It was approximately two years ago that I started writing again. My children were moving to a new school and I wanted to say thank you to the school we were leaving behind. I figured to send my thanks in the only way I knew how – a poem. Even though I had stopped writing approximately 20 years prior, I picked up the pen and it felt familiar. I could not say it is just like remembering to ride a bike – I was rusty, but still – my feelings came across and that was what mattered.
For some reason after that – I felt the urge to continue. I don’t know exactly why, but I started my blog Butterfly Kisses Watermelon Wishes – mostly to share the poetry I had written for my children. I really did not know what to expect and there was this wide chasm between where I was and what I hoped to accomplish. Strangely, it was in writing prompts that I found my true voice. In trying to find ways to bring more people to my blog, I started writing for prompts on a site that is no longer active. I enjoyed these challenges more that I ever imagined – and I think what truly amazed me was that I could actually write. I had never expected that. Sad to think how long I had been silent, now that I look back on it.
I had never written much for prompts, except for a writing workshop I had been a part of in high school. Otherwise, I thought the only reason for writing was to express my own feelings and struggles. So, when life started turning around – I felt I had nothing to say. Joining the writing world after so many years has taught me so very much, not only about my writing but also about myself. I now know – that anything can be turned into a poem and the only thing that keeps us from doing so, is our own inability to see it as a possibility. Strange to think that writing for a prompt could give you such a powerful lesson.
In the beginning, I wrote just for one word prompts. They were okay – but again, I often fell into the trap of writing mostly what I knew. I was blinded to other views for the most part. However, as I started writing for 10 word prompt lists (and I must admit they were harder at first) but I finally started to realize that I had the ability to make stories out of my poetry. I did not have to live them – but I could breath life into those words. While part of me may be in all of my poetry, doing prompts expanded my view and allowed my writing to be more free.
A year ago or so, I had started to call myself a writer – and actually meant that. Now, this – I must admit, is an accomplishment for me. I had crossed a wide chasm of thinking I had no voice – to believing in myself. You cannot imagine what a gift that has been. When you falter, when you wonder if you are worth being heard – it is a blessing to know that all those feelings you hold in your heart, the impetus for much of your poetry means something to someone else. I cannot explain it, but it is a blessing to be able to share my words with you. Had I never picked up that pen a few years ago, I never would have known.
At some point last year, I wanted to post poetry with images – but I struggled because the images were not my own. Again – I was burdened by another obstacle. Minding the gap, I stepped across and invented my own type of poetry series “Portraits Poetry.” What I wanted to accomplish was to interpret the image – and give a person a visual tour through the lines of my poetry. I wanted to bring the painting alive. Yeah, had I been a painter – perhaps I would have painted my own images, but that is definitely not in my skill set 🙂 Besides, that probably would have been easier. Then, I decided not to share the image at all – in the hopes that the words would be enough to paint the image.
While this may not seem like much to some – this was another way for me to grow. It took a lot of effort to bring the image alive and it caused me to focus on every little nuance and detail in the poem. I also noticed, that when I started writing my own “life experience” poetry, I tended to be more expressive and descriptive. Again – the writer that I am had been reborn. For some that may be new to my name – I only started this blog recently in the hopes to rekindle my passion for writing and to take it in a new direction from my older blog. I finally feel like I have found my voice and feel confident it matters to let my voice be heard. For me, this is surely a sign of my growth in the past few years. I hope many of you find it worthwhile as well 🙂
So, to me – I think life (and finding yourself as a writer) is a series of “minding those gaps” and finding ways to stretch, grow, and overcome. I now feel that I walk around the world with my eyes that much wider, trying to soak it all in. In essence, it is not only something that affects the writer I have become, but I think I walk in more appreciation for the world around me because of it.
What are those next gaps ahead? I just don’t know yet, but I have faith that I will learn to adjust and grow to get past them. It is a gift – those gaps, and I have hope that they will lead me somewhere wonderful. I cannot help but hope that not only I have benefited from them, but others will benefit from them as well. Mind that gap – you never know where it may take you.
(c) Sumyanna 2016
Written for The Daily Post Discover Challenge: Mind the Gap
Image courtesy of Morguefile (quicksandala)
Some other amazing posts for the Discover Challenge (I will update these as I find more):
When Death Happens, Life Has a Funny Way of Comforting