A while back I wrote a post about the Enneagram and how it was leading Dani and I into some new areas of self-awareness. One of my recent self-discoveries came this week as I was listening to a a podcast episode from The Road Back to You. Their guest, with whom I share a personality type, was talking about how he experiences a surge of energy when he takes on a task in order to avoid a more pressing task. Here is an illustration from my world; there is a man that I know who always chooses the time when company is coming to clean the garage. The garage can sit for a long time in various states of chaos until he knows that company is coming and there is a press on to get the house cleaned, and he goes and cleans the garage. Where no company ever goes. Or the shed. Where no one ever, ever goes.

I used to chuckle at this, along with a few other people, until I realized that I do the same thing. I get a lot done when I am avoiding. I can check two or three tasks off my list of things to do when I am feeling pressure to do something that I really don’t want to do. And then I realized that the same is true of my writing. I have a really hard time just sitting down and trying to be creative. I have written virtually nothing this way. Nearly everything I have written has been during a class or a meeting, or something I was trying to check out of. When avoiding the task at hand, I feel more motivated, more creative, more focused. This was nearly the exact experience of the guy on the podcast I was listening to.

With that said, here is a poem from my time in class room getting my nursing degree. I wrote this preface while avoiding something too, but I shouldn’t incriminate myself by giving you any more details…

Adrift (Metastatically)

I am a metastasis
broken off from home
and set to travel currents
out into the great unknown
in the volley of the ocean
I anchor down and I take hold
I am an island in the chaos
washed by breakers fierce and cold

oh to have a bridge, a boat,
a plane, or just a phone
instead of stuffing words in bottles
and praying that they’ll make it home
here in my isolation
language atrophies and dies
and my only interactions
are with the ocean and the sky

now as the sun begins to set
it’s cloaked in heavy clouds
and the sleeping constellations lie
in anti-navigational shrouds
with no way to know which way to go
I’ll stay until I drown
or ’til I see the clouds break free
or ’til I have been found

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