Appreciating the personal

Another day done and I am still improving which is very exciting, although still quite ill. Before I got out of bed yesterday morning, I lay there filled with relief that I had woken feeling improved and wondering if I was well enough to try and get my final sculpture project done in epic time. Then I got up and staggered about the house for a bit and my heroic dreams vanished. That happens a lot with fibro, sometimes I’ll wake and feel quite awesome until I get out of bed.

A few years back I shared a couple of poems with a writer friend for their opinion. They were helpful and complimentary except about a poem I’d written sharing my feelings about what it felt like to be sick and envious of my well friends. They said that one made them uncomfortable and felt like it belonged in a journal and shouldn’t be shared. I was really curious about this reaction. Partly that poem wasn’t written as well, but there was this also this sense of a breach of social norms. Like I was allowed to write poems about heartache but not sickness. Loneliness but not envy. Definitely not wheelchairs. I felt part of an underclass, hidden and secret, not allowed to share these experiences under the guise of privacy. I felt silenced and like these experiences weren’t ‘normal’, weren’t going to be shared with other normal people. I had an image in my minds eye of all us sick people in the shadows, somehow being convinced we weren’t part of normal life and our experiences didn’t get shared. I resolved not to stop writing about them.

Later I came across a style of poetry called ‘confessional’. Simply put this style is painfully personal to the point that it often makes readers uncomfortable, and feels rather like reading someone’s personal diary. Ah hah I thought. So that’s what I’ve been writing! There’s nothing wrong with it, its just a style that, like any other, isn’t to everyone’s taste. I like rawness and intensity, not all the time, not in everything, but certainly they’re qualities I’m drawn to. I like art and poetry that let you find the artist within them, that hold keys and shadows and aspects of them. I like the deeply personal. I guess when I look at it all that way, suddenly its no surprise I’m writing this blog. 🙂

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