Mirrors Tell the Truth
"My friends have always warned me not to fall for a poet." These are the first lines to the most recent spoken word poem I performed on Friday Feb 19th. The piece encompasses a year of my life in 4 minutes. In the month leading up to the Love Jones show that night at my school, I went through many cycles of emotions that would make a washing machine jealous. After tryouts and receiving notification that I was chosen to perform in the Phenomenal Voices show, the real work began.
Before tryouts, I made the long walk with two poems in mind; one I had done countless times which was safe, or a new one which addressed my current state of mind. I knew which one I would eventually do but attempted to remain in denial. The new poem was about someone; it was personal. It required me to go into a deeper place of acceptance to tell my story effectively. That was a challenge I was thrown into once rehearsals began. Weeks of rehearsals went by with me receiving the same feedback that my words did not seem genuine. Wait! It was truly my life experience, how can what I'm saying sound like a distant story that I'm just rambling. In time I came to realize I had chosen to put aside any emotion that would make me recall feelings from the several nights I spent pouring my heart into the poem. In the months where close friendship turned into distance and friendship again, I was still coming to understand the mix of emotions that was me.
In my present reality, I had to understand I could confidently be vulnerable in front of strangers and friends because I am secure in my worth in Christ. Every day required a reminder, but the breakthrough didn't come until a week prior to the show while staring at a mirror talking out how I felt. My friend asked me questions that forced me to accept my reality and channel that into my poetry. The fact was that I cared for the poem intimately but I did not want to commit to it fully. It hurt too much to face the facts of what was written in its words. Frustration within myself grew to the point that I nearly quit altogether; I am grateful for the people who put positive pressure on me to stay and stop giving excuses. I cannot deny it was challenging, but raw experiences deserve to be told authentically. I learned from the experience in ways I'll never forget.
1. Just because you've temporarily grown numb to something/someone it doesn't mean you have dealt with it.
2. I treated my poem in a way I'd never want to be treated. I wanted to be close and intimate with it, but didn't want to commit fully to being one with it.
3. There's no shame in sharing my story, especially one many people can relate to; even if tears find their way out.
4. Memorizing a poem isn't the hardest part about doing poetry. Relieving the moment in which you wrote it is, especially when you have to do it almost everyday.
5. A soul can teach me beautiful lessons even when we are both flawed; for that I'm grateful.
6. You don't fall for someone. You choose. (This is a message for another day! that'll preach)
I can't wait to share the piece with you all soon!