Writing poetry, journals and making art are wonderful and creative ways to turn the burning inside our heads into positive thinking, researching and recording. It is almost like celebrating or sharing ourselves without depleting our souls in the process.
Cathy Malchiodi, today’s leading authority on Art Therapy says “The soul’s palette is so many things: an agent of transformation, a therapy for the psyche, a salve for the body and mind, and a remedy for the ills of individuals, communities and the world. Visual images, whether made of canvas or clay, produce profound physical and emotional benefits, and are an unending source of inner knowledge.
They were a way to get to the soul of the matter, to go on a soul search. Like an artist’s palette that contains an infinite spectrum of colors and choices for creating, our soul’s palette is a boundless source of wisdom and wellness. Expressing yourself creatively through drawing, painting, sculpture, and photography – – allows you to tap into a source of inner wisdom that can provide you guidance, soothe emotional pain, and revitalize your being.”
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When I write I understand myself a lot more. I am always struck at how magical and unexpected the process can be. Writing becomes satisfying when it reflects our best efforts. Writing is like capturing what you know, what you think and what you have to say altogether in one place.
Writing by its very nature includes detours, wrong turns, and repeat visits. While some of us work out ideas in our heads, others work our ideas out on paper also like me. Some writers need to talk about their writing while others would rather keep their thoughts to themselves. Writing is like talking without being interrupted. It is like any other skill. It takes a lot of practice and patience to become good at it. Our dreams, hopes and inner voices are worth exploring no matter how ordinary they may seem. Some dreams even feel like one-off events while others feel more like a parallel world still going on even after we wake.
It is our past that often shows up in our dreams although rearranged and unrecognizable. I figure I am on the right tract of translating them when my dreams are a perfect fit to a past or present situation. Those of us who suffer emotional or physical pain try to fix what is broken, or heal what is hurting when we are sleeping. I imagine there are millions of sleeping heads pouring slat into old wounds not yet healed. Science uses to believe the brain was always awake. Now they believe no part of the brain is ever fully awake. I wonder if that is why so many of us daydream.
After a life wrought of beiges, two divorces, and fifty years of depression, my self-expression turned towards poetry, prose and photography. All the while, I was taking a leap of faith by reclaiming myself as a valuable and talented person. I didn’t change and grow all by myself. God and his angels partnered me in my work and instead of being angry at him for all I was not; I began to realize I am blessed with surprising innate ability. Even if I quit in the middle of a project because I didn’t feel the necessity to go on, my effort still evoked commendable response and self-satisfaction as much as any finished piece did. This was, after all, just one of the many gifts of artful expression, the journey being much more important than the finished product.
When I began studying poetry in college, I found some poems can be understood while others, you can’t expect to understand but that is okay, too. Both writing and reading poetry are individual arts. Both can be a study in thinking about, and relating to the world around us. To write poetry, we need to be able to look at our entire life history, including our traumas, our joys, our failures, as well as rewards and achievements. We need to open our minds and step into our poems, tasting their ink and feeling their pull at our hearts.
When that perfect image comes to rest in a poem for me, I say, “Thank you God for giving me that!” Many of us prefer the more simple old-fashioned kind of poetry, less negative, bent on healing open wounds rather than describing them. Simple. Short. You pause when they pause. You sigh when they sigh. Composing a poem is a lot like making love. Nobody sees the poem happening, but it always arouses us and usually ends too quickly!!! Images can inspire us with creative expression. Try writing freely in 5-minute spontaneous bursts while looking at pictures. Writing is a form of talking so talk about your pictures in the poem below.
I Am a Poet
I like to begin by exploring the phrase I am…
I am a poet but then I think “what is a poet?”
Whatever it is, I think, it must have food for the soul;
it must have generous Folds of thoughts, And Love,
Whatever it is, I think, it must be arrogant
To coach the sun to rise,
To kiss the day good-bye, and hope,
Whatever it is, I think, it is ecstasy remains intact,
With the Birds of God for companions.
Even though I was not the fairest to gaze upon,
My smoldering aura embodied the holy,
Unholy and the human form.
I opened my exalted head and body to Pablo Picasso who painted me.
I summoned the most evil, known as Satan for a few hot unholy days,
Then joined Moses and the Greatest Mother of them all,
Until I tired of their perpetual sermons, on the hills, if I recall.
Then came a time when I heard the watered-down bellowing
Of John, Jr., his wife, Caroline and her sister, too.
I offered them Water Lilies; then with an impulse to breed,
I came upon John Travolta with his wings quivering;
Reminding me of a night I spent with the arc Angel Michael,
I offered him a Lilac blossom from my own bosom laughed;
And kissed him long and hard, becoming this poem for you!