Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thursday's Children: The Unwritten Journal

Inspired by the Unwritten Journal.

A weekly blog hop where 
writers share their inspirations. 
Join, yo! 

I keep journals. Most of them are written. One is not. The Unwritten Journal. 

It contains every second-hand kiss, every turbid memory, every elusive emotion. When cloudshadow dulls the window or prickly silence permeates the house, I sense one of those thoughts stalking me, lurking in the periphery. Turn too quickly and the thought scurries into the line where walls meet. Too slowly, and it transforms into the jerking tick of a second hand. 

Stay still, don't breathe. 

Let it infuse you, possess you, compel you to scrape off your scars, gouge out your mouth, score your heart until you spew forth a million molecules of vitriol. 

We could call such a thing divine inspiration or a gift from the muses. But this type of inspiration needs no mythification. It's the things we don't want to remember, think about, or talk about. Often, they defy words.

In that defiance I find the reason why they need to be written down. Then they need to be cleaned up a bit so I can understand them, so I can understand myself, so I can share it and we can understand each other just a little bit more. 

This inspiration, found within your secret regrets, powerlessness, horror, lust, grief, desire, covetousness, and rage, can unlock motivations for the most heartless villains and humanize the most valiant hero. Or it can simply inspire a bridge of communication like the poem it inspired below.

For Lack of a Better Word

Would you give it up?

That somber silence stealing sound,
So complete, so perfect, so absolute zero in its
Weather. Would you give it up?
That darkness, for lack of better words
To describe a unique affliction. That
Miasma of color as black as your father's hair and
Genetics, it must be genetics that you can blame it on.
But would you

Give that up, that cave of boundless isolation,

That masochistic promise of solitude,
Borne inside you despite the crush of bodies
And the thrum of voices
And the Whats and Whys of living.

If you gave it up,

If you give over and listen up,
If you turned over and swallowed it up,
And let the meds fill you like the undesired
Cum of ones that burn your shell with claws like fire,
(for lack of better words). Just so you could
Not be so empty, and alone, and all those
Adjectives so profanely small to
Describe how sacred your
Potential can be.

Then you could have it,

That other type of quiet they call
Normal. That other type of darkness they call
Safe. That other type of life that you call Boring, Pathetic,
You could lose it, that wondrous silence
That makes each word gleam like teeth in dusklight,
That lovely darkness that makes each sight blinding
In its sudden lucidity. So losing that, but gaining the other,
You could have what they want for you,
At the cost of your Self,
And you could have, with that medicated, sedated emptiness,
An easier acceptance of
The lack of better words.

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  1. Beautiful poem, Joan. Thanks for sharing that. Ah--the limitless potential of the still and creative void. I live for it! :)

    1. Thanks for reading, Karen! My creative void sucks everything in. Every once in a while, it spits something out and bonks me on the head.

  2. Holy shit, that gave me a legitimate chill.

    "That makes each word gleam like teeth in dusklight"


    1. Hey Laura!
      Glad it provoked a response!

  3. Such powerful stuff on Thursday's Children this week. LOVE it. There are so many kinds of silence. It's something I don't have very often with two kids and two dogs, but that makes it all the more precious. I know people who are afraid of it, but to me it can be like the best music. Thank you for joining us this week, hope you'll do it again :)

    1. Thanks for starting this, Rhiann! The fear of silence is something I think about often. I'll admit I use it to extract secrets not just from myself but from others. Some of the best secrets ooze out to fill that lacuna.

  4. Wonderful poem. And I can totally relate to the unwritten journal. I've always wondered where those sparks come from.

    1. Thanks Pat! I love the idea of Thursday's Children because it demystifies the idea of inspiration and makes it accessible to everyone.

  5. Thank you for sharing this post and that poem. I feel like I've been given a gift. And for the record, no, I would not give it up. I suspect you won't either.

    1. Thanks Jeff. We're shoulder to shoulder on this.

  6. I love the idea of the unwritten journal. :) I might start one too.

    1. Thanks Mia!
      I think you'll find that your inner writer has been hoarding your unwritten journals for a while now lol.

  7. And there it is...our stream of unconscious and conscious thought

    1. Hey Chrissy,
      Good to see you on here!
      Drink deep, dear friend. That stream flows from the fountain of truth!

  8. Amazing poem! Thank you so much for sharing!

  9. Replies
    1. Thanks, Michaele! I was anxious about sharing it, but then I took that to be a sign that it needed to be shared.

  10. Thanks so much for joining us! I love the look and feel of virgin notebooks. They call to me, sing to me. Each special in it's own way.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Kristina!
      I love the sound virgin notebooks make when you first crack open the spine.