Day 22 :: 30 Poems in 30 Days April 2016

Better, April 22, 2016

Better, April 22, 2016

Better, April 22, 2016

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One Response to Day 22 :: 30 Poems in 30 Days April 2016

  1. Michiel Carlier says:

    P30X Day 22

    Yesterday, when my P30X interpretation was about your ‘History Of Enough’, I explained how your poem is so beautiful to look at that it distracts me from its content. Arriving with my P30X at your twentysecond poem ‘Better’, I am again distracted away from what the poem talks about. Today, it is because of the way that this poem is all crumpled up.
    I noticed that the word ‘poetry’ ends on ‘try’. Though I know you say you are not trying, but doing. PoeTry, I think it could be a reminder for us to reward process, and not reward getting it right the first time. Your poem looks like you didn’t get it right the first time.
    I don’t remember having seen a crumpled up poem before, not of you or anywhere else, and it is an enormous relief for me. I can connect with it on a deep level, because it apparently wasn’t right the first time. For me, this poem is greatly inspiring to have perseverance and improvement. The crumpled-up look of this poem made me realize how much of a personal struggle it must have been for you to write this poem and share it afterwards.

    It reminds me of what you wrote on Sunday April 17th. When you wrote the poem ‘Last Breath’, in the accompanying text you said ‘However, I think it is extremely important to continue to create even when inspiration is low or hard to find. So often the forward movement, of even a simple progression, can produce a path to great things. […] I am not afraid to show my unedited progress or my imperfect creations. Creating is so much of problem solving, it’s a process, not to be confused with being flawless. For all the struggles of this project, it has a great value. That value is found in first the movement and second the courage to not be great.’
    I think your poem ‘Better’ could be an embodiment of your words. Why I think that is so, is shown more clearly when I place those words in the other order – the courage not to be great and the movement. When you have the courage not to be great, it means that you are not afraid of not looking great, of not looking smart. Your mindset is that you need to confront your mistakes and deficiencies. Then, the forward movement. It stands for learning from those mistakes. It stands for putting yourself on a learning curve.

    It seems to me that, for an artist like yourself, there is a choice to make whenever you start a new poem or any other piece of art. It is the choice on what you want to work on now: something hard, and you might make mistakes but you’ll learn something new, or something you’re good at, so you’re sure to do well.
    From what I read in your writings, I get the view that you’ll decide to create something hard. For this poem, you must have worked really hard. Your persistence is really well shown by the look of it. I think what today’s poem ‘Better’ shows and stands for, is that you will always choose for something hard. When you choose for something hard, you choose for an opportunity to grow. You choose to become better than you were. This poem ‘Better’, I think stands for embracing learning and growth.
    It seems to me we have to remind ourselves that our potential is unlimited. Yesterday in my P30X I said that we can choose for a happy life by ourselves, independent of our environment. While that remains true, it is better if we live in an environment that helps us fulfill our potential. In such an environment, we are being reminded by other people as well, that our potential is unlimited.

    For me personally, your poem ‘Better’ stands for a big breakthrough in my life. It reminds me of achieving a crucial insight considering my state of mind, for which I am very thankful. During a moment in my life when I needed my personal qualities to grow, some four years back, I was very unfortunate to not know about my state of mind at the time.
    My mindset was fixed, as opposed to be open for growth. Just like an artist, I had a choice to make on what I wanted to work on: something hard, and I might make mistakes but I’ll learn something new, or something I’m good at so I’m sure to do well. In my fixed mindset, I would choose for the latter, because setbacks had a really negative meaning. In my state of mind I had the tendency to get defensive, to hide my mistakes and to conceal my deficiencies.
    In a growth mindset there is this realization that setbacks are a natural part of learning. A growth mindset is about understanding that our abilities can be developed. It is about learning from my mistakes and correct them. My fixed mindset provided no way for me to handle difficulty: I gave up, ran away, became defensive, acted bored or blamed others. These all were different ways to hide the fear of not looking smart. Effort and difficulty made me feel dumb, made me feel like giving up. As a result, I had no learning curve, and so I had no path into the future.
    When I learned about my state of mind, I started to reward my effort and my learning process. Over time, I could adapt towards a growth mindset.
    From what you write in your journals, and with your poem ‘Better’ to underline those words, I conclude that you naturally have a growth mindset. I am very grateful to you Stephanie, for posting everything; your writings, your poems, and for posting them in their raw form, unedited, the way you did. You are a great inspiration to me.

    Michiel

    There is a piece of music that I find very fitting to your poem. It’s called ‘The departure’ by Max Richter.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZH0MUSCsj0