Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Poetry and Healing

This article about Anorexia is taken from the website http://www.ronitbaras.com/. "Anorexia: Healing through Creativity"

"Creativity and self-expression are wonderful ways to recover from an eating disorder. Not eating and overeating are ways to control your life. Creativity happens when there is full control and can even be a form of meditation.........Using art for self-expression is a wonderful way to begin to heal.  No criticism, no expected outcomes, just you and your creative flow, so you can feel how your body obeys your commands.In any creative form, there is a sense of freedom that anorexic people desperately need. They have the freedom to try new things, the freedom to make mistakes, the freedom to express themselves, the freedom from rules and boundaries - basically, the freedom to be themselves. Also, immersing ourselves in creative art can work as a great distraction from thinking about the emotional challenges that take over otherwise. Anorexic people continually think about their "distorted body", about food and about their problems. Keeping busy and doing something creative is like putting a sign on the door saying "time out" from thinking and hopefully those thoughts will never come back.People are different and find different forms of self-expression, but all of them are wonderful and can help in healing and recovering from anorexia or other eating disorders."
"Recovering from Anorexia through writing"
"Writing is a wonderful way to discover what is going on inside you and allowing yourself to express it in a safe way.  Writing poetry is another way of writing about your feelings. It requires more thinking and deep insight into feelings. Anorexic people are overwhelmed by their feelings and negative thoughts, so this is a very good way of putting some sense into them and channeling them in a positive way."

Below are some lines from a poem, HOLY, by Nicole Blackman, page 92, Live Through This. I created an artwork in response to this emotional poem (see below).Above you will find a video of Nicole Blackman regarding HOLY.


I eat only sleep and air
and everyone thinks I'm dumb
but I'm smart because I've figured it out.

I am slimmer than you are
and I am burning my skin off little by little
until I reach bone and self
until I get to where I am.

Food doesn't tempt me anymore
because I am so full of energy and sense
I can even pass by water now
because I am living off the parts of me
that I don't need anymore.

I could feel the slow drips of pain before
swirling inside where my lungs should have been
Now I'm clean inside.

I threw out hundreds of things that I didn't need anymore
All my dresses and bras
stupid things like jeans and socks.

Most days I float through the house naked
so i can see myself in mirrors.
I have hundreds of them everywhere
and they talk back to me all the time.
They keep me true and pure.
They make sure I am still here.

When I knew what I had to do
I took all my notebooks, all my manuscripts
and ate them page by page
so I could take my words with me.

I can finally control my life
and even death
and I will die slowly like steam escaping from a pipe.

This is my greatest performance
and all the actresses who won my parts will say
How wonderful to let yourself go mad
how wonderful to go on this kind of journey
and not care if you com back to tell the story.

I scratch words on the walls now
so people will visit the museum and know
how someone like me ends up like this
(they'll say there is an art in here somewhere).

This body is a little church, a little temple
You can't see me now because I've gone inside.

My family doesn't call anymore.
My friends don't call anymore.
You can't hurt me anymore
Only I can.

Every day i get a little closer to vanishing.
Some days I can't stand up because the room moved under my feet
and I smile because I'm almost there
I'm almost an angel.

Nicole Blackman

                   HOLY by SUSAN HARMON,2015,MIXED/PAPER,22" x 30"

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