Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Tuesday Slice of Life: A Slice of Courage

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Tuesday Slice of Life: A Slice of Courage

"Finding courage may be the hardest thing about writing." 

On December 21st one of my poems was showcased as a part of a local art exhibit in my city. 

A few days before the opening I sheepishly invited my husband:

"So I submitted one of my poems to a show at The Draw. It was selected as a part of an art show. The opening night is Friday. Wanna come with me?"
"Really? That's great! Of course. Did you invite anyone else?"
"No, not really. It feels too weird." 

My husband was one of the few people I invited to the show. 

The day of the show my anxiety bubbled. What if no one reads it? What if someone reads it? What will they think of me? Does she really think she is a poet? 

Honestly, it was a bit uncomfortable to watch people read my poem from afar. I lurked a bit as strangers discussed it. I studied their body language. I creeped on conversations. To my surprise, I didn't hear anything negative. Instead I heard gentle comments of people who could relate to my poem. It was powerful. Validating. Kind of exciting.
My poem displayed

Check out my poem: 

"Six"

When I was six years old,
my grandma placed a thick slice of Byerly's Bakery birthday cake-
adorned with rich golden frosted peaked roses-
on a small dessert plate in front of me.
She leaned in and sharply whispered, 
"you are not the kind of girl who can always eat cake."

Among the eleven of us, I was the only child who received her cautionary words.
I shifted in the cold metal folding chair at the kid table in Grandma's kitchen.
My round, fair face blazed.
My corduroy, hand-stitched jumper squeezed my chest. 
My shame-filled belly roared.

Yet I cautiously ate my piece of buttercream guilt,
licked the frosting off the top of my chubby fingertips, 
only to immediately regret my deed.
I am not the kind of girl who can always eat cake. 

For me, it takes a lot of courage to share my writing, especially when it is something so personal. Yet I know that this is necessary for who I am - to grow as a writer and teacher of writers...so I'm working on this, and I hope to submit more poetry (and maybe some professional writing) in 2019. 

12 comments:

  1. That poem is powerful, love the details in it. Courage and I also think confidence in ourselves and who we are and not caring about what others think.

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    1. Thank you. I appreciate your kind words!

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  2. Gorgeous poem. I could completely connect with that, a moment of cautionary words from my own grandmother. I'm glad you ate the cake. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you, Shannon. There are so many people who have told me that they connect with this poem - that makes me sad and gives me comfort at the same time!

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  3. Thinking about One Little Word project today...and because you DARE to put yourself out there, DARE seems like a terrific accolade. Congratulations! Powerful the line: "My corduroy hand-stitched jumper squeezed my chest." So much revealed there.

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    1. Thank you Patricia, especially for the accolade of dare.

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  4. I understand your feeling. I applaud that now you share your deeply honest poem with all of us. May your word carry you further and higher than you can imagine.

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    1. Thank you Terje, both in your kind words and understanding!

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  5. 2019 seems like a great year to decide to stand in the strength and light of your words, of your ability to show rather than tell. Your poem invites being read a few times, to let the images fully land. I do hope that you'll make more of your writing available to a wider audience, this year and in years to come.

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    1. Thank you for these kind words, Sherri. It is my goal to broaden my writing audience more this year! Stay tuned...

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  6. I'm so glad you dared to submit your work and even gladder that it was selected for this show. What a wonderful idea to include poetry in an art show! It's a powerful piece. I can't wait to see where your writing takes you in 2019!

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    1. Thank you Elisabeth! I am excited for many writing opportunities as well!

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