Youth poetry slam was thought provoking, but the thoughts that sprung to mind weren’t necessarily brought on by the insights that the young poets were sharing. Insights, hardly. The repetition repetitively repeated itself until there was very little left to say. One poet, however, chose to perform a piece about chili-mac-and-cheese. Unique.
It was an enjoyable evening, dark wine to match the dark curtains hung behind the stage. Red like the lights draped across the ceiling. Wooden chairs, clustered young adults throughout a crowded room. Music from another room floated in as the waitstaff flitted back and forth, carrying clear pitchers of water.
Four performers, or five, maybe. I whispered the scores I’d have given, not really wanting to give scores at all. Poetry is such a personal art, I thought, held so close. Created, sometimes quite poorly with the worst of intentions. All writing is created with the worst of intentions, though; really, a self-serving selection of words, melodrama, lingering glances and forced emotional pain from which might spring personal growth, all set for a stage created and existing only in the author’s mind. But that’s where the beauty is. To see it is to connect, for a second, with the words they wrote, to feel them, almost, but barely, to know them.
Anyway, it’s strange how so much of growing up can’t be taught. I think that’s what I drew from watching youth poetry. Think. Because I was so busy living somewhere else, I’m not entirely sure what I drew. Perhaps a million poems from now I’ll know what I felt.
Listening to life experiences that can’t be relived is beautiful, but then again, so is living.
I turned on the tv this morning to fall asleep and the movie “The Dead Poet’s Society” was on. Do you remember going through that Walden Pond phase? Whew, I’ll never forget senior year of high school. I embraced transcendentalism like a second skin, loving the possibilities that it offered. Even thinking about it now makes me smile. I seized the subject matter with such fervor, not wanting to wade through Emerson or Thoreau, but wanting to dive in. But the details have long been forgotten.
I emerged as we all must from that phase having realized that life cannot be lived in the mind. And thus, I had forgotten the rush that I felt as a lost teenager when the BRAND NEW NEVER BEFORE SEEN idea of “Carpe Diem” hit me. NO ONE had ever felt like that. NO ONE, NEVER. Ha, ha, it’s sad to think that now I’ve realized that instead of being unique I was merely being another in the long line of people to embrace and then disregard (perhaps not entirely) the ideas that Emerson and Thoreau (among many others, including A.E. Waite – of Rider Waite Tarot card fame) put forth into the world.
I watched about five minutes of the movie before growing annoyed at everything: their actions, their ideas, etc. I turned on HGTV and learned how to stage a house for sale (arguably a better waste of time) and finally fell asleep, most definitely not seizing the day.
Some of that jumble of thoughts must have lingered because I woke up with the urge to go exploring. Instead, I walked the Highline Canal from Iliff through Fairmont and back. I know it’s really morbid, but I love graveyards. They are so peaceful, so stunningly set apart from the rest of the surrounding city, so immense in their silence and calming in their sprawling, curving layouts. The path cuts through the cemetery, backing up to one of the mausoleums (I’m not sure that it’s what they’re called–those tall, flat, white wall-like structures?). As I passed, I heard a family crying as they buried one of their relatives. The pain was acute and although I felt it not for them in particular, I felt it for those who have to grieve and lose.
Life, for all its beauty, is an immense burden to bear.
To all of those in our family grieving, I extend my support. I’ll not pretend to know your pain or even try to understand it.
Avery came over tonight, knocking at the back door in the dark. She was wearing the tiniest little boots but had her pants pulled up past her knees. She proceeded to inform me that they may have gotten wet on the walk over. I opened it and she came in. “Where’s Ms. Barry?” she asked. “At quilting class,” I told her. “Oh, I came over to see you,” she told me matter-of-factly.
We had hot chocolate and played with Barbies. I had to be Prince Erik, but it’s alright. No less than three times did she say, “I love you, Katie.” I would be Prince Erik or even one of the “mean ones” forever to get to hear her say that or even to hear her chatter away.
Also, completely unrelated to most everything in the blog: Please don’t workout without a shirt. Especially indoors. This applies to all genders, races and age groups. yuck.