I claim no copyrights to these words or this music.
Near the end of March, I was approached by three female poets, and asked if I would join them for National Poetry Month, writing a poem a day for NaPoWriMo 2019. I was more than a bit hesitant. I explained that I hadn’t been writing for almost an entire year. Physical issues, and trying to put together a manuscript of both poetry and prose, had taken up most of my time and energies. I didn’t tell them that I had gotten way too comfortable in my role as a Hermit. And, although I had actually thought about doing just such a thing, I’d kinda squirmed away from the reality, almost every time I’d even let myself consider it. I had become “Comfortably Numb.”
However, these were three women I had known almost as long as I had been posting my poetry online. Individuals I both admired and respected for their poetic skills and the truths I’d found espoused in their poetry. And each one assured me that they had very similar misgivings. I reluctantly agreed, took a deep breath and created a plan for doing what I’d just agreed to do. I decided to use my onsite media file for inspiration, choosing an image (one I had created, or photographed) for the inspiration of the day, then promptly sat down, did that, and wrote the first piece. Not once realizing I had made my job much easier than in the preceding years when I’d done it.
Getting up each morning, knowing one has to write a poem, making it as coherent as possible, then creating the format in which it is offered, and added to that is the need to read and respond to any and all comments, and present it all to public viewing is a heavy load to carry for an entire month. And I am far from the days of my youth, something I am reminded of each year I do this because my birthday is in April.
I really didn’t understand what a step up it would be to write the thing the day before it was to be posted. It allowed a twenty-four hour period of time to do all the other stuff that needed to be done, but also the time to come back to what I’d written the day before with fresh eyes and ears, making corrections and changing word choices that only hopefully enhanced whatever I was creating. It was a far more relaxed experience than it had been in the other years I’d climbed this mountain and held my breath, or panted my way through whatever days were remaining.
And best of all, I learned something, without the need for that pin prick or medicated state, what is important to me. I love writing. Love getting my thoughts and feelings outside of myself, not just in poetry, but in all the other things I do using these skills. I thoroughly enjoy expressing my thoughts, my beliefs, and my sometimes weird but wondrous ways of seeing the life that surrounds me.
Writing something down makes it noteworthy, memorable. It enhances memory as nothing else can or does. Searching through my own media files, pulled up memories that I could use and did. But, it also reminded me that I do write prose as well as poetry. So, I am back here today, shaking my own slouched shoulder, awakening myself from my own comfortable numbness. April is now behind me, but I have the rest of my life to live, and to continue in a manner that pleases me.
When I came here this morning, I realized that I didn’t have the faintest idea what I might write about. I closed my eyes and the opening line from Pink Floyd echoed through my thoughts, so I ran with it. Not only is it a long-time favorite for several reasons, it also includes that wonderful guitar solo, one that brings back memories from another life I lived long ago, and shared with the most creative and unique individual I have ever met.
Question: How comfortably numb have you become and why? Hello, my name is Elizabeth.