“Sometimes a change can do you good” so goes a well known Sheryl Crow song and it’s very apt especially in my case recently.
For all the triumphs I’ve achieved in my life, not a day goes by that I don’t think of those Spectrumites who are less lucky than I was. We all face challenges, triumphs, tragedies at some point in our lives. That said, it’s how we let the challenges change us that determines what gifts we reveal about ourselves and how we relate to each other.
Recently, I’ve been challenged creatively to think outside my poetic comfort zone, as you have noticed, I usually rely on free verse poems to articulate what I’m feeling about a subject. The hard part about that is that when you don’t feel challenged about it, it becomes so natural to you that experimentation about different styles is the farthest thing in your mind. Inevitably, writers block comes and there’s no way to shake it.
That all came to an end when a wise and talented friend encouraged me to explore new ways of looking at poetry, telling me that the challenge was what made it fun. I looked through everything I could think of, online and books as well and in time, I found an idea that I would need to work with but it looks as promising then as it does now: acrostic poetry. It begins when you take a word (the Title) and find words that make sense and are flexible enough to work around, like I do in my acrostic Meiji, for the Meiji Restoration in Japan:
Major overhaul; upgrades need to
Examine, who, what, where, when, why of
“I.” Internal questions plague us all
Jarred by envy; stagnation, outward
Investigation helps us in future to improve ourselves.
Socrates, the father of modern Philosophy, was made famous by his famous quotation: “All that I know is that I know nothing.” My translation is that we don’t know what we are capable of in challenges until we actually face them and even then, there’s so much to learn and apply in our own lives. I was complacent in my ways that I needed to dive back into my poetic roots and come back stronger than before, artists do this all the time but I think that this applies to Spectrumites as well.
Find whatever you love, something you’re passionate about and go for it, but don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and become stronger, wiser by the experience. You will need support in times of difficulty as well as kindness and good friends to celebrate with you or for consolation. Know that, in struggle and success, you, dear reader, are not alone!! We all need help to climb our own mountains, but the view at the top will help us to…