Monday, March 18, 2013

To Cast


I need no more

than a boat

and an oar.

Painting: "Warrior Canoe", 30" x 60", by Holly Friesen. Holly's painting was published on the blog: tweetspeak...the best in poetry and poetic things; and the suggestion to the reader is to view the painting and then write a poem in reaction to the experience. I was first introduced to this type of exercise at a writing workshop in Santa Fe, where we viewed paintings at the Georgia O'Keefe Museum, and wrote our spontaneous reactions to a favorite piece. As writers, I firmly adhere to an eclectic approach to craft; we benefit from the experiences we savor in dance, theatre, photography, painting...virtually all the visual arts. In this case, Holly's image led to a spontaneous thought, Zen-like and sparse in tone, but upon close reading of just a few words, other associations presented themselves.

The title, To Cast, may mean throwing out or getting rid of that which is no longer needed, be it mental constructs, or old ideas and ways of being that no longer serve in a nourishing way, leaving you more unfettered and alive. Or casting off to sea in the physical sense of getting away from a harried, complicated life and rowing into new avenues of exploration in the clean sea air, feeling refreshed and open to receiving the next experience that rolls in at your feet. Or accepting what you are given in life, be it clear skies or stormy seas.

On a practical level, the poem distinguishes between wants and needs. In reality we don't need most of the things we want. Our basic needs are just that...basic, and happiness is not accrued by having more "stuff". It's the liberating feeling that comes with spring-cleaning; casting out all the clutter collected over the years and letting go of things that tie you down (feeling moored?). It feels duly good to simplify, to get rid of unwanted stuff and to stop over-scheduling meetings and events, taking the time to bask in the experience of simple moments...akin to gently rocking in your tiny boat on a sea of calm.

Now scroll up and read the poem one more time.

Oh, how endless the metaphors! Please share your thoughts, dear ones. 

(Thank you, Maureen Doallas for your lead-in to this exercise). 


11 comments:

  1. I love the post and the painting with the poem. I think we can have mental baggage, too. I am drifting with nothing, so it's also nice to refresh my brainspace with these thoughts!

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  2. Drifting, adrift...more grist; thank you, Elisabeth

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  3. #1, where can I buy this print? #2, I NEED to finish the Cowgirls bunkhouse, to bring overnight comfort to my Coven sisters and future guests. Friends and even family think it's so remote to come up here and spend the night, but I'd love to share the night of the mountains with them...namely the stars and the quiet.

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  4. #1: The painting by Holly Friesen has sold, and
    #2: I bet I can round up half a dozen cowgirls who would love to lie on their backs on a cold wooden floor and look up at the stars through the bunkhouse skylight...though I can't promise staying quiet...what with all the years of good memories and laughter among us; some good things never change and I adore that. Colorado calls!

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  5. Hello Monica,

    Beautiful painting--and I really enjoyed reading your poem!
    I love to write and read poetry; in the past I wrote a bunch of poems-- years later, when I got more deeply into cathartic self-expression, I "illustrated" a couple of those poems.
    Your post really resonates.

    Also, last week I started working on a painting with an ocean(with all its magical symbolism)--for an exhibit in August.
    I feel a deep connection with the verse, visuals, and vibes, here.:)

    I enjoys your posts. Thanks for the beauty!

    Sheridan

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    1. Hi Sheridan...do you have a website where you are sharing your poetry and artwork?
      I too, have naturally come upon accompanying my writing with photographs and paintings; they seem to feed off each other and nourish the creative process. Thank you for stopping by.

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    2. Hi Monica,

      I do have a website-but it's in need of some spring cleaning which I hope to get to some time this year. I created it back in 2003...

      Until I get the website updated, my (flexible)plan is to post on Blogger--
      I'm grateful for the convenience--maybe I'll tie it together with my website in the future.
      Thanks for asking:)

      Yes, they do breed in many forms!


      Enjoy the beautiful day, Monica!

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  6. When life is good and we have what we need, our 'boats and oars' can be safely moored sometimes and out at sea other times, striking a balance between comfort and adventure... A quiet, simple poem...

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    1. So wonderful to hear from you, Barbara. I believe I lost your website for awhile, but am happy to re-connect. Balancing comfort and adventure is always a challenge in real-time experiences (living in an extreme environment)...especially as I've gotten older. Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

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  7. How I laughed to see the painting but especially to read the poem. There are times in life when the plain meaning is enough, as it was for me last week when a mis-step landed me in the water between a floating dock and a bulkhead. I'm fine - I wasn't injured. But there's something about opening your eyes and seeing nothing but algae and barnacles to focus the attention.

    Actually, it was a pair of stout wooden oars that eventually gave me my "way out". And there's another reminder from the poem. While tossing the lines and getting underway is marvelous, we need to be sure we haven't left "necessaries" behind. After all, if we have only one oar for our boat, we'll spend our voyage going in circles.

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  8. OH my, this is hilarious! An unexpected plunge. Thank you for the thoughtful comments...you made my day!

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