Routine, I find, is both a comfort and a discomfort. Stripped of all routine when I first became ill, I floundered about looking for some order to the resulting chaos. I longed for a routine, like a navigational device, to help me define exactly where I was in all the madness. (Still compass-less I’m afraid.)
At the same time, I fear a numbing sameness – a morose monotony of nonsensical repetition. I remember doing anything to break the boredom – taking a different route home from work, turning my lessons upside down, or rearranging the classroom – anything to invite new energy.
I feel the same about writing. It is seductive to find a comfort zone and stay there – convincing myself that this is perfecting my craft, however; I suspect a trap. Ego, I’ve noted, likes to sabotage. Exploration is the only way to expand creativity and ignite revelation.
Let me illustrate. Take a simple thought:
I cried because I was alone
then opening my eyes
my image in the mirror.
Possibly interesting concept, dull delivery. The image craves development. One thing I have been experimenting with (wherever possible) is removing pronouns, or any references that personalize my poetry.
Well, this is better, but sounds like a flowery way of saying misery loves company and that’s not the essence I wanted to capture. What if I do some word/concept association? Will this help me expand my ideas?
loneliness – feeling of rejection, abandonment, not belonging, desire unrequited, left out
crying – tears, release, unable to contain, unrestrained emotion, grief
open-eyed – awakening, willing to see, open to possibility, searchingdiscovery – new appreciation, renewed hope, joy, alternatives, perspective
other – outsider, relationship, communion, community, connection
alone – isolated, cut-off, solitude, retreat, respite
mirror image – reflection, reversal, commonality, empathy/sympathy, not alone
Not sure this helped, but I’ll try putting it back together using the associations. Maybe I’ll play up the personification.
abandoned and rejected,
opening to possibility,
in solitude –
I like this better – the message is more satisfying. What happens if I turn the whole thing upside (taking liberties, of course)?
Wow – I like this even more. I feel as if it is an invitation from the soul to grieve.
I challenge you to explore and expand your own writing. What hidden messages await your discovery?