Reflections/poem biography for Some Prayer

Every Small Grain smaller

“Forget gravity, forget north –
this force is in all directions.”

With depression, I’ve found that there are many cruel months, many hard days. But focussing on the senses and paying attention to the small, very real details of life can help. This kind of mindfulness tends to work best for me when applied to observing things in nature. Even in its changing seasons, there is something constant and reassuring about how the natural world continues no matter what.

The notion of osmosis here ties back into viewing the world as one whole made of many (moving) parts, including me. Also the sense of going with the flow, ‘que sera sera’ (whatever will be, will be). For me, there is a sense of ease in accepting the small part that personal pain plays in a much bigger picture. Most things have silver linings or work out in some way in the end, so long as I allow myself to see the good as well as the bad.

One of the things I try to remember with writing is that the joy is in creation and crafting. Whenever I get a rejection, a piece doesn’t work out as well as I thought, or I feel low about the publicity and promotion side of things (not an introvert’s favourite part of writing for publication), I can dwell on it and feel bad. (This happens and I do feel rubbish.) Or I can throw myself back into writing – either editing the rejected piece to create something even stronger or working on a completely new and different idea.

Publication, performance and prizes can give a much-needed outside perspective. This is particularly valuable to me in an anonymous setting where my work stands on its own right, separated from me, uninfluenced by networking or friendships. But, at the same time, even these are perspectives. One of the hardest things for me on my creative masters course was accepting that there really is no hard and fast this-is-good/bad line. Reaction to art isn’t a science, there is no ph. test. But this subjective aspect of creative appreciation also creates space for a great range.

Art involves an implied relationship or communication between creator and viewer/audience, so there would be no point at all in writing for publication if I wasn’t interested in connecting. But, as an introvert, a lot of the paraphernalia that surrounds publication tends to take energy. It is returning to creation itself, the writing, the crafting that gives me pep. I’ve come to realise that balancing these two differing aspects, along with life’s other energy demands, is very important for me.

Electric Questions - lit version smallerDiscussion Point

What emotions and sensations does this poem evoke? Which particular words invite an emotional response rather that just giving a basic relatively factual description?

Inspiration/Writing Prompt

What everyday activities or objects have a prayerlike quality for you? Where do you/an imaginary character derive energy and inspiration? These might be things that are part of your own daily routine, rituals you’ve observed in others or an imaginary character’s habits. What happens if something interrupts or changes these?

plentyfish cover (1)At poetry readings, I often enjoy hearing about the background to a particular poem. ‘Wednesday Reflections/Sometimes I smile’ is my attempt to share the inspiration, frustrations, pain, philosophies and thoughts that lie behind my poetry collection ‘plenty-fish’. Each Wednesday, this blog will contain one of these ‘poem biographies’, as well as points for potential reader discussion and also writers’ prompts. My collection ‘plenty-fish’ may be bought from Nine Arches Press, here, or my website, here. More Wednesday Reflections on other poems in the collection can also be found here.