Over the last several months I have found healing has come from many different sources. One of those sources is poetry. I’ve always liked reading and writing poetry. I like the metaphors, play on words and using as few words as possible to convey an emotion.
If you have a chronic illness, then the thought of death and dying has crossed your mind a time of two. Chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease and even cancer can be tough to manage. You can make a lot of changes and still wonder if you’ve done enough to live longer. All that wondering can cause anxiety and stress.
You don’t have to be a poet to write poetry. Writing a poem uses a different part of your brain than just writing. When you write poetry you access the creative part of your brain. It’s through this creative process that we can see things differently and can begin to heal. I show my clients that it’s okay to write about the “scary” stuff. Facing our fears is the first major step to healing the mind, body and Spirit.
When I began to feel anxious about an upcoming test or procedure, I know it’s time for me to write poetry. I wrote this poem last week before a test. It helped ease my anxiety and see my truth about death.
Scrub Jay snatches cat food
from the shinny sliver bowl
Ole Tom cat gives him the snake eye
California morning bight and blue.
My mind drifts to the Coosa River
a cool calmness floods my soul
the circle is bent but not broken
and I wonder about going home.
Ole Tom cat stretches wide and
the Scrub Jay knows it’s time fly.
The poem above uses all kinds of metaphors. Yes, it’s about a sunny day in California with thoughts about my home in Alabama. But its real theme is death. I wonder when I will die and how I know it will be time to fly and go home. For me, facing death and writing about it makes it a part of my life. And that is exactly what death is, a part of life.
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