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Creative Expression

It's All Write: Finding and Expressing Your Words

Words can flow like a river, washing away the pain and carving a new valley, breaking down the boulders that mar the path.

By Kristi Tencarre | Posted May 3, 2008 | Updated September 9, 2019

I am a writer, have been since Ms. Letkeman taught me to read and write in grade one. In grade two I bought my first journal — a tiny blue and purple striped hard cover with a small mouse in a dress talking on a phone under a mushroom. I had gone to Chinatown with a friend and her family and that was what I bought myself — not candy or toys, but a journal. I tried to write in it every night (I even wrote about my different crushes). That year I typed up my first story on a computer (those old brown beasts).

I can still remember the excitement as I wrote my dragon story in pencil on long lined paper and edited it before being chosen to go up the large school steps out of the primary wing and into the older part of the school with the big kids. In a tiny room that was barely wide enough for a computer desk and chair, I typed up that story. It was my first experience of seeing my words "in print" and I fell in love.

When I left my husband, I lost my words. I was so numb, I could not even find the words to describe my feelings to friends. For a woman who wrote daily, it was more than frightening to have no words. I still wanted to write, but I could not.

After about two months of no words, I reverted back to an easier form that I was blessed to learn in high school. My English teacher from grade eight to ten, Ms. Morgan, taught me to write poetry. It was revolutionary. Suddenly a thought could take a free form and become a poem. I no longer had to work for days on a story with developed characters, dialogue and meaning. These are not like the (epic) poems of Coleridge, Shakespeare, or Milton; mine are more like the free flowing verse written by Jewel. I can only hope my poems will become as deep and as eloquent as Baez and Mitchell. This fall I discovered a passion for haikus — they express so much with so few words.

I made a New Year's Resolution to write a poem a day. It is a sort of journal. I call mine "Raw Poems for a Year." They are first drafts. I can edit them later if I ever choose to share them. They are for my eyes only. That is what writing is about — letting out your thoughts… for yourself only. Sharing comes later. What a blessing if others enjoy your writing. However, the highest blessing is that you have taken your passion seriously and written for yourself, honouring your voice. Honour your voice above all others.

Words can flow like a river, washing away the pain and carving a new valley, breaking down the boulders that mar the path. Let it out. Do not judge yourself or your words; simply let them flow. Push past the boulders of doubt, discouragement and "the editor." Rivers do not cease to rage and flow because there is a boulder in their path; they find a way around it. If you have ever been river rafting, you know that it is the boulders that make the ride exciting. Though the boulders may seem intimidating and ominous, they do not have to be deadly. You CAN find a way around them. You can even flow right over them.

Be bold. Be passionate. Allow yourself the freedom to find your words and to explore your thoughts through words. Honour yourself through the development of the gift that God has given you. Honour your voice through writing.

©2008 Kristi Tencarre. All rights reserved.

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