I like a bit of poetry. I am not a poet myself. And I don’t know an awful lot about poetry. But I like it.
Why do I like it? Often I find a poem is a more honest – more stripped back – statement about a situation or a more captivating description. This is partly because the poems I read are short although this is by no means true of all poems!
At Essence Cheltenham mindfulness gathering last Monday we each spent time individually writing a poem. It wasn’t a poem for sharing. It was a poem of what we want to say to God, the divine, the creator of all (either because we believe or because we took the risk and imagined we believed at least for a moment).
We were using an aspect of poetry from the ancient book of the Psalms in the Bible as our inspiration. Some of these poems are essentially someone crying out to God – and, as they do that, going on a spiritual journey to a better place.
The background to the exercise was our search for those who are great listeners – and an ancient poet wrote:
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
It wasn’t hard to think of a situation about which I wanted to ‘cry out’. I scribbled with an honesty it would be hard to harness with another. I sensed no judgement. I sensed a safe place to truly express myself.
And then I was surprised. I paused from scribbling and I listened. Like the story of the ancient poets, I sensed a journey to a better place. I knew I had been heard. And then I knew a different perspective. It was not my own – and I sensed the wisdom and love of the divine.
This is Mindful Monday on 2 July 2018.
If you live in Cheltenham or nearby, we meet for an evening of mindfulness in the outdoors (weather permitting) on Monday 30 July. Contact us for details.