It is no secret to anyone acquainted with me that I love to read. I read constantly, always finding time during my work day, lunch hour, or evening to read articles or ideas or blogs, constantly expanding my mind. Of course, I also love to read books, but that for me is not something that I can just do on a whim. I have to create the mood to read- by making a cup of tea (or coffee, occasionally a glass of wine) grabbing my favorite blanket, arranging everything on the couch and side table, and finally bringing it all together and settling into my favorite spot with my book.
Reading is my safe place. Its my escape. When I go through a break up, I binge read (which lets face it, is way better than binge drinking). If I’m recently heart broken, I can go through a book a week, sometimes two books depending on length and stress level.
One of my favorite authors is Neil Gaiman. So far, I have read “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” and “The Graveyard Book”, both of which possessed magical qualities unlike anything I’ve ever read (And I’ve read Harry Potter). I have more of his books hanging out on my book shelf, just waiting for the opportune moment for me to pick them up.
Neil Gaiman gave a commencement speech that I keep bookmarked in my arsenal of good life advice, and that is, “Make good art.” You can watch a clip of his speech here:
No matter what is happening in your life, good things, bad things, hum drum things, make good art, and make it as only you can. Don’t worry so much about what other people think, and just put it out there. Neil has given you permission to make art- to make mistakes, to not worry if your voice sounds too much like someone else, to not worry what negative people are going to say, to put aside your anxieties and just make art.
So I’m going to do something I haven’t done yet on this blog of mine: I’m going to post an original poem. Poems are usually reserved for the pen and paper and security of the journal I keep, but today, lacking both those things these thoughts needed to formulate, so I made due. I’ve been struggling with a relationship recently, which took me from totally sane person to practically out of my mind- but in the process allowed me to transform. To use the words of Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) “Ruin is a gift, ruin is the road to transformation.” While this relationship clearly isn’t going to work out, even though I was hurt inside, its still impacted me in a positive way, allowing me to get to the heart of my biggest relationship fears and anxieties. Now that they are out in the open, they don’t seem so scary anymore.
“Catharsis on my lunch break” – A poem
You seeped into me
Like a quiet, watery darkness into the deep dark of what truly lies
within my heart
Forcing to the surface the hurt of its’ past,
Of anxieties and fears long suppressed now emerging
You surge and flow through the deepest cracks of my character
Flushing it all out, you continue coursing through me until all I tried to hide hits the open air, feeling the breeze that can only live upon the sea
And I am floating, treading, bobbing along, not realizing all of this was weighing me down, my breath coming easier, my eyes taking in the sky for the first time
Surveying the wreckage in its new environment, seeing it drifting brings a sense of calm
Instead of clamoring to retrieve them, I let them drift away, relieved to have survived the storm, and start my swim toward shore. –Justine Jarvie, 2/17/15