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Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

poetry

 

For me there is no greater honour than being recognized by one’s own writing teacher.  I have had the great honour and privilege of having two of my poems posted on my writing teacher’s website.  If you’re ever looking for fun and inspiring writing classes in various cities across Ontario, I recommend a class with Brian Henry.  If you enjoy poetry at all, you can find my two, “Life Cycles” and “In the End”, posted here on Quick Brown Fox (November 2, 2013).

May you also be recognized and brought forward into this world.

Blessings,

Tabitha

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It was a year ago, April 1, that I made the difficult decision to drop one day of work at the office and to, instead, devote that day to my writing.  The plan was very clear:  create pieces, enter them into contests and work to get them published.  I can say with pride that, but for a few days here and there, Wednesdays have become my writing days.  My loved ones have made the transition with me (Thank you so much!) and now support the time I spend locked away in my room.  While I may have “lost” a day’s pay at the office, I gained an extra teaching day and have managed to essentially fill my weekday classes; therefore, nothing, really, was lost.  After a relatively short time, I got to spend more time in my life getting paid to do what I love.  Amen.

Today another one of my pieces was rejected.  That makes for a 100% rejection rate.  One year later, not one single piece that I consciously put out into the world has been accepted by an outside source.  And still I write on.  I remember sitting with my teacher in a private session as I began the process. She was questioning how I thought I would manage any rejection of my work.  I recall saying, with absolute calm and certainty, that I would be okay.  I knew that, just because some judge in a contest did not choose my work, did not mean my work was crap.  There are all sorts of reasons for a rejection and, so long as no one was nasty to me, I would be just fine.  One year later I can honestly say that all really is well.

The whole experience has been very interesting and has provided me with a number of learning experiences.  I was approached by an online publication to submit poetry on a regular basis.  In questioning one of their policies, I discovered I was not particularly fond of their philosophy nor their style of communication.  That experience allowed me the wonderful opportunity to tell a publication that their product was not a good match for my work–I got to reject them…and it was fun.  I have also learned that the whole process of submission destroys a bit of something for me.  Adding an element of competition to my creative life gets me feeling like a crab in a bucket filled with other crabs dragging each other down as they try to reach the top. That’s not why I started doing this.  I started because I needed to, because, without feeding my relationship with the written word, I go a bit nuts and nobody likes that much.  I do it for the sheer joy of creating word-pictures, and for the challenge of taking the complex mess that’s in my head and straightening it out with words.  I do it because I love it, but the competition was killing that so, I’m glad it’s gone.  I feel no further need to compete.  I have my glorious little blog-home and, for now, that’s perfectly good enough.

If I could say something to the writers out there it would be this:  Don’t let anything get in the way of your love affair with words.  Don’t let the rejections stop you. Don’t let silence stop you. Don’t let others’ opinions stop you.  If you need to write, write.  If you love it, commit to it as you would a loving relationship.  Fight for it. Nurture it.  Romance it.  Just don’t let it go.  If you need to write, write, no matter what.  And if you need to share your voice with the world, start a blog, leave notes on public benches, slip a poem inside a book in the library, just do something.  You don’t need the outside sources to make your voice be heard.  The establishment writers once relied upon is gone.  If you need to share, self-publish, baby.  Go all the way!  😉

In honour of my one year anniversary, and of all the things I’ve learned thus far, I offer the very first poem I created back in April, 2012.

Many blessings, much love, and all the support in the world for your creative ventures,

Tabitha

Emergent “I”

 

Silent listening

            to water to wind.

Sun

stamp –presses down

on

my

skin.  I

soften outwards

— a tender pool of waves.

Wind-whisked water, warmed by sun,

nourishes the earth.

That

is my soul.

At the depths,

wind finds a crack and enters,  filling me

with pulse.

Dropping to open, I

ripple out

— liquid gold.

Liquid Gold by Deevona

Liquid Gold by Deevona

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Creative people are dramatic, and we use negative drama to scare ourselves out of our creativity…–Julia Cameron

I have the tremendous ability to suck the life and joy completely out of creativity.  I’m also the queen of excuses.  I blame my inertia on my partner’s procrastination.  BULLSHIT!  It has nothing to do with her.  I have no quiet time.  This is absolutely true when I cram my days full of meaningless activity.  I have no solitude.  While I may not have the entire house to myself, it is a guarantee that people are not holed up in every single room!  Solitude could easily be found if I simply got off my ass and closed the door to my work space.  We watch too much TV.  Only when I sit and stare at it for hours instead of heading off to that previously-mentioned quiet space to nourish my creative spirit.  Left to my own devices I can easily come up with a lifetime of excuses to keep me from doing what needs to be done–CREATING!

The truth of the matter is that recently I stopped creating out of fear.  Heart-stopping fear.  In the midst of writing a poem that had me feeling like I was holding the hot, putrid guts of a dying woman in my hands, I felt the metal security gates of my defences slam down–HARD.  I heard myself say, “I can’t do this.  I don’t want to do this.  Why me?”

Up from the depths of my memory came the voice of an old writing mentor.  She was ripping me a new one after I shared with her the most raw piece I had ever written about my life. I thought I was safe with her, a woman who knew great suffering herself.  Instead, I was met with venom as she stabbed me with, “What are you trying to do, drag me into your shit?  Change the voice!  Change the story!”  Except it was my story and it was my voice.  I could no more change these things than I could the colour of my eyes.

Instead of understanding my mentor’s reaction for what it was–my story touched a painful, unhealed place in her–I took her words to heart believing there was something intrinsically wrong with my voice and my perceptions.  Afraid to ever again shine the light on raw human suffering I aimed to “clean up” my ways of viewing the world and expressing myself.  I was a dirty girl who saw dirty things and that just wasn’t nice.  I wanted to be nice.  I wanted to be liked.  I wanted acceptance.  My aim served only to create in me great psychological conflict and a vicious case of creative constipation.

20 years later I find myself standing here with this bleeding, unfinished poem in my hands, the true and agonizing story of a woman’s response to loss, and I am sick with fear.  My knees are knocking, my chest is tight, and my entire spirit is cringing, waiting for the scathing voice of Mrs. M. to once again tell me I’m a dirty girl who needs changing.  I can’t proceed with the story. I am stuck but only for as long as I allow myself to be.  Mrs. M. is gone and her voice is simply a memory that resurfaces whenever I feel scared and vulnerable in my creative life.  In some twisted way this punishing voice helps me find comfort and safety by stopping me dead in my tracks.

What to do?

I gently creep up on myself.

Day 1:  Take pen in hand.

Day 2:  Have pen in hand. Place book in front of self.

Day 3:  With pen in hand, open book.

Day 4:  Dare to write one word.

                              Then one sentence.

                                        And a paragraph.

Day 16 (or 24…or 68…I’ve lost track):  I open the file on my computer that contains the poem.

Today:  Looking at the first two sections of this three-part poem, I type “3.” and save the file.

Ernest Hemingway once said:

Today, by softly and lovingly moving in on my creative self, I begin to bleed again.  Just for today, in this very precious moment, there is flow, there is movement, and it is good.

May you find the courage to creep up lovingly on the soft animal that is your creative self.  May you find just the right things to do to engage with it.  May you also begin to bleed into and from those places within you that have stood frozen in time for far too long.

All my love,

Tabitha

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I dedicate this post to my friend Leslie, “the non-professional tech person”, without whom I could not have made this happen. Thank you for reminding me that art in any form can be so…much…fun!!  🙂

pssst…..It has sound too!  🙂

Blessings and love,

Tabitha

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AWAKENING

by Tabitha Kot (2008)

Sitting innocently in my car,

weaving my way through rush hour traffic,

distracted and crunching on a tart Macintosh.

She silently, invisibly, slinks through the

sliver-crack

of my open window.

Gliding across the breadth of my shoulders,

licking Her way up the back of my neck,

She slides seductively across my jawline,

rises up to my ear and whispers, hotly:

Your life

is your sacred space.

 

And She is gone.

I blink once,

slowly,

deliberately.

My eyes open to a

whole

new

world.

She is in everything I see.

She is in everything I hear.

She is in all that I touch,

all that I taste,

all that I smell,

all that I know.

I see the jewel of the Goddess sparkling

in everything I behold.

The world becomes precious to me

in a heartbeat

with Her

in it.

I am home.

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Why have I never showcased my own creative writing in my blog?  It seems strange to have an open space dedicated to writing and expression and to remain in hiding.  So here is a poem that won Honourable Mention in The Ontario Poetry Society’s contest in 2008.

Longing II

I miss…

the north land in the summertime

rising glacial rock

enfolding

like a passageway through time

the ping-scent of pine and cedar

trees lending their needles

cushioning journeys on the land

the aching cry of the loon

haunting reminder of simpler times

I long for simplicity.

the vast expanse of sky

endless, breathtaking

ever-changing portal to mysteries

unknown

the canoe

rhythmically caressing water

cradled in the Ancient Ones’ hands

leading us Home

the hungry love made on the belly of the Mother

sacred energy

uniting

Creation

The absence leaves an echo in my heart.

I am longing.

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