Listening to every heart
Bob, reading out loud was a real wall I took years to scale. I’m going to pull a serenity moment for some base information here.
As a child, I was always told to be seen, but not heard. Man, did I take that rule to heart. It didn’t help that I was painfully thin, and woefully shy. So, as I entered a sixth grade debate class, I silently wondered if I might get over my stuttering problem. Well, not initially, but painfully, I made a resolve to do just that, because I was not so politely asked by the teacher, after trying to give my first presentation, to “please leave my class, and enroll in something silent, that you don’t have to speak in, because you’ll never be a speaker among your peers.”
Didn’t take long for MY face to go red. But my resolve? It took several years, but in 1980, I took a job as a college recruiter. Heck, anyone can sit behind a table and encourage kids to go to college, right? Except at that time, the schools changed the rules, and you had to give talks on why their students should go to your college. Well, heck. Me? Speak to more than three people at a time? Non family members? Oh, expletives galore!
But I persevered, if for no other reason than to someday say to Mr. Drucker, “you were Wrong!”
As for memorizing poetry, maybe someone else’s, but not my own. My head carries a huge eraser and a constant edit button, and I would be “rewriting” my poetry in my head and I know I would get lost, because even when I’m reading my own poetry or prose, my edit button gets busy going “ding ding ding ding” and before you know it, I’m reading, yes, but I’m mentally catching the changes my head is making as I push my eyes down the page. No, it’s NOT easy. But the more you do it, the easier it gets. So I would encourage you to continue trying. Attend local Open Mic nights. If your public library doesn’t hold them, well, bring it up to them. If you have local friends who share the same proclivity as you do to write, take them along. It’s quite empowering, and very liberating.
Kim, first of all, nothing is wrong with you. Writing poetry [for me] is an on-going life lesson. Just as getting up the nerve to post poetry in CA has been very difficult for me in the past, now I find that if I don’t do it, I’m not going to learn as much from the process as just posting it in Open. I learn much more in CA. Getting up to speak in front of a camera was butterfly city in my stomach. Getting up in front of a bunch of strangers who don’t smile is even worse – but then you have to remember, they actually might just be listening intently. The old “see them in their underwear” advice never worked for me, though.
As for writing your emotions, your feelings, and then getting it out orally – that’s probably one of the hardest tasks you’ll ever give yourself if you truly want to write. For some people, writing is a God[dess] given talent and the act of it comes to them so easily that they don’t weigh the difficulty of writing to those of us who struggle with their muse[s].
I truly want to write. I have since the age of seven. Even then I knew in my bones that I would have to gain experience. I mean, what does a seven year old really know [and make that decade-wise, because what kids know now to what they knew five decades ago is exponentially different.]
Yes, Kim. You are learning. I am learning. When we are not learning, we’ve either given up, or are six feet underground. Here’s to continued learning for all of us who wish to write on!