April being Poetry Month, the creative writing class I'm taking at the university, participated in a poetry slam last week. In preparation our professor showed us a film (video tape, DVD, whatever you want to call it) showing people at poetry slams reciting their poems. It was all very impressive.
Our guest poet was Thom the World Poet also known as Thom Moon 10. Originally from Australia, he travels all over the world reciting his poems and handing out chap books of them for free. If you go to his web-site and email him he will send you a daily poem as he writes at least one a day. He is quite entertaining, humorous and madly in love with poetry. At the beginning of the evening he handed out plastic eggs filled with rice so we could provide rhythm and "applaud" the performers.
Here's a little "poem" about it.
Easter eggs filled with rice
- shaken, not stirred -
applause for the spoken word
Not considering myself a poet and unable to "do" poetry off the top of my head, plus the fact that I didn't have a poem to memorize and recite, I did the next best thing. I hauled out my dusty guitar case and sang an original song.
I did practice for several weeks before the night of the performance. I had to toughen up my finger tips, I have no calluses left! I haven't played or sung in front of any kind of audience in at least 10 years, so it was quite the deal.
I didn't do too badly, considering how rusty I am, and got an enthusiastic round of applause plus a peace sign flashed at me from a long-haired male student.
All of the above is a lead-in to this: One of the reasons I decided to take the class was to stretch my boundaries. This I am doing. What I have discovered, what I didn't realize, is that I have been basically treading water when it comes to my writing. I've been in a comfortable place and have been on cruise control.
But a writer and her writing needs to be fed. I don't know where I'm going. In fact, I don't have any kind of goal in sight. What I know is that I'm beginning to swim slowly in an outward moving spiral. I'm in no hurry. It's not the goal that's important, it's the leisurely swim. Right now the waters are warm and calm and welcoming. No doubt I will encounter stormy seas, but I intend to ride the waves, laughing (or crying) all the way.