Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Writing is Fighting

Things just came together today.  A single serendipitous moment when all the input from the last 24 hours culminated into an artistic piece of work.

Three key pieces really brought this together:

1) A Facebook post by Penpaperwrite;
2) A TEDTalk by Leslie Morgan Steiner; and,
3) The discovery of a free-write based on an event that happened months ago.

The 'share' button on Facebook is probably the feature least used by me.  Call it ego, but I feel if I didn't craft the words/image, then I feel a bit false in a vicarious reposting of someone's work.  However, I scrolled across the following image posted by Penpaperwrite:

Maybe it's that I've started writing more frequently again. Maybe I was a bit surprised that Muhammad Ali summed of the spirit and purpose of my craft so succinctly (though of course I shouldn't be). Maybe it was the nifty layout and colors.  Whatever it was, it moved me enough to click that 'share' button and commit these three simple words to my mind.

The second part comes with an oddball confession.  I watch a TEDTalk every morning while I put on my makeup and do my hair. Most of the time I watch the most recent featured talk, but today I wasn't interested in fireflies and so I decided to delve into the topic of 'relationships.' Normally, I pick overtly optimistic lectures like Shimon Schocken: What a bike ride can teach you or data driven like Stephen Friend: The hunt for "unexpected genetic heroes".  But today I chose something more sober to match my somber mood brought on by extensive rain--Leslie Morgan Steiner: Why domestic violence victims don't leave. Steiner gives her personal account about unwittingly becoming the wife of an abusive husband and explains the reasons it became difficult if not dangerous to leave the relationship.  It touched a nerve after witnessing several physically and emotionally abusive relationships in childhood and experiencing emotionally abusive relationships in adulthood. Yet, I never thought my personal experience would meld with Steiner's to develop a Terza Rima later that day.

Yet, I delved into this poetic endeavor after I was digging through old writing to edit.  I came upon a free-write created the day I gave myself a paper cut on a note I was delivering to a friend of mine.  The cut had been so bad that I bled on the paper and on the carpet of our office.  The draft was intended to be a breakup story though the original note to my friend regarded scheduling a walk in Creamer's Field.  When I read this free-write I reconnected with the sensations from that day and somehow drew in the feelings dredged up by Steiner's lecture.  Within two hours I had drafted a poem that should be ready for submission later this week.

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