Thursday, 12 October 2017

POEM - Advice to Myself

Waaaaaaay back in July 2014, I embarked upon my first Writer-in-Residence position, spending three days on the Suffolk Coast as part of the Museum of Beyond project.

The Museum of Beyond was the work of Fran Crowe, an artist I met while doing some volunteer stewarding for the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival. Fran’s work is heavily influenced by ecological concerns, and she works to raise awareness of environmental issues. She spent almost ten years collecting some of the plastic items that wash up on the beaches in and around Suffolk, and she used this rubbish to create a variety of artworks drawing attention to the problems associated with plastic litter in our oceans.

Exhibit A

I spent three days at the South Lookout on Aldeburgh beach, soaking up the lovely sunny atmosphere and responding the the Museum's collection. 

It was a glorious experience, and as autumn draws in, it's really nice to remember blue skies, pebbly beaches, and wrestling my fish and chips from the beak of an over-friendly seagull. (Get off, you cheeky bugger!)

My home for the Museum of Beyond Residency

Why am I telling you all this now?

Well, as part of the residency, I wrote nine poems about various objects being displayed as part of the project. One of the poems I wrote while I was there was called 'Change' and was based on this piece of sign that Fran found on the beach just up the coast from where the exhibition took place.

It definitely says 'change' and not 'danger'

I've been thinking about change a lot recently, because there's been some big changes in my life just recently.

Like most people, I instinctively fear change – I think it's that creeping horror of the unknown that really gives me the existential heeby-jeebies - but earlier this summer, I found myself in a position where I was really unhappy, but terrified of making a change. 

I mean, what if I made a move, strived for something better, and then found myself in a position that was somehow even worse than where I started?


Luckily my friends and family persuaded me to get my bum in gear and do something, and I'm really glad that I did!

Of course, not all change is positive but more often than not, change is a good thing, and I'm slowly learning to embrace that.

Anyway, all that self-indulgent introspection led me to dig out my 'Change' poem, and get to work editing and re-drafting it. I'm pretty pleased with the results. I'm hoping to might be able to perform this one soon, so let me know what you think!

Advice to Myself

That's what the sign said.
Because a change is as good as a rest
and the rest can take care of itself.

Change now. Change for good.
Change until the next time it's
time to change.

Change the pace;
change your ways.
Have a change of heart.

Find a change of scenery
and emerge changed.
Because even small change
can change everything.

Some people say
the more things change
the more they stay the same.

I say
embrace the infinite
possibilities of change.
(You can always change back
if you change your mind.)

Know that flexibility breeds creativity
And inertia is a choice born from fear.

Choose to change

not for the sake of changing
but for the experience of being changed.

Some things never change:
don't be one of them.

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