It Takes Time
Celia Smith – Assistant Editor-In-Chief
If you’ve read my column in the past, you may have noticed a slight change this issue. Before I dive into my topic for this week, I want to share my reasoning behind the switch from “Celia’s Satire” to “Celia’s Sentiments.”
Throughout the semester, I’ve grown into understanding exactly what I want to get out of my column and the message I want to share with my readers. This message has evolved with each column I’ve written thus far—from the first issue of the semester to the issue you currently hold in your hand. I like to think that what I choose to write about in this space is a representation of the period of personal growth and understanding that I am undergoing at the time of publication.
As an aspiring poet, I’ve discovered a love for diction and the beauty behind the power of double meanings. I find the concept of vocabulary fascinating; the amount of meaning that can be packed inside the collection of a few letters that form a single word is extraordinary. I’ve realized that “satire” isn’t an accurate description of what my column’s focus has developed into; it truly does not describe what my imagination has led me to grapple with in this space over the past few issues. “Sentiment” describes everything that I hope for this column to be going forward. It is a view or attitude toward a situation or event. It is a thought. It is a feeling or emotion. It is an opinion.
Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about the healing power of writing. As an English major with a focus in creative writing, I’ve taken just about every creative writing workshop course Assumption has to offer. From creative non-fiction to autobiography, from poetry to creative writing to fiction, I’ve noticed a trend in the vibe that these courses radiate. Through these classes, it has become clear that a lot of the preconceived notions you might have about who your classmates are seem to evaporate with each work they share. No matter the person or the skill level they might be at, everyone has a story to tell. It is through writing that they are able to find their voice and the words to say what they feel they need to say.
I’ve realized that sometimes the most important things we need to write are the hardest to write about. It seems that sometimes we are unable to bring the feelings that allow us to write to the surface. I’ve been working on a piece for my creative writing workshop class for over a month now, and it’s probably one of the hardest pieces I’ve ever had to write emotionally. For the first month, I tried to write it in verse. Yet, it just didn’t seem to be coming along the way I had hoped, or really coming along at all. I came to realize that the reason I wasn’t able to write it as a poem was because I hadn’t ever written or sorted through it in any other form before. I hadn’t really talked about it or even thought about it. I filed it away in a cabinet deep within my mind, locked it and carried the key in my pocket until it eventually fell out as the demands of everyday life piled up on top of it, allowing me to forget it was even there.
Though the past two semesters I have focused on writing poetry, I’ve realized that the subject I’m dealing with is not a message I can effectively convey through verse, at least not in my initial tackling of it. Sometimes poetry can serve as a wall to hide behind, as if we are protecting ourselves from the truth and forming a degree of separation between ourselves and whatever pain we are trying to work through. I’ve come to the realization that I’ve buried this story so deep that prose is the only way I can truly bring it to the surface. The problem is, finding the key is difficult. Life doesn’t stop and allow you to deal with these things. It is difficult to find the time and emotional capacity to search for the key that is hidden somewhere beneath the countless stacks of memories I’ve frantically piled on top of it.
So, it’s coming in fragments, as most things do. For me, the writing isn’t the hard part. The right words tend to naturally fly from my mind to paper once I take the time to find the key to whatever memory I’ve tucked aside. The hard part is retrieving the key and allowing myself to sit in the discomfort that comes along with the memory I’ve locked away. Yet, it is this discomfort that releases the words I need to say. As i move these words from mind to paper, that frantic stack of chaos that buries the lost keys to the most painful memories seems to get a lot easier to sort through.
The Hotelier—“Title Track”
Celia Smith, a senior, studies Studio Art and English. She is the Assistant Editor-In-Chief of Le Provocateur.