Over the last few days I’ve been forced to come out of my comfort zone. Performing to a live audience has never been my ambition. Sure, from time to time I’ve made speeches, talked at professional functions and had a fair amount of experience in meeting procedures and speaking about things I’m trained in. But never, never have I had to perform in the arts. Over the last two days I’ve read poetry in the park. Yes, you heard right, poetry, my own poetry…all the more scary!
Our writing organisation conducted a wonderful project called ‘Poetry Pathways’. A community writing project that was born from workshops following the ekphrastic writing process. Ekphrastic writing dates back to ancient Greece and experiments with the relationship between an object or element of community setting and the person/poet.
The project was centred around the beautiful Ballarat Botanical Gardens. Eighteen poets attended two workshops and wrote poems about various aspects of the gardens. Some poets wrote about well-known and magnificent statues adorning the garden landscape. Others wrote about the smaller plant life whilst many choose the large and aged trees that jot the gardens and provide the atmosphere of tranquillity and splendour.
We produced a beautiful book of poetry, maybe I’m biased… During the Begonia Festival week-end we read our poems to the public over three days. What a fabulous but anxiety provoking experience. I wrote and read about the lily pond, I might share it one day! Doing something that took me out of my comfort zone was well worth it. I suggest it to everyone…now and again anyway!
Photo: Nadine Cranenburgh