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DISCOVERING by Nannette Hoffman

It’s truly a beautiful feeling to experience one’s mind expanding: so in touch, so aware…

Until we have stripped ourselves down—very much like stripping furniture that has been painted—one will never know what the wood grain beneath the paint is like. And so it is with our creative natures: we don’t know exactly what we’ll find there, underneath all of our fears and doubts, until we start scrapping away at them. There is tremendous excitement in beginning at least to look.

Beginnings are strange in that there is great joy in finally haven taken up the paintbrush, or the pen, and begun. I can say this about my own writing: no matter what it will seem like when I reread it, there is a pleasure in having at least begun.  For I can look back over years when I was not as productive, and find myself regretting them. Why deny creative expression?

There are many great payoffs for those who deny their creativity. One of them is the release of the self from the responsibility of this very arduous work. As soon as one is convinced of one’s limitations, one never need explore beyond them. They can also assume a pose of great humility, and become an audience to the arts instead of a participant: a kind of complacency.

Beyond complacency is our capacity to dare to be different. To commit to one’s creativity means to discover our own individual capacity for taking risks. When we are willing to do this, and start stripping away at our conditioning that tells us that we are not creative, we suddenly recover the connection with our inner selves: there, deep inside, under all the layers of “paint” we stripped away, we discover our own creative self, and hopefully, set her free.

by Nannette Hoffman

I am a poem
discovering what it feels like
to be made of words.

I am born from feelings,
transferred to paper
with a pen, pencil, typewriter,
or a very strange contraption
called a word processor.

Too often I am scrawled
on an old envelope, or worse—
a torn scrap with writing
on the other side: a bit unpleasant
when my words don’t fit.

But the saddest of all
is to remain in someone’s head,
never to be in the world:
for if I cannot escape, I will surely die.

Being born is so exciting!
my life is a long one—maybe
for centuries! Describing emotions,
painting word pictures of just about
anything! My favorite toys are
rhythm, rhyme, metaphor
and simile. I select carefully
each word I use, loving each one.

So look for me inside yourself.
I hide there hoping you can find me.
The secret passwords are:
Believe there is a poem inside, and let me out!

Nannette Hoffman: Nannette was a fine artist, teacher and poet, who passed away on December 9, 2010 at the age of 81. She was a native of New York City and had lived in the D.C area for 40 years before moving to Virginia in 2002. Nannette received her B.A from Hofstra University, her M.A in English from Georgetown University, and was a Master Copyist of Fine Art at the National Gallery of Art in D.C. She loved children and had one son, two daughters and four grandchildren. It was Nannette’s passion to inspire others to nourish their creative spirits, and she spent much of her life doing just that.

~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!~


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