Last year, I took a creative writing class at College of Marin and was introduced to writing poetry. Since then, I've written a lot on my own, and haven't had many opportunities to share it. Unlike my photography, my poetry seems very private, and I've been reluctant to share with people other than a few close friends. Photography is very open to interpretation. Like the saying goes, "a picture is worth a thousand words," and it could tell an infinite amount of stories depending on the viewer. It is, therefore, a less vulnerable format of art in my opinion, although no less valuable.
Writing is less ambiguous. Yes, it is also open to interpretation (especially poetry), but words are chosen carefully and reveal more about the writer's own thoughts than photography does, making it much more personal. It's scary to publish writing because intended messages can be lost on others, causing things that are meaningful to to the writer to be received as confusing or unimportant.
I write for myself, not for others, but there is still a part of me that wants to share them. If I write about something that is profound to me, then why should I not share it? There's incredible value in writing for my own benefit. It's easy to be confident when there's no judgement from others, but at some point it becomes necessary to challenge that confidence, which is why I've decided to start posting some of my poetry.
For the sake of this website's photography theme, I'll pair my poems with images, but my blog may move away from a photography focus and more towards my writing.
To conclude this long introduction, here is a poem that I wrote a few months back relating to my continuous internal debate over the role of technology in our society:
I've heard there was a time when people used to talk,
Long before me, maybe even before my parents could walk.
People would link eyes, they didn't used to look away,
They couldn't go home and talk to someone without seeing their face,
They had to say everything in the flesh, to learn to be brave,
... or they stayed silent.
Now we say anything we want, whether we mean it or not,
Silent voices whispering through white mirrors,
Deceiving us to believe that the reflections
are not projections of us.
We learn to perceive emotion through grammar, not inflection,
Made-up faces mass producing smiles,
Turning laughter into symbols,
Wearing cartoon masks with fixed expressions,
-the kind you wear on Halloween to pretend that you are not yourself,
to pretend that you are someone else.
Because that's what we're doing.
We forget about crucial details, like
the way my eyes crease when I smile, and the cracks in my voice,
the way I sometimes snort when I laugh, or
the fact that my face was not my choice,
All to pretend that these things do not make us "us,"
To pretend that sexual attraction is better judged by how creative our
Fantasies are, how we type on a keyboard,
Rather than how our fingers fit together, or how a kiss warms our hearts.
We misjudge our friendships, turning them into a contest of
who can respond first.
... and we are so alone.