Saturday, November 14, 2009
Louise Bishop's work, Words, Stones and Herbs (2007) focuses on the healing power of literature. She discovered a 15th-century manuscript which provides treatment for everything from a flesh wound to mental ailments. In medieval times, medicine involved the study of language related to the seasons and the power of nature.
A doctor often placed a written charm on a broken leg to speed the recovery process. What we today consider, the placebo effect, became a vital part of medicine back then. Bishop mentions that people would memorize 150 lines of poetry to assist healing.
Fighting a sore throat and sniffles, I decided to delve into poetry and produce my own literary curatives. I cajoled and begged my body to cure itself during a day of self-healing that involved reading and writing.
Years ago I learned from Dr. Norman Cousins that humor heals. A day of silliness and naps would get the job done. I wrote and re-discovered a poem on the human body that added to my cure.
Today, I am buoyant and back!
The Heart of the Matter
Why does the heart always get credit
when pleasure or pain take the breath away?
“We do the work,” say the lungs.
“Breathe. Breathe. We fix it.”
The heart claims it never breaks,
“I don’t even wrinkle.”
Fingers create fists, “We feel, really feel.”
"Well, we run from distress,” the feet say.
Liver and kidneys shout that they
deal with all bodily evils first.
The eyes edge in,
“Tears wash away the chaos.”
“Hey, don’t forget us adenoids and tonsils,
if you still have them."
“Anyone home?" asks the spleen" The appendix
can’t even pronounce vestigial.”
The navel chuckles, “Don’t ask the colon for its opinion.”
The brain has remained complacent
“Have fun without me,” it sings
as it flits out an ear.
- Penny Wilkes
Creative Write: Take a day for self-healing. Create a poem about the human body.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Words tug at me like magnets. They greet me from signage, menus, and roar from upside down. They tantalize by association with scents, sounds and tastes.
Yesterday I noticed "Stop Rust" at an automotive shop. I thought, Good Luck. My mind began to twirl - Arrest Rust! Can't keep up with rust so dust it. I thought of the music group from the eighties - Rust Never Sleeps and extended it to Rust Never Rests. Rust has power.
Then a sign nailed my attention because of the framing possibilities that would add more to its dynamic.
Jump your wires to possible.
Playing with words stretches my mind. As they gambol about, connections occur. They surge and become available when I need them.
Set up for a Word Playground
I choose a word that has more than one meaning. Also, it must bring in sound, scent, texture and even taste.
Here's a chart of early connections. I've started with KNOT which could exist in a tree, a muscle, or a ship's speed. I can tie a knot to make it SECURE. Then it could unravel and smell like creosote used to protect it. Imagine the sound of a knot rubbing against sails of a ship. A freewrite from the scent to the ship might develop into a story or poem. Also, I might add a wild notion or two.
LIGHT also provides delight in play. She lights fires beyond the radiance of a son. Candles sputter as a scent wafts throughout the attic. ENLIGHTEN takes her to another level. She does not want to feel left in the dark. Drip. Drip. Drip. Is that the candle or. . . a nuisance in the night?
Writing to communicate an idea requires word choices. If we play with words on a daily basis, they will travel our synapses and appear in a variety of wonders during the writing of a story or poem.
Creative Write: Start with ball and think bawl also. Then search the dictionary for less familiar words to play with. Go wilding!
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Nudging into creativity today, I ran in a pattering of rain. Puddles and reflections encouraged ways to view nature upside down. What fun to notice leaves relaxed in their morning spa.
Spokes of spider webs draped from the bridge railing. Dappled with beads of dew, they refracted rain from the droplets. Fir trees stood on their heads as squirrels twisted down oak trees in search of breakfast. In the ponds, ducks ventured upside down to feed beneath the surface, tails wriggling in the breeze. Even the herons appeared to search for a reversal.
When we take the opportunity to break from the ordinary and move out of a mind set, it clicks our imagination into a fresh gear. Ideas and ways to view our life's challenges appear from the inside out with a variety of connections.
Notice the leaves in communal hugs on a park bench. What a better world we'd have if everyone shared a morning upside down and inside out.
Creative Write: Approach the day upside down. What do you have hiding inside that wants to come out. Write about it!