“You were three years of water.” How deeply this resonates with me. It comes from bittersweet and intimate memories that I go over a lot mentally. I’m certain that anyone who reads those six simple words has their own encounter of a three year affair or event in their life. It doesn’t even matter.
This very short and sweet poem is from Nejma by Nayyirah Waheed. I truly admire her work and have written on it before. Like many of her other to the point poems, this one can have a very versatile meaning yet all the while keeping its wisdom. This is my perception I’m sharing:
I’d like to take a moment and use some imagery for the purpose of this post. Clear your mind of everything to imagine a green valley. Flourishing and full of life, nature has it that a stream flows through. Flourishing, full of life, and now fruitful for life to flourish… that stream becomes a river. It now bears a different weight and is cutting deeper within the valley. The wider the cut for more water to flow, the more life that comes but it’s not the same valley. It’s characteristics and needs are much different than when it started.
In life there are things that will happen and people you will meet, that are those soft waters. They may not cause a dent right away and it might not be negative at all but it will erode away some things. That’s only natural. It’s up to you as an individual to always be true to yourself and understand the beauty in an ever changing life.
There is something astounding you feel within when you share a certain kind of suffering with someone. It was naïve of me to think that there was no one else out there who’d understand my sentiments. Yet here we are. I’m a Nuyorican. And for anyone who doesn’t know what that is, it’s a Puerto Rican from New York. Yup — we have a name. Growing up apart of this community comes with its own way of life… like everyone else on earth.
I was able to really identify with the poem in this video because both the author, Noel Quiñones, and I had struggled with one of the same Nuyorican problems. Not speaking Spanish. All of what he mentions resonated deeply with me, some things more than others. Like for instance… it struck a nerve when he said it was like a countdown when you encountered someone who spoke Spanish to you or when he said, “it’s not lying if I feel something,” when I try to speak my “native” tongue. I hope you guys can enjoy it as thoroughly as I did. The video is below.
And I will say one last thing — people like us do belong. We create the identity of those like us and build our own space to thrive. And we don’t prevail even if it means using Google translator.
When Eve walked among the animals and named them — nightingale, red-shouldered hawk, fiddler crab, fallow deer — I wonder if she ever wanted them to speak back, looked into their wide wonderful eyes and whispered, “Name me, name me.”
– Ada Limón (1976)
I found this poem while riding the NYC subway. I was absolutely enraptured by this short poem and wanted to share it with you all. You can visit the MTA Arts & Design site by clicking here to view more poems and past poetry.
Writing has always been my favorite way to express myself. I can take my time with my thoughts and find the words to exactly articulate what I’m thinking. Blogging requires me to be more consistent so it’s important to keep it fun & interesting.
I’ve been spending a lot of time writing since creating StayBlooming.com. With that being said, I wanted to share 3 styles of therapeutic writing that I practice everyday. They help me stick to my writing goals (and accomplishing them), get out of boring routine, and also help new ideas bloom from existing ones.
Free Writing 📝
Free writing is the most simple. It’s writing about anything and everything that comes to your mind. Most of the time (even when you’re not in the mood to write) you will end up elaborating on one thought or another more than you thought you would. You can sometimes get to a point that you (kind of) lose consciousness in the art of your writing. It’s those thoughts that can display how your authentic self feels. You can reflect later or even look back in the moment. Venting to a good friend is much similar to free writing. There is no judgement. From writing about serious matters to silly ones, it’s bound to be a release.
Poetry Writing 💭
Poetry writing is especially fun because you can approach it in so many different ways. Poetry in itself has a bunch of different styles that can be applied to whatever’s being expressed. Some styles are unique to historical poets and others are unique to the poet who is writing. It’s needless to say that the possibilities are endless. The description of deep meaning is the eloquence of poetry. And to be able capture any emotion makes for great therapeutic writing.
Never to Send Letters 💌
This is probably the most significant of the three and the one that I do the least. I call them “Never to Send Letters” because I have looked on the internet and there is no shorter description. I actually didn’t find as much as I thought I would on it either. (Yes, I do research before writing!) In this style, you write a letter to someone without any intention of sending it. It’s venting on an extreme level… it can be a very humbling experience during devastating times. If done the right way, you find instances of where you actually did not need to say things. Especially hurtful things.
Overall, I wanted to share this with my readers because writing is a wonderful tool to relieve stress/excessive thinking but also stimulate mindful thoughts about oneself. I like to try my hand at different kinds of writing even if I’m not familiar with it. The goal is to find new ideas, elaborate on them, and grow. Something StayBlooming.com is committed to! 🌻
Take advantage of these free Kindle downloads:
bone by Yrsa Daley-Ward
salt. & nejma by Nayyirah Waheed
I had the wonderful opportunity of downloading salt. when it was free some time ago and fell in love with Ms. Waheed’s work. Her piecey poetry was everything my soul needed and didn’t even know it. I’m so excited to get to reading bone and nejma. I really hope readers take advantage of the chance to get these 3 books for free. Offer ends Friday, April 21st. Enjoy the read!
For the short poetry lovers, here is a read that you will not regret. I’ve followed @nayyirah.waheed on Instagram for quite some time without really sharing her wonderful book ‘.salt‘ published in 2013. She’s very intense yet delicate in her word choice. She’s not afraid to speak on the perspectives of people of color. I would keep the poems that spoke to me most to reread and still find comfort in them each time. I’m happy to finally share it and hope it can help someone through rough times.