One Great Day in a Sea of Crashing Waves

If I’m taking it one day at a time, I’d say Friday, September 29th was awesome. Without thinking too much about tomorrow or next week or next year, I’d even say the anniversary celebration event for The Definitive Soap Box was super fantastic.

In the midst of running around preparing for my boy’s birthday party with his friends, I was able to iron the draft of a poem that I eventually tried out and recited at The Soap Box. It was received well and many came up to me to commend my courage. With nearly 100 people in attendance, I owned the moment. I owned my depression. I owned…me.
.
.
.

Dear depression,

Shut the hell up!

Because I’m actually happy today.
Look at me.
I’m ecstatic.
I’m elated.
I’m ridiculously roused that I actually got out
of bed this morning.
And, yes, this is me being happy.

But if I’m being honest,
on days like this,
I still long to see the bottom of a shot glass.
Two shells,
cocked back,
sometimes aren’t even enough to lessen the blow
of your piercing criticism.

Yet,
it’s your fermented fuse
that fuels the shrapnel
that I seem to flirt with every single day.
I’ve wishfully wanted to taste you,
but I’m always afraid of trying new things.
You intoxicatingly whisper sweet nothings
that I seem to always fall for.
And your cunning wit seems to be a lot more sharper these days.

Yesterday, you said goodbye with your silence.
And even though you never actually walked away
I hoped
I wished
I begged to never see you again.

It’s your silence that gets me.
Creepy like clowns,
but charming like chocolate.
Decedent and deranged
all at the same time.
Sickening like social media,
but comforting like the crackle of last night’s fireplace.

You can say nothing,
but it’s what you don’t say that bothers me.

And loneliness…
well, loneliness seems to have the exact same address
as her silent sister.
She’s always home when you need her to be.
I knock on her door when I need to escape,
but I’m also overwhelmed by her presence
when the doorbell rings
and life is waiting on the other side.

And even though I know
depression is a demented lie
drunk on our sour self esteem who
salivates on the first opportunity
of getting me alone,
I still flirt with his wily way of
convincing me that he’s all I’ll ever need.

And maybe he is.
Maybe he’s the only one
reminding me that I’m actually worth fighting for.
Maybe he’s the only one who cares enough
to keep me awake when I’m asleep.

Maybe…
just maybe he’s the only one
who thinks I truly matter.
Maybe I’m him.
And maybe I’m ok with that…

At least…for now.

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Your Voice

To say that my first week teaching Creative Writing to high school students was amazing would be a tremendous understatement!

But using the word “tremendous” would be a perfect start.

Our journey, this semester, will be under the direction of using Creative Writing to help students discover their voice and find ways to articulate what’s on their minds and in their hearts in the midst of the various injustices they find themselves in on a daily basis. Our curriculum, not only will help students find their creative voice, but will also foster better critical thinking skills as we dissect various Spoken Word pieces and classic poetry. The two combined will, ultimately, provide a basis for healthier navigation tools in the face of the “tremendous” challenges these students face in their communities.

From immigration issues to gang violence and from education to bullying, these students have already collectively voiced a tremendous excitement to develop a more healthier alternative to express themselves within the plights they find themselves in.

And, in an effort to better discover their voice, the students’ first writing assignment: Streams of Consciousness.

The students, each day, will begin with 15-minutes of “free flowing” writing. They’re not to think too much about their writing. They’re not to worry about grammar or spelling. They’re not to even think too much about their writing making any kind of sense. Streams of Consciousness writing is simply about allowing your thoughts to flow onto the paper.

When asked how their experience was, many of the students expressed a sense of freedom. They found that Streams of Consciousness was a lot easier than first anticipated. Many of the students didn’t realize they had a ton of ideas to write about.

They felt a sense of release!

Week one is in the books and I’m tremendously looking forward to the next thirteen.