On the last two days of January, Speak (Easy), our poetry show began. A week before the show, we had chosen and workshopped the poems that we were to read to an audience of about three hundred. I remember on a Friday when we spent the whole two hours allotted memorizing our poems in pairs. Kenny, a Creative Writing freshman, sat with me, as I tried to recall each line. While I read the poem in my head, it felt like it was not being absorbed, like my mind was a strainer that couldn’t retain the words. I had written about a great loss in my life that happened when I was eleven and even though I was not talking about the event directly, I realized that it was hard to memorize because of how it made me feel; I was almost reliving the experience and felt so much sadness building up behind my words.
The first night of the show began at six. I recorded myself reciting the poem and listened to it multiple times to get the lines to stick. When it was my turn to stand under the yellow spotlight, I felt confident, holding the poem in my head, but then the poem fell from my mind and I blanked. I staggered through, taking long pauses and skipping multiple lines. I was disappointed and surprised because I had never had so much trouble memorizing a poem. I felt vulnerable on stage and had chosen to share a piece of writing that was based on a heartbreaking event in my life. Even though sharing vulnerable pieces can be painful, opening up helped me to slow down and feel emotions that dwell deep. Creative Writing has given me the ability to explore internal emotions and share vulnerability with the support of the people I love around me. I was able to drop down into my wound and touch my grief when I shared it with others. Touching emotions is at the root of what Creative Writing brings forth.