Lately, I’ve been thinking about how often I live in retrospect instead of in the moment. Not that it’s a bad thing. Because to write and write well you often have to go back into a lot of things. Over and over again you have to remember feelings both terrible and elating in order to put voice into your work. And that’s good but for some it can also be stunting in that we stay there too long because it’s easy to do.
I think most writers I know will agree with me in that we spend A LOT of time in our own heads. It’s necessary to our craft. And for the most part it’s fine. Except when you’ve worked hard to get over things and just thinking about them to write an eloquent poem can leave you stuck in mood. It’s hard to separate from the past, especially when it’s easier to remember the bad things in it over the good things.
To say it’s our experiences that make us who we are. That hardships only make us stronger and wiser in the end, is true. But trauma is a real thing, and the human mind is far from simple. Quite a lot of people can nestle into that trauma and stay a while. And it’s hard, VERY hard, to get yourself out of it some days. And some days writing helps, others it does just the opposite and perpetuates that horrid mindset.
Lately that’s where I’ve been. In that dark, dank, unlovely corner of my mind. I really don’t like it there. But sometimes visiting it is almost comfortable. And lately writing certainly hasn’t helped. So I’m putting my foot down today and letting go of some things. I’m done with hiding in the past for awhile. It may mean a few less new poems for the near future. But that’ll give me time to make videos of some already written ones.
And to make some good art in other ways. So that’s that for now. Rant over and here’s a short poem to sum it up if you didn’t want to bother to read all that preceded it. Cheers.
There’s a danger in this
In putting myself in the past again
Sinking into my memories
Even for a second
To find the right way to describe them
But for a mind on the borderline
Just pausing a moment too long
May rip up my vital signs
Leaving me flatlined
Skulking in the back logged feelings
I’m supposed to have moved on from
It’s almost toxic and alluring
Not that it’s enjoyable
But that’s the underlying potential
To lay back into the arms
Of something I know
Of something that’s sickening but comfortable
What it leads to though may stop me
A self destruction of all my hard work
To remember to smile and laugh
To move on and grow
To live in the moment
And let myself enjoy it
To not sit languishing in the past
Even if it only happened yesterday