writing with courage

Have you ever wondered why so many poems are about love?

Love is vulnerable. Your heart might break. In fact, if your love is true you will be hurt at some point. Love isn’t safe, but it’s worth it.

So it is with other kinds of vulnerability. Everything from walking barefoot or going out in a storm to letting someone see you cry or facing the pain in the world. Vulnerability opens you up in ways that can hurt, but the cracks also let in beautiful light.

Vulnerability produces beautiful art

Are you willing to risk being vulnerable as you write poetry? It’s hard. I know it’s hard. It hasn’t been easy for me to share my poetry every day. Halfway through writing this series I was tempted to forget the whole thing because I was beginning to feel too exposed.

But then I decided it was worth it. Worth it to write about my vulnerabilities, and worth it to share what I’ve written. Writing has helped me to understand myself and the world better, and sharing has strengthened my connections with other people.

{today’s exercise}

Find a place to be alone and look deep within yourself. Write a poem about something close to your heart — something you haven’t wanted to share with other people. Write a poem for yourself and allow yourself to keep it for yourself. Maybe after you’re finished you’ll decide to share part or all of your poem with someone else, but don’t feel as if you have to let anyone read what you’ve written.

{my process & my poem}

I came across this quote and decided to explore and expand on the idea of love being a great risk…

It is a risk to love
What if it doesn’t work out?
Ah, but what if it does?
~Peter McWilliams

It is a risk to love
To open up to another’s hurt
And to let her see yours
What if his hurt is too big for you?
What if your hurt is too big for her?

It is a risk to love
To give without expecting anything in return
And to receive when you have nothing to give
What if he gives nothing in return – not even a thank you?
What if she wants something you can’t give?

It is a risk to love
To say, “I love you”
And to hear, “I love you”
What if he doesn’t say the words back to you?
What if she doesn’t really mean what she’s saying?

But what if love is worth the risk?
What if in sharing your hurts, you find them easier to carry together?
What if in giving and receiving, you find you both have more?
What if the words become truer each time you say or hear them?
What if in loving you find love?