07 Jul Poem: Hypnopompic Dream
As Nassau County Poet Laureate, I am often asked: “What is your process?”
I am a morning page writer, and I have learned that my tendency to wake up and write down my thoughts, is not unique. I have spoken of it before. But as a quick refresher, I first learned about this writing technique after reading the book “The Artists Way “ by Julia Cameron. This journal writing tool requires the writer to write free hand, for three minutes and to just let your stream of consciousness go. Another tenant of morning pages is to staple yesterday’s morning page closed, so you don’t go back to it. Well, I am not a purist. I am a journal writer, who feels reflection is paramount, so I go back all the time. I re-read what I had written days and even months before. I find it helpful to my personal and creative growth.
Although, I still use handwritten journals, and have a dream journal at my bedside, I often find myself typing away in the morning on my computer rather than long hand. For my morning pages, I let my high school 35-plus words a minute typing skills go to work. It certainly comes out clearer and my thoughts flow and stream easier, in the morning. So, I am prepared either way with the tools to write, at my bedside. I am, like many writers, mused by whatever it is they see around them during the day and at any time. I use my journals for that, and carry one with me always.
The first two lines of this poem: ‘We can react, defend or play. We can spend our lives that way was recited to me during a hypnopompic state of consciousness. I had left my bed, after the 7 a.m. alarm and only five hours of sleep, and frantically got it down in print. Here is the ‘vestige’ of an amazing ‘message’ that was sent to me that morning! Should I have not gotten out of bed to ‘row’ I would have lost all memory of it.
We can react, defend or play.
We can spend our lives that way.
The good Lord tells us It’s okay.
He just makes it long, short or hits delay.
Puts us in the place we’ve landed
Gives us things we’ve been handed.
Lays down the obstacles in sight
Challenges us to find a union, that’s just right?
Isn’t it fair, this place we’ve landed?
Isn’t it giving, in this place we’re standing?
There is a union that makes it right.
Yet, there are obstacles in sight.
Mornings are filled with alarms.
Days can be filled with fisted arms,
and you can wake up, to the night you send
Whether it be — a bitter or sweet coffee blend.
We’re all skeletons, you and me
All boats broken at sea
Messages come and their vestiges go
So, it’s time to get up, lean in and row!
—Paula Curci ©10/28/21