life is much bigger and better than that, more unpredictable than that, more exciting than that. So allow yourself to live when life comes at you.
Allow creativity to flow in the means you’re given. It doesn’t have to be on the blog you’ve built for three years or the YouTube channel you’ve grown from the ground up. Sure, don’t abandon your commitment to those things, don’t forgo the countless amounts of time, energy, and effort you’ve poured into them, but, at the same time, don’t let these things hold you back from something more.
Allow yourself to let go of one item on your to-do list, to make room for something else. Allow yourself to do this without explanation, rationalization, judgement, or guilt. Allow yourself to embrace the wild uncertainties of life. Allow yourself to indulge in a new opportunity. Allow yourself to be present in whatever is happening in your life right at this very moment.
Above all, allow yourself to release whatever is holding you back from being creative. Do this with mindfulness – don’t up and flee your city, get fired from your job, lose your partner, get evicted from your apartment, and scare your loved ones – but just allow yourself to let go and live. Allow yourself to let creativity in.