As I started scribbling away during my days of depression, I recognized this little call inside me that said, “write more, write more, write poems again!” In fact, many moons ago, I wrote poetry. I was no Robert Frost, but I wrote a lot in my spare time, experimenting with words and phrases, expressing the melancholy and confusion I felt as a teenager. Similar to many other things, I stopped writing creatively for a long time, until that little spark got ignited again by Farnoosh, one of the bloggers I greatly admire.
Summer of 1998 I went to a pre-college program in the US for 8 weeks. First time I was completely on my own. I had wanted to take a class in creative writing to learn more about writing poetry. Advice from teachers, parents and every other adult in my life was that – poetry is no use, take another class.
I relented and unwillingly compromised, so I took a writing class in social and ethical issues. More practical, was the response. It would help your analytical thinking and help you for law school. I nodded, mute with rage inside that I could not even spend 8 weeks studying what I wanted to, after giving up 2 years of my life warped with funny symbols in calculus and random theories of little carts crashing at each other to create velocity and momentum. (Under the Hong Kong education system back then, at the age of 15 we all had to choose to study the sciences stream or arts & humanities stream; sciences stream was generally considered elite for the subjects were prerequisites to studying medicine etc, which were also considered elite professions in Hong Kong)
Since then, I had stopped writing poetry. That was almost 12 years ago.
Until a few weeks ago, by chance I was on Twitter, and I saw Farnoosh’s tweet about promoting ourselves. She is the owner of an inspiring website called “Prolific Living,” – I had been a follower since the days of my depression but only very recently started to take part in discussions. Farnoosh created a page for anyone with an aspiration to use her page to promote themselves, their businesses, their causes, and invited us to write about ourselves hence. I clicked on the link she posted, and suddenly was flooded with a sense of nostalgia.
Some things cannot be explained. Perhaps the universe was trying to send me a message, and remind me of who I am inside whilst I continue this journey of recovery and self-therapy. Perhaps it was God’s little voice inside me, nudging me. Perhaps it was a simple coincidence. Perhaps it was fate or destiny or whatever it is called.
Doesn’t matter how we define it. I suddenly wanted to write a little poem on that page, without even thinking consciously, “I will write a poem.”
I closed my eyes. I typed. I paused. I typed again. I opened my eyes. And I saw this appear in the little white box before my eyes:
All burnt out
In my little space
Finding my place
To set myself free
Just to be me
Not exactly a sonnet. No rhythmical rules followed. Didn’t matter. I chuckled, obviously happy with my work. It might not qualify as a poem, but at least it is a little rhyme.
I was so touched, I almost cried. I had not written anything that can be remotely called a poem for 12 years.
But today I write again, for me, and for no one else.
Thank you Farnoosh, thank you depression, thank you God and whatever force out there in the universe.
And since then, I also jotted down another poem on the back of the newspaper a few days ago. Maybe one day I’ll be brave enough to show you.
These are just my thoughts and I’d love to hear about your experience and what you think in the comments below. Also, if you liked this blurb please share with your friends and help my blog grow. Thanks!