My passion for writing and poetry stems from my years in training as a Poetry Therapy Practitioner in iaPOETRY, based in New York City. iaPOETRY (International Academy for Poetry … Continue reading Books I Discovered Through iaPOETRY
The weekend always brings fun adventures, and today is no exception. Right now Andy and I are on our way to Boston. The only time I’ve been to Massachusetts is on 2006. I went to a poetry therapy conference that weekend. It was an exciting 3 days with Lila, Johanna, and the other devoted members of the poetry therapy community. I held valuable memories of that time, and I couldn’t wait to return.
We are visiting Boston for a different reason (heading to a concert), but it’s going to hold equally valuable memories. Andy will connect with friends he’s maintained online over the years. I’ll have the chance to see what’s new in the area, and enjoy what Boston has to offer. We will certainly enjoy this time away from Hunterdon County.
Ever since I returned from the poetry therapy intensive, I’ve been focused in really writing that 2nd book. In order to get that going, I need to have more material. I have the small pieces on my poetry blog, Poetic Threading, that I can expand on. I also write in a paper journal that I take along with me. I think of it as additional material for my eyes only, until I’m ready to display it.
We turn the page now to August. Last month brought some truths to light. It began with me feeling very frustrated about my situation. As the month progressed, I continued to feel worried, yet I gained a clearer sense of what needs to be accomplished to achieve my goals. I still have a lot of work to do, but I feel confident in reaching these goals.
I’m now keeping a journal that I write down poems and ideas. I missed keeping a written journal, and I’m excited to keep the creations going. I’m hopeful that these writings will finally lead me to writing that second book.
It’s been a couple days since ACTIONWEEK (the annual poetry therapy intensive) ended, yet I’m still feeling its impact very strongly. I go about my day, handle work tasks, yet the emotions that swirled around me that weekend still lingers. This year, it’s Johanna’s absence that makes things particularly difficult.
Johanna made it a point to attend the intensive every year, be at every session. Now, her thoughts and laughter are no longer with us. The silence that came with this realization was heard by everyone.
When I began my studies in poetry therapy, an important thing I learned was to take note of your strengths in the face of extreme challenges. Of course, this task is not easy to learn right away, as doubt and disbelief always finds its way to creep in the mind. Eventually, your strengths come to light, like a switch being clicked on, and you realize that yes, you are indeed strong.
This year, It took me living through my most challenging days to reach this realization. A month ago, I was at a low point emotionally. Everything that could go wrong, went wrong in the span of a week. I didn’t know if there could be any resolution in sight.
Then, things slowly shifted. I began to breathe, and take note of what I needed to do in my life at the time. I slowly came to the realization that yes, I will shine through this. I am strong. I had Andy’s undying support, and Maya Angelou’s poem ‘Still I Rise’ going through my mind like a mantra:
You may write me down in history
with your bitter, twisted lies,
you may trod me in the very dirt,
but still, like dust, I rise.
Like a switch, my resolve returned. While there are more challenging days ahead, I take comfort in knowing that I will endure these bumps in the road courageously. Through the hardships I move ahead knowing that life has many more gifts and blessings in store for me.
**Quote is from the poem ‘Still I Rise’, from Maya Angelou.**
Currently on my way to New York. It will be so exciting to meet and share with my poetry therapy community. It certainly won’t be the same without Johanna, but it will be good seeing the other members who could attend.
The journey to NYC is pretty eventful. The large crowds and crowded surroundings are all too common once travelling close to the area. As much as I don’t enjoy it (who does, really), I appreciate the diverse conversations and action taking place around me. Certainly different than what I see in daily central NJ life.
I constantly wish that I could be up hee more frequently. Stay connected to what I left behind four years ago. Sadly, it’s still a work in progress. The motivation really needs to kick in.