Saturday, July 17, 2010

Community Poem: August

Here in the US, this summer has been relentless. Re. Lent. Less. Heat waves. Torrential downpours followed by no rain for a month. When I talk to my friends on the other side of the world, they tell me winter is no less vicious. Cold and dark. And I know that means that submitting, thinking about community poem and mid-month challenges is all kind of overwhelming. There is a kind of stasis all over the blogosphere. I can just see it in my reader and in the comments coming in.

So, I thought I'd make the August community poem a one-worder. We did that for our first community poem in January, and it was a powerful piece. It was also easier to come up with one word, rather than a stanza. After all, it is relentlessly summer or winter wherever you might be.

This month, I want to tackle the outside eye. For many of us, grief feels like being on stage. People seem to watch us more now, even if they say less. People watch us to see our moods. How are we dealing with the death of our children? How are we handling things? That can be both a positive, if they are reaching out to offer support, or a negative, if we feel judged.

So, for this poem, I am asking you to step out of yourself for a moment and think of a word that someone else might use to describe you now. Again, this word can be a positive word or a negative one. Not one you would use for yourself, but one that you think someone might use to describe the grieving you. Or maybe a word someone has actually used to describe you. This exercise is about trying to exorcise the demons that voice criticisms about how we grieve and acknowledging the new people we have become.

Please email your ONE word to stilllife365days(at)gmail(dot)com. I am asking you to limit your submissions to one word each. No explanations of that word are necessary, though you can definitely share your stories here in the comments, or in the comments of the community poem. That might be interesting in and of itself. All words must be in by Saturday, July 31st.


  1. I emailed my word. I thought this was pretty interesting. I honestly couldn't come up with the word myself because I figured it might be biased. So I asked my best friend. And she said that besides the obvious of sad, emotional, etc but seeing me every day she would say disconnected at first but then hopeful. So I chose the word that she thought described me now.

  2. Holly, I love this explanation, because hopeful is one of those words I would never think people think of me now. In fact, quite the opposite. Which is why the exercise is so fascinating in some ways. What we think people think of us is usually quite different than what they actually do think of us.


What do you think?