Visual and Verbal

 I keep a commonplace book/journal that holds thoughts, quotes and the occasional drawing. 

(Stop laughing, those of you who know I cannot draw a straight line.) (Seriously. I mean it. You’re distracting me from telling my story.)

Anyway, I’ve been trying to paint, just to stretch myself, and for each thing I paint I write a poem. Again, a disclaimer. I am not an artist. But something about taking time to focus on something long enough to paint it lights my desire to use words to describe it. So I’m stretching myself. It’s good for me. (It might be good for you, too, this mix of the visual and the verbal?)

I like the way things with words turn out better than the things with paint. But I keep on. And I wanted to share with you the most recent entry. Here is the painting:

Here is the poem:

Do spotted hens
lay speckled eggs
that nest between
their spindly legs?

And do those chicks
have spots that match
the speckled eggs
from which they hatch?

And do their moms,
those spotted hens,
grow dizzy when
a hatch begins

and spots begin
to blur and mix
into a bunch
of scrambled chicks?

–Kristy Dempsey (all rights reserved)

In other news, I am loving my job as a librarian and creative writing teacher and feel like I am reaching in all the ways I need to. But I’d love to know how you all feel you’re stretching too. I need to be reminded I’m not in this yoga class alone. 🙂

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27 thoughts on “Visual and Verbal

  1. wait a minute – did you paint that picture???? And did you just say you can’t draw a straight line? Hello! I could never paint something like that. Wow! I’m impressed! And it goes without saying that your words are beautiful and fun!

    Glad you’re enjoying your job!

    1. Oh, Debbi. Thanks for humoring me. I did paint the picture but see? There are no straight lines! Also, everything I draw or paint feels just slightly “off” to me. But I’m serious when I say that it’s helping me think and relax and frees up my mind to use words, so in that sense I am happy, even if I can’t really appreciate the things I paint or draw.

      Also, while you’re here :), I have to let you know that your Japan book is in our library at school, which is just so cool since there is such a large Japanese population here in Brazil. It makes me happy to see your name every time it’s checked out!

  2. Your chicken is lovely! As is the poem. But I think you are being too modest about the art.

    How am I stretching–teaching two courses instead of one, and one of them for the first time. It’s also the first time the college has offered it. But it’s turning out to be a lot of fun. I’m also stretching myself, literally, by trying to get more regular exercise and by getting back to yoga.

    1. I promise I’m not being falsely modest. 🙂 I do think it’s important for me to try this though. I’m learning a lot!

      Thanks for stretching with me. Now I just need to get back to some real yoga too.

  3. Anonymous

    The Speckled Hen???

    You painted that hen.??? I am amazed. Hang her in your kitchen immediately. She’s great. OR if you don’t want to hang her in your kitchen, send her to me when Lee comes back to the US and I’ll hang her in my kitchen. I LOVE HER! She’s dizzy like me.

  4. Anonymous

    I love your poem, and your painting! I think it is wonderful that you are stretching yourself in more ways than one.

    I have to agree about the library. I, too, am LOVING my new library position!

  5. I bought a sketchbook and some watercolor pencils about 6 months ago, because I have NO artistic talent (your lovely hen is an Old Master compared to my kindergarten-looking sketches, seriously). Then life happened and I’ve hardly touched them. But my goal is the same as yours–stretch myself and observe and use the visual to excite the verbal. Thanks for the nudge. Maybe I’ll pull them out this weekend!

    Glad your job is going great!

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