Expression is something that manifests, embodies and symbolizes an emotion, an idea or a state of being to someone who did not participate in the same experience. There are many ways in which to express yourself, ranging from a smile or a frown to cartwheeling down South Quad and splashing in melt-water puddles to singing and interpretive dance. Those of us who were fortunate enough to see Ani Difranco on Tuesday night saw her self-expression in her movements and dance, her lyrics and her music. All of it combined is her way of expressing that which is important to her.
We all express ourselves in our daily lives. Whether it comes across in bitter, sardonic cynicism, in friendly flirting or in keeping quiet and to yourself, we all partake in self-expression. It is how we let others know about ourselves, about who we are as people, as sentient and emotional beings.
Some of the ways I have used to express myself include singing out as I walk across the quads, being very animated in how I interact with my friends and strangers and in prayer. But I have found that the form of self-expression I use the most is poetry. I write poetry as an outlet for my emotions, a sounding board for my issues and concerns and space to let my chi radiate. There is something about poetry that has always made the world more real to me.
Stories written as fiction and creative non-fiction, describing the world as it is, create worlds and are wonderful ways to describe locations and situations. But in trying to describe the circumstances properly, sometimes description takes over and the meaning of what was being said is lost.
With poetry, on the other hand, I have found allows for me, as the writer, to pick specific, distinct words that focus on emotion, feeling, situation and purpose. But poetry, when it is only written on the page, sometimes can be misread and the intended emotion can be lost, just like it is lost in longer fiction. When poetry is read aloud, however, the emotion, situation and intensity all come forth, enveloping the listeners in the author's world. The reading empowers the poetry, making it flow, giving it rhythm, each step bringing the reader closer to understanding the poet's [my] frame of mind.
This evening, from 7-9 p.m. I will be joining readers for an open mic session in the Ballroom of LaFortune. We will each be presenting readings that help us to express ourselves to the audience. I will be reading four original poems: "Juxtaposed," "Then Why Not `Yes'…?" "Can You See" and "Friend." Each one of the poems has a tenor of its own. Each grasps at some form of identity, all of which are a part of my identity. The set of four, combined, help me create a world which explains life, pain, healing and friendship. We will be expressing ourselves, opening up our personal thoughts and insights to you. It will not be easy for us, because we tread on sensitive territory. Come and support us. Come, let me express myself to you. Let me show you a little bit of who I am, a little bit about me.
Contact Angela Campos at firstname.lastname@example.org
All Inside Stories for Thursday, February 21, 2002