The poet’s job is to put into words those feelings we all have that are so deep, so important, and yet so difficult to name, to tell the truth in such a beautiful way, that people cannot live without it. Jane Kenyon
I envy the poet, the one I cannot live without. I want to formulate expressive words such as his. I want to spit out the laborious roots of life as she does. I desire the eloquent words that easily spew from their collective, creative minds.
I am not simply speaking of the poet who pens poems. No. I am speaking of a person who possesses special powers of imagination or expression…in the written word of books, blogging, poetry, music, and the way they write a love note on a cocktail napkin. They fly across the page and the computer screen with ease, giving a palette of color to nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs. Their work gives pause for thought, wraps readers in suspense, wrings heartache from a saddened soul, and intertwines the sensual hands of lovers.
There are days when I ache to be that person.
Too often, when I write, the obsessive, compulsive perfectionist asks, “Is this good enough? Do you make sense? Have you used proper grammar and English? How many intelligent-sounding words did you use? Spell check? Do you sound like Jane Austen or Honey BooBoo? Perhaps you should just move it to the trash?”
This one cannot fly freely. It beats down the poet, the one you cannot live without. It must learn to stay at home and send the poet out into the world to utter words from the heart, not from an online dictionary.
Dear Readers, thank you for your wonderful response to the Extra Pillow post. This is a picture and a few words that I almost left for dead because the O/C perfectionist kept telling me “Lame!Lame!Lame! Haven’t they seen enough pictures of the cats by now?” Evidently, the perfectionist was being a small, boorish donkey.
We are our own worst critics and the one who holds us back from being the poet that makes words and photos and music and life sing. Let your perfectionism go. Channel Jane Austen, Maya Angelou or Arlo Guthrie and make your words sing and dance. Fly free.
Be the one that others cannot live without.