I joined a writing workshop at Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. The workshop was called “Come to Your Senses.” It was a very mind opening for me, a cerebral person who has always prided myself for being very rational.
Growing up with disability and having gone through a lot of surgical procedures, my father brought me up to think logically, while regarding feelings as weakness. He only meant well, as he thought I couldn’t afford being emotional, as emotions would pull me down into the abyss of depression. As the result, I numbed my sensitivity and blunted my senses. This workshop has shown me how to get back in touch with my senses.
Each of the workshop participants was given a random object. We were not allowed to take a peek of what the object was. Our fingers would have to do the job of identifying how the object felt. We were allowed to let our imagination wander, letting our senses ignite our feelings and inspiration, taking us places.
My object was a coarse round rattan with a string attached to it. Inside of the rattan hull, there was a round sponge. To be honest, up till this moment, I still have no idea what the object is.
Our first task was to write whatever came to us when we fingered the object. The second task would be changing our feeling about the object, injecting a strong feeling of hatred, then alternating it to love.
— Something like this, a closed cylinder with sponge in it.
This is what I wrote
Aren’t we all but mere mortals?
Hard, yet soft on the inside.
Thorny, yet sensitive,
holding on to the fine thread of stability
On feeling of hatred
You, repulsive thorny wretch!
Why am I holding on to you?
I have caressed you,
yet you betrayed me,
ripping me apart.
On feeling of love
Even though you are a sore object to hold,
you do shine your own unique beauty,
stable, strong, courageous.
Actually the first sense would be visual. We had to observe an object and write. I observed a carved lamp, but my mind went blank and I only managed to scribble some words here and there:
Root. Encompassing. Infinite. Alive. Growth.
Intricate. Breathe. Whisper. Dance. Embrace. Energy