Even if you are not a poetry lover, you might be interested, in this liminal time, to take a look at NAPOWRIMO http://www.napowrimo.net/ given over to the power of poetry for the month of April. NAPOWRIMO or National/International Poetry Writing Month, encourages all of us to turn our gazes and our pens to examining life through a poetic lens. While being cooped up may not be your idea of inspiration, what is exciting is the likelihood that every one of us has talents and possibilities that we can discover right now, as we are in a different time/space. My kids’ school, an arts focused school open to all kids – not just the ‘talented – had the motto ‘every child has a gift’. I like to turn that over to ‘every one’ has a gift. We just don’t always know what the gift is until we get over our obstacles and try stuff.
- Maybe you had a teacher who told you, you couldn’t sing?
- Maybe you overheard your parents (or siblings) talking earnestly about your lack of talent in drawing?
- Maybe you compared yourself to your best friend when her writing won a prize? And yours didn’t even though you encouraged her to submit to a context along with you.
I could go on but you get the idea. Our inherent comparison with others takes the air out of our creative room and deflates not just our spirits but our childhood (and childlike) willingness to believe in ourselves.
Now maybe you don’t have the luxury right now of ‘exploring’ anything let alone an art form or latent ability. Of course that’s okay. We are in an odd time and place where what we need to do to keep body and soul together (and tend to our families) is of utmost importance. That said, can you sneak 5 min., 10 min., trying something out…. write a haiku, make a cartoon? If you have kids that are more or less sentient beings, try it with them. Don’t just give them something to do, do it with them.
Take a deep breath and have fun with it.
Oh and if you do like poetry, just write one. No one is grading you after all.
Some author/artists I have found especially helpful in my journey are Lynda Barry and Twyla Tharp
A fun exploration of Lynda Barry here
And Twyla Tharp’s website here
They both have books in creative practice and I encourage you to see if your local bookstore can order and deliver or arrange for pickup.