what we want is never simple – 2

The writing from last week’s circle was so powerful, I need to post another response to the same prompt from the same Linda Pastan poem:

What we Want is Never Simple

 I just wanted a break . . .

I wanted to figure out a way to live my day to day life and not dread getting out of bed every single morning. I wanted to do what I wanted to when I wanted to do it. I wanted to not worry about paying rent, feeding myself, or putting gas in the car.

I wanted to get high, stay high, and never ever have to go without being high.

I wanted to have a book published. I wanted to make my father proud. I wanted to do something bigger with my life than the mundane, barely-get-by-paycheck, pay bills, eat, sleep-and-do-it-again existence I feared so much. But mainly, I just wanted a break from the intense pressure of all these wants . . .

Now I am enclosed within walls 24 hours/day; no bills to pay, no worries about my next meal, or putting gas in my car. No worries about barely getting by on my paycheck; there is no getting by on $2/day. So yeah, in some ways, I guess I got what I wanted . . .

– JL

seeking life out of the box

In what ways are you open to the world around you? or might you be that you are not? What things hurt you,  harden your heart, hold you back from your own best self? How can writing free you from boxes you close yourself up inside?

These questions in last night’s writing circle prompted lengthy, deep and revelatory writing. To a woman, the writing opened new insights about how they want to move forward in their lives, beyond the boxes of their own making as well as the box of imprisonment. The lines which create the poem below are taken from the different writings, scribed while listening to each woman read her own words. The result is this ‘found poem’ weaving together individual experience into a gathered whole.

My Box is a Fantasy Place

I find that I have retreated there willingly
this paradise of a box inside my brain
where I fly, walk on the ceiling.
Why am I so scared of other people’s judgments?
I have opened up and been burned before.
Do I dare lift the top and peer out?
Should I venture out, how far can I go?

I find the familiarity of my limits comforting,
the only place I know how to be me.
I never let people or friends in too far —
I act like I don’t care. Continue reading