Blackout poetry #17. (and a pile of thoughts)

Blackout poetry, Hanna Streng

Are you doing what makes you come alive?

This is a question I keep coming back to. Am I doing what sets my soul on fire or am simply settling for mediocrity in the name of doing what is comfortable, walking down a path just because it’s the way other’s expect me to go?

Am I really, truly living, fully experiencing both ups and downs, or have I shut down parts of myself in a desperate attempt to protect my deepest parts from the feelings this journey brings up?

Am I noticing all the little things -the way the light wanders across the wall, the way certain words hit me a little deeper than the rest, the way that one chord in a song contains so much emotion it just makes me want to lay down on the floor and be covered by the weight of it all- or am simply drifting, going through the motions, half asleep, half awake?

What about you? Are you here, or has your mind run off to some far away place you imagine being better than where you are right now? Are you experiencing life to the full? Are you doing what makes you come alive?

If I at any point notice myself feeling distant, I take a quiet moment and ask my heart what she needs. How we can reconnect. She tends to be pretty quick to answer whenever I actually give her my full attention.

Usually the needs aren’t even that hard to take care of. “I need to get outside, to walk slowly so I have time to notice all the pretty trees and birds and attic windows.” Or “I need to let some things out. Can we play the piano for a while, or maybe dance?” Or sometimes she just needs me to tell her it’s okay, that I’m here, that I’m proud of her and that I am so grateful she’s stuck it out with me.

I know this whole adressing your heart like a person might feel more than just a little weird to some of you, but I seriously encourage you to try it out. I tend to always see mine as a little girl. Picturing a child helps me be kind.

And i truly belive she lives in there.

I believe there is a child inside of everyone and that, if onlu we let them, they will rise from the depths and teach us what it truly means for you and me to be fully alive, right here, right now.


3 thoughts on “Blackout poetry #17. (and a pile of thoughts)

  1. Timothy Price says:

    I think you can always imagine yourself in a better place than you are right now. The question might be, given the resources you have, and the situation you live in, are you doing what what makes you come alive within those constraints? Does your current situation aim towards improving your situation in the future? You have to have a certain amount of comfort to keep your sanity, and you usually have to do a certain amount of what’s expected of you to maintain balance within the constraints of your current situation.

    Does spending a week rebuilding a university’s schedule into usable data because the registrar’s staff is either too lazy, incompetent or both to give me the data in the proper from between fixing phones, computers, network issues, and personnel problems make me come alive? Hell no! But that’s what is expected of me and that’s what gives me the resources to provide for my cats, pay for my wife’s PhD program, drive a cool car, do research, present papers at conferences, make photographs, write and record music, etc. — the things that make me come alive.


    1. Hanna Streng says:

      I appreciate your thoughts, and I do agree with everything you’re saying. With the imagining yourself in a different place I wasn’t referring to dreaming, but rather to running away from being present, which ironically leaves you stuck because then one tends to not be able to properly adress what steps that need to be taken now in order to move forward.
      And with the not doing only what is expected of you I absolutely did not mean to ignore all responsibilities, but rather to look at life in the grand scheme of things. Of course there are things that have to be done, but are you being present while you do? And when you’re done with your duties are you, like you said, making an intentional effort to do the things that bring you life?
      “Not doing what is expected”, to me, is a lot less about everyday responsibilities and a lot more about choosing a direction in life that fullfills you, no matter what others think.
      Hope that brought some clarity!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Timothy Price says:

        I wasn’t referring to dreaming. I believe everyone dreams of doing, being something else not necessarily attainable or really wanted. Simply a nice dream. I was referring to considering what you to need to do or should have done, but circumstances or uncertainty blocks or blocked the way.

        Liked by 1 person

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