Sunday, December 17, 2006

Green Ink

One of the workshops I take at Casa das Rosas is a very hands-on group of poetry writing. It is called, roughly translated, ‘Poetic Drafts’, and every Saturday afternoon, several poems (or images, or quotes, or something triggering for the poet in us all) serves to inspire the group for a round of poems. In every meeting an average of three or four rounds of poems with their respective triggering some things happen.

Quite common is the practice of drawing from what we call ‘Bag of Drafts’ a batch with twenty copies of a triggering something for the next round. Yesterday, the whole afternoon (four rounds) were based on what some of us in the workshop drew from the Bag. Obviously, this element of Divination can be a powerfully enlightening experience for the whole group, if approached with some awareness. And specifically yesterday, the element Death was the topic in the first three rounds.

I was fascinated to see how Death and endings were elements so hegemonic in the last meeting we had this year. When we finished reading the poems for the third round, I suggested that for the last topic of the day, after all the severance, letting-go, purgation, casting-off, expelling and burying, we did a poem on the New Year Resolutions. Sounded natural: new beginnings after Death. That was the Goddess’ Triple Will, after all. I really like the New Year current, even though I am a pagan, and for me the time for new beginnings is in the Winter Solstice (six months later, here in Southern Hemisphere). The New Year’s Eve is to me a powerful day for all kinds of magic you want to do. You get so many people vibrant with sheer Power and Joy, focused on a vision, and raising Energy is so easy and natural that not using that opportunity due to ideologies and a separatist attitude is downright stupid.

Obviously, the reaction I got was unsupportive, however amicable. The group was in another momentum—maybe Summer Solstice, when the Sun God sacrifices Him Self so that we may live? Maybe I was not the only pagan there! But the most interesting was the reactions I got from people; the first person to manifest after my silence was the facilitator. He said New Year Resolutions was not interesting enough to write a poem on. Mind you, that was the same person who every Saturday gets us to write poems on all kinds of random topics, apparently sterile for imagination. Then, an outspoken girl said her poem on the NYR would be a blank paper. The best writer in the group said it was an interesting idea to give a poetic dimension to the New Year Resolution thang, but she was not clear what were hers. Then a retired old lady to my left whispered to me with a heartbreakingly tiny smile on her hard face, ‘With a government like ours, we cannot have resolutions good enough to write poems on, can we?’

Then, as a consolation prize I guess, the facilitator asked me to draw from the Bag of Drafts, and we all wrote the last round on a metapoem by Mario Quintana with the image of a poet sitting by the window, writing in green ink and watching weathercocks.
Honestly, I am all against ‘Poetic Drafts’ becoming a therapeutic group, and definitely I don’t want to force my ideas on other writers, but why not using Poetry to clear the way for something good to come? Maybe it’s the helpless witch in me wanting to use the group setting to cast a collective spell, but why not giving a try to writing on writing down good things, adding Energy to them, focusing on them?

Probably I was right. The strong element of Divination that is present in ‘Poetic Drafts’ evinces what everybody is up to: sitting by the window, writing a poem on another poem on writing a poem, and watching weathercocks (or their own lives, for that matter) go round and round.

Call me fluff bunny, but I’d rather use the Power in there for another cause.