The Rhythm of Thoughts – A Journaling Exercise

Next time you go to your journal, try this exercise:

Instead of writing in your usual conversational or stream of consciousness tone, write each of your thoughts using poetic rhythm.


There are four major types of poetic rhythm:

Iambic  ( x  / ) – stress on the last of two syllables

Trochaic  ( /  x ) – stress on the first of two syllables

Dactylic  ( /  x  x ) – stress on the first of three syllables

Anapest ( x  x  / ) – stress on the last of three syllables


Examples of Poetic Rhythm:

Iambic –  But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?

Trochaic – Once upon a midnight dreary/ While I pondered, weak and weary

Dactylic – Hickory, dickory dock

Anapest – ‘Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house


 

Applying poetic rhythm to your everyday thoughts might bring about some unexpected surprises.

Examples from my own journal:

Rising late depresses me. The morning’s light is wasted.
Yesterday, a hesitant smile, from one girl to another.
Cleaning, scrubbing, bleach and gossip- overwhelm and humor mix.
Confession: I envy my girlfriend in Ireland. I long for the silence of roadside cairns.
What if there are deep misgivings, when in China I arrive?
October’s flowers are amazing. Look at how they lean and curl
bright and sharp in waning light- defiant as autumn unfurls.


Forcing random thoughts into rhythms, you suddenly have the seeds for poetry.

Happy journaling, everyone 🙂

 

Announcements

Hello lovely readers, just wanted to say two things:

-If you’re subscribed to this blog, might I recommend subscribing to my email newsletter that I’ve just started? It will have the highlights from each week as well as other tips, photography, artwork and sources of inspiration, and might be less cumbersome than getting an email notification every time I post a blog entry (which is daily). The link to subscribe is on the homepage now, live. Hope to see you there 🙂

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Thanks so much,

Laurie

How to Show Up to Your Life

Show up sleepless, with the waking thoughts still in your eyes. Coffee in one hand, outdated beliefs in the other. Show up with your scars and your trophies, your playlist, your tea and scone, clutch and tumbler. Bring your crazy dreams to this war. Bring your rage and your gunpowder. Bring your apologies, half-hearted and otherwise.

Bring the smile from that guy on the bus, the gust of fresh air, the sudden showers, cicadas in the afternoon, crickets in the evening. Bring your cramps and your bleeding, bring candy or alcohol to bribe your underlings for their cooperation. Wear your mother’s brooch, or not- show up clothed, show up naked. Show up ornate, show up unadorned.

Show up lost, show up utterly, completely, dizzyingly, hopelessly lost- show up hopeless, show up happy, show up at the very end. Show up just in the nick of time, show up too late. Show up, fat parts, ugly parts. Show up still reeling from your break-up. Terminally in love. Wishing you hadn’t said the things you said. Show up still missing him, even after all these years. Show up breaking the rules. Obeying the rules. Enforcing the rules.

Think of the graveyard you walk through every day to get here. Don’t do it for you. Do it for them. And then do it for you, when no one’s looking. Show up despite the work piled up on the desk, despite your unwashed hair, despite your heart’s so shattered, shards of it stab your lungs and you can’t breathe. Show up, though it feels like you’re drowning- it will be your beginning.

Show up, always. Show up to what is and what could be-

and everything under the sky

will show itself to be

worthy.