I will begin with an exercise entitled, "Writing Off the Page," which I learned from my Creative Writing teacher to whom I owe my deepest and most heartfelt appreciation. She gave me the permission to write--from my soul. This is how it works, I open a book of poetry, point to one line and copy it without reading the rest of the poem, and time myself, not stopping for ten minutes.
"one of those white summer days"
-From "Portrait of a Lady" by William Carlos Williams
was the day that she lost herself completely without even knowing it. It was the day the bees flew around her face and she began to swat them away, scream in terror. Before that day, she had been a happy child, easy-going and free. She had never minded their buzz, for she knew they wanted sweet nectar and not her terror. But on that clear white summer day, for some reason, she lost that faith in the bees and instead began to scream at their attentiveness to her afternoon snack. Maybe it was just age, the normal loss of innocence which follows the carelessness of childhood, maybe it was the fact that she became like all adults do, greedy, and didn't want the bees corrupting what was hers. Maybe she became aware that there were those out there who wanted to do others harm, but for whatever reason, she lost herself in terror and agitation of the buzzing invaders. From that day on, Maybelle lived with a fear of protecting what was hers and fear of the Other. No longer could she converse with the rabbits in her backyard because with the loss of herself, she also lost her imagination and it wouldn't be until her affair with an artist while she was in her late thirties that she would even realize what she was missing. From that white summer day on, she tried to fit into every box which was presented to her as "right," until one day, and Italian artist swept her off her feet and she was okay with it. She was enthralled by his use of colors and textures, his deep voice, and poetic language. And while she worked on destroying everything which she had ever worked for in life, what she failed to realize was that all she was looking for was that little artist in herself which didn't mind the bees and could converse with bunnies.