I recently came across a wonderful new book about writing. It’s called: “Writing As A Path To Awakening: A Year To Becoming An Excellent Writer and Living An Awakened Life,” by Albert Flynn DeSilver. In it, the author breaks down the craft of writing by taking each month of the year and assigning a specific lesson on the writing life, along with meditation and writing practices, to help you become a more proficient, and more authentic, writer. I was especially taken with the chapter for April. It dealt with the subject of “blossoming” and it was titled: “Poetry: the Language of Possibility.”
In the chapter for April, DeSilver asks us to “live your life like a poem.” He talks about poetry as a vehicle that allows us to thoroughly experience our lives and the world around us. He says of poetry: ” It doesn’t have to mean anything. It just has to touch us, be beautiful, spark our imagination, curiosity and creativity.” What a wonderful prescription for creating and living an authentic life! I’m not suggesting that our lives don’t have to “mean” anything.” Instead I am proposing that we can, like poetry, create something beautiful, something that sparks our imagination, curiosity and creativity. We are all, each and every one of us, creative geniuses. The experience of living has, as Buckminster Fuller was fond of saying, “de-genuised us.” When we slow down and allow ourselves to notice what is going on around us, using all of our senses, we see things that would normally go unnoticed by us on any given day. Take a look at a poem that was included in this chapter:
An eagle in the sky
A butterfly whispering
In a dragonfly’s ear,
The angels peering in
the corner window
Just like a poet weaving
on a loom of sawdust.”
That poem was written by a nine-year old girl! What an eye for detail and a wealth of creativity! At first glance it has no meaning, and yet, at second glance, it says so much about the comings and goings of life all around us, and the meaning we give them. What meaning do you give to the every day comings and goings of your life? What meanings do you give to making the bed, washing the dishes, watering the garden? Do you make the time to feed your genius by sitting still and watching the world? Do you notice the songs of birds overhead, the passage of clouds across the sky or “a butterfly whispering in a dragonfly’s ear?” These are all part of the poetry of our lives. When we make a poem of our lives, we make a life filled with authenticity, creativity and meaning.
This week’s assignment is going to ask you to put away everything you were taught about poetry in school, all the rules and guidelines for writing poetry, and make a poem of your life. As always, have fun with it, and keep writing.
Peace and blessings.