I recently was at a poetry evening and was urged to write a poem. About what? My friend Lisa suggested the mushroom I painted in our art class. I laughed but then thought I would give it a shot. This is the poem I wrote:
No... half a mushroom.
Sat on black sugar paper.
Not a special one,
just a plain old greyish-white.
Easy I thought,
Then I realised my shiny new watercolours
were precisely that... colours.
I now had a challenge on my hands.
A greyish-white from vibrant colours.
A logic puzzle of sorts,
my kind of thing.
And I did it...
I painted a mushroom,
and it's my favourite painting
It's a step further in dipping my toes
into the world of creativity.
That's a scary word,
An endless stream of masterpieces.
A jumble of pretentious nonsense.
"Oh you're a comic? Tell me a joke."
It's not like that is it?
Feeling creative-ly bankrupt
A dry well, a blank page.
Why is this?
There's a whole world out there.
We, who perceive ourselves and others.
We, with feelings and pain and laughter.
We, alone, who know that everything on this planet has the same source of life.
And know, it will all die.
We, who know that all animals,
plants, fungi and insects are only found
on this one planet in the solar system.
Likely in our galaxy. Possibly the entire universe.
That mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam...
That dichotomy of the entirety
of known life.
So fragile and yet so exhaustive.
Why is it that given the immense curiosity, beauty,
and sorrow that is so close to us all,
that I struggle to find the words?
If I want to paint
I spend hours looking for ideas,
then I give up.
Write a poem?
I stare, white sheet empty.
Play a song?
I have the entire of Earth's songbook to choose from.
Half a mushroom?
Who would have thought.
I didn't even choose it off the shelf,
I stole it from Lisa.
Hours staring at one single object.
Paint what you see and nothing more.
Cast a shadow.
The texture of the gills under its cap.
The colours of the colourless.
All the life in this world,
all the beauty,
all the pain...
It is overwhelming.
I would love to bring tears to your eyes
laughter to your frown.
I would love to diagnose the world's problems
through oil brush strokes or funny sounds.
Maybe one day I will.
But for now, I will focus.
For, all the life in this world,
Every emotion we could capture,
Every powerful statement that deserves to be made.
It's all important, no doubt.
But sometimes, what we need is
To silence the chaos,
to treat even the simplest things
As deserving of our attention.