Friday, May 15, 2009

Peeling Off the Mask

I just didn’t give it a second thought. I printed off a copy of the all the poems I had written for the Writer’s Digest Poetic Asides Poem a Month challenge. (That was a bit of a mouthful). I gave a copy to a friend. I was delighted that I had completed the challenge and made the crossover from inspirational poetry to writing poems about dandelions and green blackboards.

I forgot that in among the short snappy two liners, and the complicated sestinas, there were a lot of raw poems about the grief of loosing my sister Linda. They were bleak, and dark and sometimes angry. Some of best poems are birthed out of some of the worst of circumstances.

What I had given my friend was an open window straight into my soul. It wasn’t pretty…and yet at the same time, in one of those most mysterious paradoxes we all encounter, it was beautiful. Very strong emotions had leaked out into the poetry. I had lifted the lid on what was really happening in my soul.

In church I wasn’t even attempting to hide my grief, but I made the effort to clean it up a little, make it presentable and palatable to people around me. In my poetry I didn’t. It was just straight from the heart.

Transparency is hard. We all wear masks and show other people the best of us. There is something quite awesome that happens when we peel back off mask and reveal the real us.

No comments: