She Used to Write All of the Time

I knew it was a bad idea when I said I would do it with a stomach in knots.  I raised my hand anyway.  I used to write poetry all of the time.  Poetry that turned from rhyme to song and back again.  I used to think I was quite good at it.  It has been nearly 10 years since I have shared any poetry with anyone.  Not even my husband has read a piece written by me outside of these blog posts for years.

I said I would do it but I certainly didn’t announce it to the world.  I watched the event be posted and posted and shared and reposted again on Facebook.  I never let my mouse so much as graze the link.  I was terrified to invite anyone.  I was too afraid of what I might say or not.  For goodness sakes, the event was a week a way and I had written nothing.  Not one single little letter on a line of paper.  Silence hanging between my busy mind and my empty page.

Did I really sign up for the 6th Annual Poetry in the City without something written to share? 

Yes.  Yes I did. 

July 21st rolled up on me hot and fast.  No really.  It was fire ant hot outside and public speaking events seem to come quicker when you have nothing prepared to say.

I had nothing.  I had been pondering.  Reciting words in my head on long drives.  I had written and scratched out and written again.  Nothing.  I couldn’t write a thing.

Until.  5:45 on July 21st.  The program started at 7pm and I threw myself onto my bed with words pouring out of me.  It was almost like the first rest stop for miles after you drank a gallon of water.  Well, but…minus the nasty bathroom.

I wrote and I even sang.  I knew what I was supposed to say and the words came easily.

I showed up at the Michigan State Capitol, still questioning and a bundle of nerves.  I brought my guitar. Just in case.  I didn’t need it.  The few friends that managed to find my name on the list of poets came to support me.  I kept saying in my head, “This is a really bad idea.”  I would counter that with, “You just have to be brave enough to perform it the way you wrote it.”

And then it was my turn.

I didn’t pee my pants as I had been threatening all day.  I sang parts and spoke parts.  I looked up at the crowd and I said, “She used to sing all of the time.”

The words carried on because, even my mother recognized from the title, I was talking about myself.

I don’t have much to show from last night.  I have a few photos and a poem written out on three pages of paper.  Short and sweet and brave.  I may record it to share with all of you (but mostly my mom).

All in all, the event was a total blast.  People of all ages, men and women from all different backgrounds got up and shared something of themselves.  Honest thoughts, opinions and intentions.  I love artists. 

Anyway, to see the photos I took visit The Mother Flippin’ Fan Page.  Oh, and save the date for next year.  Thursday, July 19th, 2012 will be the 7th Annual Poetry in the City.  That gives me approximately 364 days, 23 hours and 45 minutes to write another piece to share. 

My friend Sara made that little timeline observation.

When I am scared, I procrastinate.  There, now you know my weakness. :)

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