Thursday, August 26, 2010
On July 14, 1984, I met a woman who changed my life. She was dark and pretty, in her early forties. She wore a faded red gown crossed with bold native beads around her neck and wrist like a funky city nomad. The obvious distance that her kind of person suffered from people was not just because she looked primitive and weird but this was a town where Christianity and Islam were considered as the popular and sensible religion. She is a voodoo priestess. Unfortunately, i did not visit her temple but met her on transit in a bus, sitting next to me, after waking up from a long migraine sleep.
She stared at me, in a fixed gaze and said “learn to write your predicament into poetry, then you will sleep no more.” This wasn’t an endless pilgrimage to the hillock of the moon or a fasting for the next ninety nine days to find a cure. Just write your poems to paint your problems, and that is the remedy in solving my long cry in the dark room library.
Before then, I had lived my entire life around a terrible phenomenon I suffered from childhood. I bored it ever then, on me like a protruded mole cheek, disfiguring and saddening my happiness. That heart-burden was the scar i lived to erase. The worst was when I lost my “I’’, the essence of human hood. I could not face myself or stand to watch the shame; I gave up and began living as a masquerade among people.
This thought was what banged my head until I slept off on board that bus. Following her words, I began learning to concise my whole dilemma into verses, making them bleed exactly what I feel in imageries, trying to examine and test them in rhythms and rhymes, then using them to compare and represent other worst issues for some other persons. Like Arithmetic, it broke into smaller, simpler and clearer basis of analysis. And, I saw nothing but my naked self discussing with the so called unseen grand master of my “self’’.
My fears, scales, speck falls off me! My sight became crystal clear to see the real me in me. Through this therapy, I discovered that scars though inevitable in the development of every man, yet you learn to face and manage them, ultimately allowing nature to take care of itself. Like the flowing river, our dreams will stumble on rocks, hills and weeds, however these, cannot stop the journey to the destination along other rivers.
Life is not man-made, even if it major forces are. If you impede it, then it will explode; so destiny can be delayed but can never be changed. The more you try to hold or hoard it, the more the pressure gathers, thus the more the blast of its outbreak to come.
Writing generally helps us to pour out our burden on papers, but poetry helps us to capture the consciousness and feel of our raw selves in the pen: our control over such circumstances, through our omniscient mind. The unique thing about poetry is that, though it employs literary features but most times does not compromise with conventional linguistic regulations and conditions.
Poetry is free and liberal. The indispensability of learning its art, must begin with the originality, liquidity and sincerity of your simultaneous gushing emotions, then the rules can set in and not the rules ruling the mind. Poetry is free to all: ageless and shapeless like water. The thick diction in your environment changes in another society. However, it liberality still allows you to code it for some select mind but universally poetry is voluntary and benevolent to all seekers.
When you have a burden or pain in your heart, attempt to write them out in poems on papers. Then take a next look after a while at these same poems and see if they have the same weight like they do in your minds, or if your mind is as pessimistic as it use to be. You don’t need to be an expert to write a poem for therapy, only make it less wordy, concise, thoughtful, then make it a lyric that best expresses yourself and definitely, a solution is sure to come.