Poems Should Rhyme, And Other Beliefs

posted in: layers, mixed media, writing | 0
Perpetual_Change_Tracey_Hewitt_2017.Web Poems should rhyme and other beliefs
Perpetual Change Acrylic and collage on canvas 30cm x 30cm ©2017 Tracey Hewitt

 

Tell me I’m not the only one who has days where everything makes no sense and you feel all kinds of off kilter and out of sorts. (Seriously – I could use the reassurance!)

One of my go to activities to unravel a tangled mind is writing in my journal. Sometimes, a poem will pop out. As I write that, I can hear my Dad frowning – if it has no meter or rhyme it can’t possibly be a poem.

Sometimes the things we believe hold us hostage. Stop us from trying something new or doing something brave. These words may or may not be a poem, but spilling them out in my journal helped me understand that while I may be quite attached to some of the things I believe, they don’t serve me well anymore.
I suspect we all have some beliefs that are not helping us any longer… How about you?

 

I am unsteady

I don’t know what I know
or, is it that I know what I don’t know?

I’ve told myself stories about
How I am
Who I am
What I am
What you think about me
My beliefs sit at my feet, looking up at me,
askance

Am I true?
Where did I come from?
Do I get to stay?
Will you choose me?

I see fear in their eyes.
Rejection is death to a belief.

Can I bundle them up in my arms,
hold them close, and reassure them
that even if their work here is no longer needed,
I have loved them dearly?

Can I let them go then,
to scamper off like scolded puppies
scurrying to hide under a chair
until I’m not watching.

Until they sneak back to chew on my heels once again?

No. It seems not.
They must be banished
for my own good.

Oh, but their pleading eyes!
How can I reject those eyes 
that I have loved
that I have trusted.

But, set them free I must.
Oust them from the comfortable cushion of my being.
Cast them away for good.

If I am to know my own freedom.

Wise Woman Sonnet

I Wasn't Expecting To Cry; Wise Woman Sonnet
I Wasn’t Expecting To Cry ©Tracey Hewitt 2017 Mixed media on watercolour paper.
Session Three of the Write Into Light course is about to start, and I promised myself I would publish more of my writing here, so I’m diving in to share one of the pieces with you that was a BIG challenge, before I launch into the final session. The image above is from one of my art journals – her eye leaked, and she cried an unplanned and unexpected tear. And don’t we all do that on our way to knowing ourselves and learning to love the flawed humans we are?
This particular assignment was to write a sonnet. Yes, like Shakespeare. My initial thought was something along the lines of: “You’ve got to be kidding.” (Something along those lines, with perhaps an expletive in there for emphasis).
Armed with the technical requirements: iambic pentameter, rhyming couplets – all the sonnet rules and regulations –  I set about counting syllables and weaving words. Not sure if Shakespeare would approve, but if felt pretty bloody good to bend an idea into such a regimented shape!

Wise Woman Sonnet 

I railed against the longings of my soul,

which yearned for freedom, joy and a light heart.

Believing all the lies my culture told –

“You must always be busy, act real smart.”

 

Then, though I tried to be the same as them –

the ones who made the rules and held the gate,

My heart found joy in paint and words and Zen.

The quest for busy led me to self hate.

 

So, to my heart a promise strong was made.

To find what makes me happy and that choose.

Compassion for myself I would now trade

for busyness and ways to self abuse.

 

Contentment can endure throughout the years,

Your joy is found in ashes of your fears.

 

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Writing: Exploring Square Pegs In Round Holes

Heart Writing

 

That box that people put you in – the pigeon hole which satisfies their need to classify and order their experiences – you don’t quite fit, do you?

There’s that sharp edge that grabs and catches. You try to smooth it off, sand it away, for your comfort – and for theirs.

Stop. That sharp edge is your power. File it away and your unique shape is lost.

It’s tempting to force yourself into that box shape. To fit. To fit in. But, that sharp edge digs into your side and deep down you know this isn’t the shape of you. It would not be this uncomfortable if it were.

Your place is not inside any box. No pigeon hole can contain your complexity, your contradictions, and the fullness of who you are. That sharp edge? It’s your reminder that you don’t belong in any box, and it’s your sword to cut yourself free.

Dear lovely ones,

I wrote the piece above recently in a writing class with Martha Beck called Write into Light. I want to tell you that I wrote it for you, and that I am way past any feelings of doubt about my own worth and belonging in this crazy world. But I know you know that’s not the honest truth. For I can’t write or paint anything that rings true for you without it being real for me also. My own sharp edge – the part I feel unsure of, the piece that I’m certain is proof I don’t belong – is the thing I need most to embrace. I long to write and paint and share so much with the world, but recently I have found myself here staying quiet, hiding in my busy life, using it as an excuse not to be brave and bold. Jamming myself into a box that isn’t my shape.
I’m nervous about how this writing may be received – it’s not always bright and colourful like the artwork you find here. But, as more people read my book, and talk with me about the themes that resonated for them in it’s pages, about how they’ve found the reading of the book helpful, the greater need I feel to share more of this writing. To share more of the pieces of myself that dig into my side – the pieces which try to tell me I don’t quite fit. To use the sharp edges of those pieces to cut myself free of my own fears and insecurities. I hope my doing that might inspire you to find your own sharp edge and free yourself, too.
I’d love to know your reactions. Love it? Hate it? Wonder what the hell I’m on about? Share it all!

Landing a dream and delivering a book

posted in: book, Gifts, writing | 4
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I’ve heard people liken writing a book to having a baby. I’ve just had a little laugh with myself because I realised that it was about 9 months ago that I embarked on one of my life’s biggest adventures. Today, I received the cover design that will grace this particular gestation, and by the end of the week my book When Your Superpower Becomes Your Kryptonite – A map to help us find the treasure in ourselves, will begin it’s journey to the printer. 
 
Here is the official “description” for the book:
In When Your Superpower Becomes Your Kryptonite Tracey Hewitt writes about taking responsibility for our own lives and happiness, and the ways in which we might care for ourselves as kindly as we care for others. She compares our journey through life to a sea voyage, likening our unhelpful habits to hurricanes and pirates that can blow us off course and sink us; and identifies the positive habits we can cultivate to keep us on course, and our treasure safe. Her own experiences serve as the lessons and cautionary tales as she shows us that we are indeed our own greatest treasure.

I have to tell you that this was fun. Hard work, scary as hell, exhilarating and frustrating at times, but mostly, fun. Sitting here at this point, so close to the final push before delivery (you see, it really is just like having a baby!) The thing that stands out most for me is that at almost every stage, I didn’t really know how to do it, but I did it anyway. I may have baulked, stalled and gone round in circles for a while a dozen times along the way, but I continued to find that if I took just one more step, the next thing would become a little clearer; and one step at a time, I arrived here – with my photo on the back of a book beside an “about the author” blurb.
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None of this is to say that I did it all alone! Kerrie Phipps and Natalie Holmes, as my book coach and editor respectively, have been endlessly helpful. Caitlyn Hewitt of Hewitt Consulting and Communications (otherwise known as my daughter-in-law) patiently snapped over 200 photos in the quest to capture the perfect author portrait. Truly. 200 plus images. I’m not even kidding, I don’t know how models stand in front of a camera all day every day!
What I want most to say to you right now is this: That thing you’ve always dreamed of doing? That secret ambition you’ve never shared with another soul? That big, wild, outrageous idea that you don’t believe you’re capable of pulling off? YOU CAN. You can make it happen, one tiny step at a time. Get your brave on and ask for help when you don’t know the way, but keep going. I want so much for you to do your own special thing – because I’d love for you to feel the excitement and sense of accomplishment that goes along with landing your very own wild and crazy idea.
When Your Superpower Becomes Your Kryptonite will be available through online booksellers (as a paperback, or as an e-book) early in the New Year, but if you’d like to pre order a signed copy, for $25.00(AU) plus postage and handling, email me at traceyhewitt@iinet.net.au and I’ll get it to you before Christmas. Unless you live outside Australia in some far flung corner of the world – and lets face it, pretty much anywhere is far flung from here –  in which case, I’ll get it to you quick as I can.
In the meantime, do something today that will put you a small step closer to realising your own Big Thing – if I can do it, I know you can too!

Do It – Even If It Scares You. Ruminations On Creativity and Fear

 

 

This post has been brewing for a while now, and I’ve found around two thousand reasons not to write it. I have just realised why, which I’ll get to in a minute, but first, I want to tell you about my friend, and a conversation we recently had.  My friend is a talented artist. Anyone who lays eyes on her work recognises her talent immediately. Yet she doubts it, and herself.

In the course of our recent conversation, I was busy trying to encourage her, and tell her she truly was worthy of recognition as an artist, and she bravely shared that she has started work on a new piece for a competition. Then she faltered, awkwardly finding it hard to articulate what she was feeling, with an “Oh, I don’t know. It’s hard to explain.”

She didn’t actually need to explain. I know.

“You’re worried that this time, it won’t work. That this time, everyone will find out you’ve been fooling them all along. That you really are no good and all that work you’ve already done was some kind of fluke and you probably can’t do it again.”

The look on her face was, I think, a combination of relief and horror. “Yes! that’s it exactly! But, how did you know?”

I knew, because it’s the exact same story I tell myself every time I begin to wade into the waters of creative endeavour. Every. Single. Time. I also – as a result of extensive investigation – have come to understand that’s it a common story many (if not most) creatives tell themselves – so thankfully, I felt a little braver sharing that than I once may have.

The act of creating something is quite a mystery, and often when I’m done, it seems a tiny miracle this thing has come through my hands to the world. From which point it is very easy to fear that when I begin my next creative attempt, the tiny miracle may not show up; and I’ll be shown up for the fraud that I surely must be.

Fear and I have been having some deep and meaningful conversations lately. Deciding it’s time to write the book I’ve been wanting to write for – oh, I don’t know, my whole adult life – got Fear’s juices good and gushing.  Thanks to the writings of Elizabeth Gilbert (whose new book Big Magic – Creative Living Beyond Fear is about to arrive in my mailbox –  I can’t wait to inhale it), I was inspired one day to try having a chat with Fear.

What I’ve learned is this: Fear wants to keep us safe, which isn’t always a terrible thing. But it can’t distinguish between an oncoming train and the light at the end of the tunnel, so it jumps up and down and tells us to stop right there, and get off the tracks because we are in danger of meeting our mortal demise.  Predictably, the closer the oncoming train – or end of the tunnel – gets, the louder and more demanding of our attention Fear becomes. And that’s the key – it wants our attention. So, these days I have a chat with it.

“Thank you for working so hard to keep me safe. I appreciate how well you’ve done that so far – I’m still here, thanks to you. You’re right; I might make a fool of myself if I send this manuscript to a publisher, I might even get some negative feedback on what I write; but you know what? I’m OK with that, because I want to live a life of adventure and courage and boldness and authenticity, and I will survive if someone out there doesn’t like what I write. I promise that I’ll create the best thing I possibly can, and I’ll give it everything I have. I promise to acknowledge you when you tell me you see danger. I need you to come along with me, but you can’t drive the damned bus!”

It’s astonishing the extent to which Fear quiets down after that. Much like a small child – all it wants is your undivided attention for a moment, and then it’s happy to go off and pull the wings off flies for a while, during which time – if you’re smart – you can get a chunk of your creation progressing nicely. Someone once wrote a book called “Feel The Fear – And Do It Anyway.” I never read it, but the title winds its way around in my mind frequently. Because that’s what creating is all about. I know I’m going to have to meet Fear head on every time, but I also know I’m going to do it anyway. Sometimes, like this post, it might take me a while to recognise Fear is what’s stopping me; but here is this post, different from the posts I usually write here, written now. If you’re reading it, that means I felt the fear and hit publish anyway.