poetry therapy pt 2 and the removal of blinders

yesterday i said i was going to talk more about playing with the poetry therapy process. the poem about my grandfather happened following a prompt in the national association for poetry therapy newsletter which went like this

Choose one of your grandparents and write a poem honoring how you were
influenced by this relative, living or dead, for better or worse. Consider
how your life both reflects and deviates from your grandparents’.

this was one among five or six such prompts and it immediately jumped out at me. i love writing and talking about my grandparents.

what also interested me was the matter of prompts.

according to www.dictionary.com, prompting means

To move to act; spur; incite: A noise prompted the guard to go back and
To give rise to; inspire: The accident prompted a review of
school safety policy.
To assist with a reminder; remind.
To assist (an
actor or reciter) by providing the next words of a forgotten passage; cue.

now isn’t that interesting. what i most heard in the word “prompt” is probably the “spur” part – the rider digging spurs into the horse to make it follow a command.

if that’s all i read into the word “prompt”, maybe i have a problem with authority??? what do you think?

what i heard very loudly, to the almost-exclusion of other interpretations, is, “do what i tell you and things will proceed as they should”. which is why the only prompt i felt inclined to follow was the one about a grandparent – i guess my enthusiasm was louder than the irritation that i felt coming from the prompt. i guess i was, well, “inspired”.

maybe i will continue thinking that there is something not quite kosher, not quite empowering, something unnecessarily authoritative about these prompts. but i also want to acknowledge how much i fell into the trap of reactivity. nothing but my own blinders prevented me from seeing the idea of the prompt as something neutral or positive. i had choices that i did not want to acknowledge and therefore couldn’t explore. thank god, my blinders were removed.

take care, and i wish you all light and awareness for today!

isabella mori
counselling in vancouver

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