Wild Words & Poetry Reading

About two years ago I found myself on stage – yes, on stage- reciting one of my poems. Not only was it on stage but in my home town. Before traveling the world and living abroad in four cities, I would never had done anything as bold. It’s like I thought I was a foreigner in my own country now and so that was an OK thing to do. I only told three people, two of whom are close and bought my poetry book- and of course my loving husband. I was sifting through as calmly as I could to find the right poem. Having to read out a poem made me realize the inadequacies of some of them. Aren’t we all critical of our own work?

“No, not that one,” I thought. “Perhaps this one.” Until I found the one. And boy was I in for a shock when I got up on stage- I looked up and saw the audience members had just sat there, waiting respectfully. I thought that whatever happened, I’d at least get an applause.

What struck me was that at the end of it, everyone that I didn’t know (of course) were telling me about how brave I was. Nothing about how good the poem was, or which bit they liked. It got me feeling somewhat insecure about my writing. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I cried towards the end of it, and had to bite into that to finish the reading. Or maybe it was just foolish and crap.

Posing by The SwanAfter that I went along to cafe poetry gatherings (two in fact) and a gathering for critique- I may have made a mistake by presenting a story close to my heart. The main message was that it was beautiful and I needed to be clear about it. But I also asked a friend to go. And felt it a dreadful mistake. No offense- she liked it and continued to go to the events but I wasn’t anonymous any more. Which brings me to the important point that funnily, this is the main reason why I started to write. Anonymity set me free, and I didn’t feel judged, humiliated or anything like that, and if I were then it wouldn’t matter. I’d leave and no one would care.

Wild Words was the most memorable, which was where I got up to read my poem. I entered the Literary Awards and it was a buzz just to be invited. Then I decided to do a Writer’s Workshop with Marianne Butler. To be honest the discount in the price was an incentive to become a member of The NT Writer’s Center. I’m forever on a budget- aren’t we all? If I said it was fabulous, it would lack essence, especially for a laterally thinking mind- one that gets distracted by this and that and has a hard time focusing. Which was why I enjoyed the course coincidentally, it allowed me to do just that- focus. Now I have a few more skills and knowledge on how to write stories. Each poem I write has a story- it’s just a matter of telling it.

I’ve heard people say they don’t like blog posts that are written for the sake of writing anything. Why the hell not? If that were true, we should stop having conversations, small talk, and so on. I understand the idea of the quality of a post, but what intrigues me about language is the unpredictability of what comes. And on that note, I thank you so much for journeying with me on my writing endeavors as I try to simply get better at it. Making friends is the most rewarding experience gained but not just any – friends who understanding what you’re actually on about. If that’s you, or not- I welcome your likes/comments. I also make the point of visiting other blogger’s posts.

Thanks, keep on writing, and dancing!

Mentors with Caution

On my quest to improve my writing and solve the puzzle about what’s missing in my poems, I’ve decided to give writing a break. But not altogether. I can’t help keeping a collection of symbols; phrases, snippets of thoughts, honest reflections and so on. So much so that now I have a lot of material to sift through and sort into some kind of order. Meanwhile, I’ve been reading and watching a lot of books and movies. Collecting my thoughts, I’ve also decided to move on from any other ideas I may have had about dance. Bellydance is evolving but do I really want to be part of that without studying the classics?

I know it seems like I’m jumping themes, but I’m not. You see, without studying up on writers, dancers, artists and so on, you may never have a point of reference to work from. It’s like not receiving guidance from a parent, friend or family member, and going at it alone. But in saying that, not relying too much on other works, and having the courage, confidence and discipline to be uniquely you, and pull away from the norm. Without knowing the rules you cannot break them, right? So in other words, to get a grip on what the critics are trying to convey, I must know what good writing looks like.

And so on my quest to find a writer just like me, a fellow member of Frankfurt Writer’s Group, referred me to a poet, W.H. Auden (1907-73).

He told me that this is one of his more famous works and that ‘it has a quality my poems possess — the use of ordinary words in new, daring combinations, which open up new ways of seeing.’ I like that.

Lay your sleeping head, my love,
Human on my faithless arm;
Time and fevers burn away
Individual beauty from
Thoughtful children, and the grave
Proves the child ephemeral:
But in my arms till break of day
Let the living creature lie,
Mortal, guilty, but to me
The entirely beautiful.

Soul and body have no bounds:
To lovers as they lie upon
Her tolerant enchanted slope
In their ordinary swoon,
Grave the vision Venus sends
Of supernatural sympathy,
Universal love and hope;
While an abstract insight wakes
Among the glaciers and the rocks
The hermit’s carnal ecstasy.

Certainty, fidelity
On the stroke of midnight pass
Like vibrations of a bell,
And fashionable madmen raise
Their pedantic boring cry:
Every farthing of the cost,
All the dreaded cards foretell,
Shall be paid, but from this night
Not a whisper, not a thought,
Not a kiss nor look be lost.

Beauty, midnight, vision dies:
Let the winds of dawn that blow
Softly round your dreaming head
Such a day of welcome show
Eye and knocking heart may bless,
Find the mortal world enough;
Noons of dryness find you fed
By the involuntary powers,
Nights of insult let you pass
Watched by every human love.

W.H. Auden (1907-73)

The dangers of reading too much is that if you’re like me in my teens, you could become put off, and feel that you could never write like that. And give up. It’s not a competition, and everyone’s different. That’s what makes writing intriguing. It’s like your signature, and finding your own voice is your greatest quest. I’d like some time away from reading and dive into writing. I feel tensions of moments leading up to this, which will release what has been inside me  for the last few months.

Which brings me onto the next topic, Mentors with Caution. After hurt, one needs time to heal, and part of solving the puzzle on what is missing in my poems is trust. Can I trust myself to write truthfully, how is this possible if I can’t be sure what the truth is, and does it have to be true? There’s a danger in idolizing anything, I think that you may start to forget about your needs. You may even feel guilty when you serve yourself and then put a lot more energy into other people. You are then vulnerable to get stabbed in the back.

Givers are not always respected because ultimately they may be seen as takers. It’s that reverse psychology people who take advantage use to make you feel bad. So the givers stay low, behind the scenes. Which is why a writer, dancer, artist must break free of anyone who claws onto their gifts. It has happened to me a few times. Now, that I’ve broken free from that pattern I’m more cautious and won’t allow anyone in my life who will do that to me again. I have a dream job teaching music, with enough hours to relax and do other things. I’m appreciated and recognised for my work. I can decide slowly on how I’d like to spend my spare time and enjoy my peaceful creative work. Just for the sake of pure enjoyment.

And so, I apologise if I haven’t published anything new. My work is kept private for now. But I do look forward to publishing my next book soon.

Bellyfusions Paris Festival 2015

On January 2015 I spent two weeks in Paris doing dance classes and whatever else came up. I did ATS classes, flamenco and ballet, and of course as I wrote in another post, did some voice lessons. I went with the flow and enjoyed an artist’s life here for a short time. Perhaps not as a tourist because I’ve already done the touristy things but for learning and all things DANCE!

Now on my last day in Paris, I’m regrouping and recalling my experiences. It was intense and fun! On this occasion at the Bellyfusion Festival I tried as many workshops as I could and perhaps next year I will do my favourites. These workshops included: ATS, Contemporary, Emotional Dance Oriental, Fusion and Dance Theatre. I was pleasantly surprised to find some videos on Youtube- here they are.

This is cute. <3

If you’d like any information on locations to do dance classes, leave a comment below.

Keep on dancing!

My Big Love

Sydney, Australia

The weather permits me to dance
Sensations build through passing years
Rain grows and returns to the sky
Wind blows in sudden reply
I hide to avoid the ache in the sea
It bleeds as I dance
To rhythms of chance
I turned and saw
Broken glass was left in the sea
Nature’s miracle changed them to
clear, smooth stones
The bits healed like meditative clones
An anonymous dancer
And a subconscious heart
Led a silent breath to ask
Does he look handsome
When I dance?

By Maria Grujicic
Dedicated to my big love.

This was a poem that I started to write and edit before I went on holiday, and continued editing in Sydney. I romanced and tried to take my breath away from myself as I envisioned what the surroundings were telling me and expressed my feelings for them. My big love? My new-found love for Sydney, the air that I felt while I was there, and my amazing handsome husband who was there with me! I wonder if you can sense these emotions and impressions in the poem, and if you can relate to it in some way too.

Wide Open Eyes

I was excited to find this video while looking for a dance to go with my poem.

Enjoy the audio along with the video. Play them together.
Try playing the audio at different times or repeating it.

Lately I have been pondering about many issues in my life and those of others around me. I have also been thinking about things that perhaps most people don’t. These are the details that pass us by that perhaps would give more meaning to one’s life, but we ignore. Perhaps this ignorance is simply a way to feel accepted among the crowd. Or an intelligent way of relieving alienation. Whichever the viewpoint, it is a safe haven. It is an issue of personal significance that I’ve explored in my poems. It has been a long time since I wrote and the answer is hidden away in my poems because I cannot truly put it into words.

The only reason for being a professional writer is that you can’t help it.Leo Rosten

Blinded By The I

photo by Maria Grujicic

photo by Maria Grujicic

I was alone with the sun
And it shone on me
The colors of its rays
Set me free
But I didn’t die
And I was made to be free
The I
Blinded the free
Hope cut
Blood vessels free
Blood roamed
And I was left all alone
With the sun
As it shone on me

By Maria Grujicic
Artist name, Malena

The poem above can have various meanings, perspectives and interpretations. It has my own personal meaning, that of sadness felt… it will pass, and a phase. It was fulfilling to be able to put emotions into words.

Thank you for reading.