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Using Words to Find Feelings

March 11, 2021

Here we are on Day 9 of The Artful Recovery ECS. We spent all of today doing on-campus activities. The day started out with painting using colors going from light to dark — either many colors or just one. Next, we got the opportunity to talk with Molly Wingate, founder of Poetry Heals, who spoke with us about poetry and how it can be used as a therapeutic tool. At the beginning of the Zoom meeting, she had us write about what we were thankful for. This part was really interesting because I got to think about myself and what makes me happy to find what I was grateful for. Once we finished sharing our gratitude, she gave us a prompt to write a letter to Covid. This activity was mind-blowing. We were able to think of our own answer to each of the questions, and then we did it all together. Some of the things that were mentioned about covid included the things that we have lost, but more importantly the things that we have gained. In the end, we made a real poem and story out of everything that the group had thought of. It really taught me that there is always a new way to look at things; you just have to tilt your head the right way. After we all finished admiring what we had just created, she showed us a picture of a cabin in the snow and told us to write a lantern poem about what we saw. A lantern poem is where you write a 1 syllable noun about what you see, then 2 syllables describing it, 3 syllables describing it, 4 syllables describing it, and finish with a 1-syllable synonym of your first word. This activity was very interesting, but also one of the harder ones because I couldn’t think of a synonym for snow. The next thing that she had us do was an ekphrastic poem using a photo of a sleeping bear. For this one, we could write whatever we felt like. I wrote a story based on what I saw and the potential that I felt from the picture. After constructing this story/poem, I was extremely impressed with myself and how it turned out. All of the things that we did with Ms. Wingate were so cool because I had never looked at poetry that way before, and now I believe that I will use it more to stay focused and to get my emotions out on paper. The next thing that we got to do back in our in-person class connected with the first thing that our guest speaker had us do: Everyone wrote down something that they were thankful for and put it in our thankfulness jar. Once we all finished, then we went back to our paintings with colors that go from light to dark. Everyone traced out a silhouette of the front of our faces. Our faces were then put onto the paintings. Then we were asked a question that at first I wasn’t sure if I knew how to answer: what our main emotions were and what color would we assign to those emotions. After some thinking, I was able to look into my mind and find all of my emotions and visualize them with a color. After we wrote down our main feelings, we cut them out and put them on our paintings or on our faces depending on where we felt that emotion. That activity made me really think about how I feel and where I feel each thing. The next thing that we did make me really have to think back to my childhood. I had to write down the things that we remembered in a poem starting with “I remember…”. This made me feel so nostalgic because I hadn’t thought about any of those memories in such a long time. Finally, we made a group “Yes, and…” ekphrastic story. This was really cool because we worked together and created something as a group. Overall, today was filled with many opportunities to learn about poetry and writing and how that can help people.