In the beginning there was poetry
I always wanted to write poetry, to be a poet, to perform and be apart of the spoken word community. I aspired to do all of that and in actuality set out to do nothing. For the longest time I stunted my growth in this art form. The first poem I ever wrote was for an english class in high school, it was called “Her perspective”. I knew way before that assignment that I loved poetry and had a passion for writing. As a kid I used to write stories so the thought of performing stories was an aspiration I couldn’t refuse. But I did, I’ve always gotten great feedback on the poems I’ve performed but it has never been enough. I didn’t only want to hear that I was good, I wanted to feel it for myself. I always wanted to do more with my gift and I wanted my words to get people thinking, even if they didn’t like or understand what I was saying.
A couple weeks ago I took part in a poetry slam at Capital Slam here in Canada’s capital …Ottawa! It was my second time performing at this slam or any slam in general for that matter. I saw some familiar faces and I knew the heat some of the performers were going to bring. For those of you who don’t know much about poetry slams, or have associated poetry events to those in films such as 22 Jump Street. A poetry slam is essentially a competition where poets get on a stage and perform their poems that are then judged. At Capital Slam there is a 3 minute time limit for poems, poems are judged by randomly selected members of the audience on a scale of 1-10 and there are 2 rounds. You can write about anything and perform however you like. I’ve been to quite a few poetry slams mostly in Toronto and I’m usually blown away by the talent and content of the poems. I would say the best poetry slam I’ve been to was for Unity Charity in Toronto a few years back. I was astonished by the age of most contestants, the delivery and style of poems , lyricism and ultimately the impact they had on me. For the longest time I’ve wanted to perform in competitions and even though I never did I thank Unity Charity for giving me a start in spoken word and for exposing me to the culture and letting me get of taste of the community I one day hope to be a part of. The poetry scene in Toronto is really bumping and since I’ve come to Ottawa, I’ve hoped to get connected with the poetry scene here. Unfortunately I haven’t gotten around to it and haven’t had much luck. Personally, from what I’ve seen there isn’t as large of a platform for this art form here… yet. I know there are events that take place around the city, I may be mistaken but it’s hard to find accurate information and details online regarding these events. I will continue to look around and update. If anyone out there knows of any poetry slams going on in the greater Ottawa area feel free to give me a shout!
I’m titling this post passion over progress (or lack there of) to address how important it is to be more focused on your passion than on you’re progression in the passion.
Passion over progress Personally, I know I get more caught up in stressing about how I haven’t gotten better at writing and how so many poets are lyrically more skillful than I am. Usually what happens is that I don’t write anything for a long time because I’ve discouraged myself. Having more focus on progressing than actually catering to our passions deters and sets back the actual progression.
Do you ever feel like you’re in a standstill between giving up, doing nothing and moving forward. Lately, I’ve been in the middle and I’m coming to realize that this is where I’m most comfortable. Doing nothing doesn’t require much except accepting the side of guilt that comes along with it. I’m brave enough to start and decide not to give up but not quite brave enough to keep going, push through and progress.
I’m back to kick off the IYA series this week. From here on out the upcoming posts will be more frequent. This week, I let myself get sidetracked and I got into a bit of a mental rut that included netflix binging. I usually hate when these lazy weeks happen to me, and I’m not happy that it did but I got a chance to dig deeper into why I let it continue to be a cycle.
One lazy hour can turn into lazy days, weeks, months and in retrospect sometimes a year. Many January 1st’s I have looked back into the months prior and realized that it was a really lazy year for me. As easy as it is to press play for that next Netflix episode it is so much harder to think of what’s next when it comes to the future of our lives.