A few months back I participated in a writer’s workshop called Creative UnBootcamp: A Course for writers . . . and those who want to be. The course was hosted by Jacob Nordby, author of the incredible Blessed Are the Weird: A Manifesto for Creatives, and it was one of the best courses on creativity I’ve taken (this is an organic tip of the hat from me, I’ve not been asked to endorse the program, I really, genuinely loved the course). One of the assignments of the course was to focus on one of three images that captures the imagination and write a poem based on your reaction.
The image I chose to focus on depicted a figure, who appeared to be made of stone, with a locked wooden door or gate on its chest. Behind the locked was a bright white light emitting in glowing rays through its cracks, and from the way the figure is posed in the image, it, to me, seemed as though this light suddenly appeared out of nowhere, as though something had awoken inside.
I couldn’t take my eyes of the damn thing, and it sparked something in me that I put together for the assignment. I wanted to share the resulting poem, The Pebble, as I think it’s a bit of an appropriate reflection of where I am on the journey with this blog, with the start of renewed writing, and what will be coming with more writing ahead.
in a mist-faded memory
I found a pebble in the sand near the tide,
small, flat, round, and dark,
the darkest of blues with wave-cracks of indigo,
but a shimmer of green,
that would, in the right light, glow brilliant with shards of white.
Afraid to misplace it
even more afraid to wield it,
I locked it away,
caged the shelter,
The pebble shook, rattled, screamed, sobbed, begged, mourned,
fell into the abyss of hopeless grief,
unsure of future freedom.
I turned my ears deaf in hopes to forget.
And then the pebble settled and silenced,
fell into the breeze of a whisper and was asleep.
Recently I’ve felt a rattling.
So low, more a humming,
low vibratory rhythms;
a distant turbine sound turning,
and the tips of my ears at a peak.
Hour-by-hour, the rattling rhythm grows;
The sound moving from click-clacking to bell-ringing,
scattered and increasing.
Days ago my chest shook and my hair filled with electricity;
my arms prickled and my neck grew cold.
Just then, the bells stopped ringing.
And next came the gradual-grow of the warmth,
a core-spot within the chest,
a blinding light tore a hole through my shirt.
Blood trickled, evaporated.
And the hole caught flame as the light grew hot and I felt from my center an indigo-white pulse from some far-off place, something lost now returned and grown.
I looked down and saw after anxious years of self-lies and hesitant mind,
after countless fears and doubts, that old locked cage,
from my hands once closed.
And next to it, padlock unlatched and swinging,
like a wind-swept gate in autumn dusk.
And I felt comforted, home-like.
So, within the glowing brilliance that emitted from my core,
I leaned toward the lock, removed it,
and reached down to open the gate.