Poetic (Im)balance

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about thinking and viewing my world with a poetic eye. What was ordinary became extraordinary. Every day items inspired me. It was amazing how this poetic lense completely overwhelmed and enveloped me. It was great, but it was also not so great. I had been working on a poem about having lost my father to cancer and the words just didn’t seem to come forward. What did come forward however were all the issues I had about cancer and I became obsessed with it. I kept my kids inside during the hours between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm when the sun was known to do the most damage and bought 4 different types of sunscreen for them. I googled colon cancer and then wept for my brothers whom I was sure I would lose to this terrible disease because they were too manly to see a doctor. I tallied up the different types of cancer running through my dad’s immediate family over and over and over, thinking that if only I could put them in some sort of order I might create a talisman to protect my loved ones. To put it mildly, the poetic eye was beginning to do me great harm.

Finally I sat down and worked at my poem. I kept going at it until I had a workable copy–unfinished but it was a start. I entered it on my blog and in doing so released all my anxiety about cancer. It was a powerful moment of release. I felt good. I sat back down and smiled and told my son that yes, we could definitely go to the park that afternoon.

And then it happened. Nothing. As Shakespeare’s King Lear would say: Nothing comes from nothing. (paraphrased Act 1.1) By releasing my poem and all the emotions that were involved in it, I had nothing left. My poetic lense was gone. A sock was just a sock, people had cancer, and that was that. Where once I was inspired, now I was numb. Nothing could come from nothing. I had nothing.

On the wikipedia page for “Nothing comes from nothing” there is a scientific section which states: The law of  conservation of energy states that energy can be neither created nor destroyed; it merely changes form. I am hoping that this may hold true for the energy involved in the creative process. I am hoping that my creative energy and poetic eye is merely in the midst of a form change and that soon I will be able to resume my attempts at living a poetic life. The unfinished poem I wrote for my dad took a lot out of me–more than I had ever expected it to. Then again, I have never been this focused on my poetry before. Perhaps I need this pause to regain equilibrium, to restore balance. I only hope this rest period allows me to come back renewed and rejuvenated and ready once again to look at the laundry poetically. I hope it’s soon, since it’s starting to pile up.


June 11, 2013

Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nothing_comes_from_nothing


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