Wait for it …

Day 1 of my summer writing workshop:  What kind of writer are you?

It’s true.

I am a collector and I hardly throw anything away.  Not things, vintage clothing, pieces of paper with scribbles on them, memories, letters, pictures, feelings, associations and connections.  I am a big believer of documentation, of writing everything down and  have been accused of compulsive capturing.  This sentimental side, the one that also houses the pack-rat gene, has been there ever since I could speak and then became more pronounced when I learned to write.  At some point, this compulsion to take everything down and remember every single detail of what I see and experience, I attributed to being a writer.  I figured I needed to remember it all, so I could always fill in spaces and gaps in whatever story, character, poem or essay I  come up with. I thought all these things will eventually make it to my future ‘book’ somehow (on what, I still don’t know)  so remembering meant material.  There was comfort in knowing I could retrieve something, anything, from wherever I stored ‘stuff’  because it was torture to forget.

But today, I am thinking that  it’s okay, sometimes, to put the camera down. To let go of the pen or the sticky keyboard and turn the computer off.  It’s okay, sometimes, to document experiences and epiphanies in the little cracks of our consciousness instead of hurriedly and clumsily on the page.  It’s  also okay at times to wait for inspiration, for the best moment, for the mind blowing muse, the worthy snap,  before spilling our guts onto a place where people will see them.  There IS beauty in silence and power in observation and withholding.  I honor that today.

It’s all good  anyway because the silence is temporary and from whatever writing and documentation hiatus, the compulsive capturer always emerges  with a new way of seeing; one that’s not so attached, harassed or desperate.

These past few weeks have been a blur.  I tried, many times, to sit down and write but felt overwhelmed instead. So many things were happening all at the same time.  I never knew where to begin.   I didn’t know how to back track. How to recall and record.

So,I let it go.  Because  I realized not writing something down does not always mean I will forget.

Anyway, amidst the blur of loving gestures, emotional goodbyes, surprise parties and special meals with loved ones, packing and sorting through stuff I never threw away, I found myself agreeing to facilitate a summer writing workshop after a good friend and parent requested I do. People thought I was crazy to agree with everything I still needed to fix and arrange prior to moving.  But I didn’t care. It felt like a gift, actually.  A nice chance to be surrounded by Beacon kids.  I thought it would be a wonderful way to ween and manage the separation anxiety.

pack rat

True enough, this is where I find refuge these days.  Twelve brave souls decided it was worth their time to spend eight two hour sessions with me and if they only knew what a treat it has been. To share and teach something I am passionate about. Without rubrics or TSCs or report card narratives. With nothing but the intention to get them started on their own writing journey. One I hope they will keep alive and nurture even after the eight sessions are over.

young writers at work

We are right smack in the middle of the workshop and so far, things are going well. Kids are excited. They are writing and writing and reading each others’ work. They are attempting interesting writing activities and have been blogging!  I couldn’t be happier.

writing workshop snack

Sigh.

In light of encouraging the twelve to start their own blogs and write and share as often as they can, here is a poem I have been meaning to post for months but never had the guts to.  I wrote it awhile back and showed it to one person (Joey Tandem aka Mr. Lapid) who helped me refine part of my controlling metaphor and one transition.  I felt pleased once we “fixed” it but quietly placed the piece on my desktop thinking there would be a better time to share it.

I guess, now is that time.

Tell me what you think.

die, douche bag (Photo taken by Chris Ramos @ the Morrissey concert)

Untitled

by Ms. P

It crawled inside her head

and lodged itself

quietly,

comfortably

in the deepest cavities

of her cerebral cortex.

She thought she was,

at this juncture,

 impervious to the leech;

didn’t think it would

bother her

ever again.

Yet,

there it sat

curled up

knotted,

vicious and

sinister

sucking the might

of her confidence

slowly eating away

at her lobes,

without her knowledge.

Nothing prepared her

for the pain

when it dug

its jagged teeth

on the soft tissue

surrounding her decisions

her opinions,

the grey matter of

her insights and

inclinations.

It drank the life out of

everything she believed was

real and important.

Worn out and weary

she wondered why

she could not hold her

heart in her hand,

the usual indicator

that she was in a safe place;

where there were no hidden agendas

or predators  lurking

 in her subconscious.

Until of course,

that very

same thought

alerted the little demon

hiding in her brain

that she finally,

 knew.

Knew

exactly

what

it

was

trying

to

do.

It uncurled and

quickly

the little bastard

slithered out

of her ear

moved on to her shoulder

on to her forearm

passed the tiny tiara

and sun tattoo

on her wrist

only to find its

way on her palm

where she

waited

until she could

close her fist

to squash

the little fiend

that tried to eat

a part of who she was

squish

die, douche bag!

Guts squirted

from the gaps

of her tight fist

She watched

the color return to her cheeks

as she unclenched

her pale yellow

hand

And you? What’s your  recent source of inspiration?

grateful slice:  my summer writing workshop and my 12 young writers

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5 comments

  1. ishha14

    Heh, loving the “die, douche bag!” I’m glad to hear you’re making the most of your time Ms. Pau 🙂 no regrets heh. The kids seem to be doing good yay! Miss going to Chiara’s place every weekend egh. How’s mr Marcellus Wallace handling the big move?

    • Ms. P

      Hi love. How are you doing? I miss you! How did that paper on careers go? Marsellus has no clue. It will hit him when he moves to my folks’ place for a couple of months. Sigh. Die douche bag (alliterative, I know.) was originally something else. But had to change it. Hahaha. 🙂

      Thanks for letting me show your blog to the kids. Awesome sauce!

  2. Jabiz Raisdana

    Cannot believe we will be working together. We are so alike in so many ways. I too fight the urge to document everything or just let it go. I have so much more to say, but will wait till we are planning lessons, having drinks, and hanging out. Hey maybe we can motivate each other to finish that damn book ( I am 47,000 words into mine) or maybe write a collection together.

    Possibilities….endless.

    • Ms. P

      Haha. Ditto,man. Mutual admiration society is it. I have to pinch myself sometimes. #dreamteam. Thanks for the RT love and hello, you are way ahead in the writing-our-books department. So, need to catch up.

      And a collection? Sounds like a plan! Can’t wait. 🙂

  3. RAE

    The Truth shall set you FREE. You’ve been truthful to God you’re true to yourself I LOVE YOU BEING YOU
    MOMMY

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