Welcome to Thoughty Thursday! This is the day of the week that y’all get to be privy to whatever thoughts are kicking around in my brain.
This week, I’m thinking about coping. Seriously, I am. (Y’all know I save my deep thoughts for you on Thursdays.)
It all started with cleaning out my writing bin. (That’s the thing you have when you have a spouse like mine who’s all
He keeps bins for various things, so when he finds them spread all over the freaking place by his wife, he has a place to put them.
Hence, the writing bin.
So, I was going through this big green Rubbermaid container, getting sidetracked every three seconds (because that’s how I roll). This thing used to hold dog food, but now it holds my writing. Hmmmm….I hope that’s not a subliminal message from the universe.
Anyway, he’s got some groovy stuff in there. I had a serious creativity-fest inside the magic green bin of love. Plus, I could practically hear him roll his eyes across the room every time I said, “I wondered where this was!!”
It was a pretty damn exciting hour, if you know what I mean.
Anyway, I came across an old poetry notebook of mine and realized how long it had been since I wrote poetry. It was some pretty schmaltzy poetry, but intriguing to me nonetheless.
I realized I used to use poetry to cope.
Bad breakup? Write some verse. Fight with my BFF? A long poem. Teenage angst? Rhyming couplets. Now the only time I do it is when someone dies. I have no idea why but a poem falls out of me every time someone passes away.
These days I have Rockstar Counselor Guy Jeff to unload my angst on each month, but there’s a key component that gets lost — Hubby and I don’t record our counseling sessions.
Side note: Can you just imagine how juicy those recordings would be?? i.e. Do you have anything to talk about? No. Do you have anything? Nope. What about last week when I snapped your head off? Oh yeah! *controlled free-for-all ensues*
When I wrote poetry, no matter how bad it was, it encapsulated a memory onto the page for me to visit with later. The only poem I’ve written in forever was to my girlfriend who was having a bad day:
Roses are red.
Violets are blue.
I am booty-licious,
and you are too!
That’s not really something that will transport me in the years to come when I read it.
As I browsed my poetry notebook, I was transported back to a younger me in a way that memory alone can’t compare to. The pages were a window into my feelings at the time.
I can’t believe I’m going to do this, but here’s a short example.
I wrote this after the breakup of a relationship that I knew wasn’t working. Quick summary: I fell, he didn’t. Hindsight puts me at about 25-ish:
From here I stand,
To there I’ve been.
So, here I sit…
Where do I go?
What comes next?
I don’t know.
Unknowing was nice.
Not knowing is hell.
Wish I’d caught on
before I fell.
I found a million things wrong with this, and none of it matters. This little bit of verse did it’s job. It took me right back to that memory. At the time it helped me cope.
Note: After a while, I realized that I didn’t really love that poor long-ago schmuck. But I wanted to. And what I really wanted at the time was for him to love ME. That poem was about wounded pride and angst at having to start dating again. It was about wondering where my soul mate was and when he would find me.
I’ve decided I have to get back to the poetry thing, even if I’m not stellar at it. It’s not about winning a prize, it’s about the memories.
It’s about coping with whatever life throws at me…in the privacy of my own notebook.
What is your best coping tool? Has it changed as you’ve gotten older? Did you write poetry (good, bad, or otherwise) at any time in your life? Enquiring minds always want to know these things here at More Cowbell!