I am fed up,
meat on bones,
My sails fill up,
winds of dawning lights rustle through pages,
through windows to YES worlds,
rustle hope, rustle yes, rustle the poetic life in me;
and every greatness is in reach of my heart.
- by Thomas John Walters
This poem is for you, writers. That opening line especially.
What feeds you?
Besides food, I mean. What feeds your soul? What enriches your sense of self? What stimulates your creativity?
There is something out there that will slice open your sense of wonder like a can-opener slices open those delicious cans of syrupy pineapples.
We writers like to be serious. We like to be aloof and wise and research-ey and tough. We like to sit in our stuffy studies with our whiskey, hem and haw about kids these days, and pretend we know way more than we do. We like to get fed up in the negative sense. We're fed up with society! With the government! With mainstream entertainment! And most of all we're fed up with those people! You know the ones.
Listen, I get that. Believe me. We're living in shocking, exhausting, tragically frustrating era of history. Now, more than ever, we have plenty of reason to be fed up. And we should be fed up; we should be outraged. But the world needs your art, and you also kinda need to stay healthy. So don't let your outrage eclipse or banish your ability to wonder. To explore. To delight in newness and silliness and syrupy pineapple goodness -- even if the terrible things going on around us are trying to crush that spirit away.
You're fed up. That's okay. But get yourself fed up in the wonderful sense, too.
Find out what feeds your soul and DO NOT mock yourself for loving it! Not allowed.
Defy the odds with play. Go to the beach. Stare at the sea. Climb a tree. Read poetry. Look at art. Make macaroni and inwardly comment how smooth and delicious you find the cheese. Go to your local sock store. Sock art can be way inspiring.
This doesn't have to be refined, people. It only has to awaken that childlike piece of you that enjoys doing handstands and popping bubbles and eating pineapples (see what I did there?). This piece of you has odd questions, strange ideas, and has not yet learned to be self-conscious. It creates constantly, innately, delightedly. Doesn't that sound nice?
Keep with your hard-working writerly self, of course; keep your discipline and your fire; that fire is important, too. But get that wonder back. Your writing -- and your soul -- will be stronger if you combine the two.
Find your can opener. Get fed up. Get writing.
Thanks to Thomas John Walters for writing/sharing the gem of a poem up top!