get the word out
we had our first creative arts series at city on a hill last month. it was a series of four creative writing workshops called get the word out and i had the privilege of teaching it with carla and erin. we had a lot of fun with our pack of moleskine notebooks and our lessons on memoir & poetry. i taught the poetry workshop with an emphasis on spoken word. while i was preparing for this class, i reflected a lot on my own journey with spoken word poetry.
it began with a video that i watched while i was living in the downtown eastside (micah bournes – normal hair). this video was the first spoken word poem that really stuck with me and left a lasting impression. a year later, i found myself on a 25 hour train ride in china. to pass the time, my friends and i decided to write some poetry and share it with each other. this was the first time that i tried writing spoken word, ranging from random topics like toilet paper, love, and waiting in line. a year after that, i was in korea where i was encouraged at church to actually try performing a spoken word piece. it made me feel all kinds of nervous to even think about doing this, but my curiosity got the better of me. what would it be like if i actually did it? can i even do it? i think i can. maybe. should i try?
today at our easter service, a couple people from our writing workshop shared their memoir & spoken words pieces. it was awesome to hear their words out loud. what a gift! we also had a display of people’s work printed out for people to read. so so so cool. i think that everyone has a voice and that they have things that only they can say. i loved being able to get a glimpse of that today.
this was the piece that i submitted from get the word out. it’s a prose poem and it led me to many reflections on what it is that i want to write and share with the world. i’m still pondering this, but in the meantime here is some writing for you, inspired by the theme ‘revival.’ it’s called hide and seek:
I’m counting to 10. You’re hiding. I’m seeking. Ok? Is that enough time? We’ll play by your rules.
10. Will you be hiding in the garden, shielded by a forest of trees, covering yourself with a blanket of leaves? Will you be holding your breath when you feel my footsteps draw near and you hear my voice call, “Where are you?”
9. Maybe you’re out by the fire warming your hands, hiding your face as the sound of the rooster crows around you, wrapping itself one,
three times around your hiding place and you wonder if you will ever be found again.
8. Are you running like you’re running for your life? You hide in a cave that you think is impenetrable, protected from the strong wind and the shaking earth and the fire that rages outside. You feel out of danger, but you don’t feel safe.
7. You’ve found the perfect hiding place. You think I’ll never find you there, or that I’ll stop caring when I can’t find you anywhere. 6. You think I’ll give up on you, that I’ll grow weary of searching and that I’ll find a new game to play with someone else. Someone more fun, less ashamed, more worthy, less afraid. 5. But you underestimate my commitment to you. I am seeking you. 4. I’ve sought you, am seeking you, and will seek you for all of my days until I find you again.
3. 2. 1.
I’ve found you!
I’ll compel you from your hiding place with a gentle breeze, a low whisper that tells you to leave your shame in the garden, your guilt by the fire, your fear in the cave. Come out of hiding. It’s safe now. It’s safe now.
Ok. Now my turn? I’ll hide, you seek. Remember, I hide for you to find and what I hide from you is worth seeking with all of your heart, so don’t give up. Come and find me. Come and seek.
Ok. Ready? 10.