I found myself writing almost an essay last night in response to your questions about how I started writing. I've edited it down - but it's still rather long - hope you don't fall asleep before the end :wink:
Just want to say first, how much I like the poem Autobiography - your work gets stronger and stronger.
(Can't trust anymore)
I understand this. At the moment I feel pretty much like I can't trust people.
It's not just trust either - I actually don't believe
in anyone, or have any faith in those around me. Even the ones who think they can help me.
That's a damn lonely feeling.
I think it's important that you write when you're feeling down. I find that it puts everything into a different perspective. Sometimes I write viciously angry stuff and then destroy it.
But it's good to write when you're 'up' too. I find that I can be more focused when I'm feeling easier in myself.
You asked how I got into writing
Well, I used to keep a journal and although a lot of what I wrote in it was basic information - rather than feelings, it seemed therapeutic none the less.
When I was told I had PTSD, I was pretty much determined to beat it - to get back on my feet. I started doing research on traumatic stress - which led back to World War I (study of 'shellshock').
I was amazed to learn how much creativity came out of that war.
In the trenches, men wrote poetry, painted pictures, carved wooden animals, made sculpture, engraved all manner of trinkets made from brass taken from shell casings; cartridge clips; shell fragments, damaged wooden propeller blades, and rifle cartridges - to produce artistic souvenirs. Others learned to knit, sew - even embroider. Tolkien began The Lord Of The Rings there, after losing every single 'pal' that he signed up with.
There they were in all that **** - yet they became artists or poets.
I suppose I became interested in how men were naturally drawn to creativity as a way of coping with their trauma - given that the army couldn't help them at all and they basically had to find their own instinctive methods for dealing with trauma.
Anyway, I got interested in the war poets - Wilfred Owen especially.
I realised that I could learn something from the First World War - about taking something really f*cking bad and transforming the worst of it into something creative. A cathartic process. Destroying demons with creativity rather than force.
Kind of like - taking the big pile of **** someone's dumped on you and growing the most beautiful roses out of it. Not to spite them - but because you don't want to carry their **** around with you and you can't put it aside - it's not that easy - so all you can do is transform it into something you can live with.
(Hope that makes some sense - I'm still getting my head around it myself)
To be honest, I think the best way we could honour those that died in WWI, would be to listen and learn by their experience.
Anyway, then I was on a train one night and I just began to jot down lines. It went from there.
Your poem (The Only Obstacle) seems very important and very personal. I'm sorry if you really do feel that way about being a girl.
If you do, then take heart and strength from knowing that you belong to the intelligent half of the human race. If women were running the world I know damn well there would be peace on Earth. (Which is probably why women aren't encouraged into politics). :wink:
But there are some terrific female writers out there - Arundhati Roy comes to mind.
(I'll be putting one of her quotes on the Revolution thread soon - see what you think).
I'm sorry if life has dealt you some **** Naima, but don't let the bastards beat you. Remember, the tougher the **** - the more they throw at you - the better equipped you are to produce something fantastic from it.
It might welll be painful - but it's pain that drives the true artist and makes their work honest and universal - not being able to spell!
(At least, that's what I tell myself).
Keep up the good work
And thanks for letting me talk your ear off!
I've been meaning to say how much I like your signature, btw.
That's a great sense of humour you have there, Naima.
Have you thought about writing comedy or satire?