CAKE (a poem)

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There was a movie called Flashdance
(stick with me).
The main character said,
“I’m not a dancer like that.”
She wasn’t trained, didn’t have degrees
on the wall (hung mostly to impress).
She could just…dance. No one knew how.
No one saw her sweating it out in her living room,
practicing behind closed doors,
away from human eyes.
She was also one of “those” dancers—
the ones that don’t call themselves strippers
since they’re still wearing a string of cloth;
she had bills to pay, and besides, it was the one place
she could shake without judgment.

Like her,
I am not a writer “like that.”
I just…write.
I don’t have a scroll of accolades
trailing behind me like a wedding gown.
I’m not hip to who is currently the “best” in the country,
nor do I have a clue about the New York Times Book Review,
perhaps because so much of what moves me
isn’t making it to the bestseller lists
(you’d need to buy your own copies for that)…
obscure mystics like Evelyn Underhill,
and whisperings from the past by Blake and Rilke,
Dickens and George MacDonald—
people who wrote in blood and parchment, ink and blotter.

So I took “stripper” jobs (there were bills to pay).
Or what felt like their equivalent to someone
who writes for the love of writing, the written word,
and the power it has to bring light—
like music, like film, when it’s done well.

And I wonder: if artists were paid for
sheer love of what they do—
for the doing of it with heart’s blood—
not for applause,
not for kudos and thumbs-up,
not for being deemed part of the new trend,
how many would be rich, and how many poor?

There are the rare ones who hit the jackpot
without selling their souls—
those who stay true to their core
regardless of others’ jealousies, despisings, and misunderstandings,
unmoved by the questioning expectations left and right,
(nevermind words like “marketable”),
the C. S. Lewises, the Woody Allens.
But many are pushed aside by the loudmouths,
the narcissists, those pretending to shine,
and threatened by those touched with fire.

Little do they realize
that the glow of the True cannot be snuffed out.
Darkness has a go, but cannot overcome them.
Theirs is the final conquest,
the limping triumph of those who have made mosaics
from the broken pieces of themselves and their lives.
It is not registered in anything but
the peace and tranquility
of authenticity.
If money comes in a rushing wind,
it is the frosting, not the cake.
The cake is a soul
at peace with itself.

 

© Monique Amado
written November, 2012

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monet cake

 

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MY NEW PODCAST SERIES – WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY!

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As of today, I’m starting a new series called Wonderful Wednesday to give you a lift in the middle of your week. Take a 5 minute time-out and have a listen.

This week I’m talking about faith and creativity.

I hope it inspires and encourages you!

Blessings to you,

Monique

INSPIRING CREATIVITY QUOTES FROM FAMOUS PEOPLE

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Are you feeling a little stuck in whatever creative project you’re working on? Having writer’s block? Sensing there’s a song inside you that wants to be written, but just not feeling the urge to pick up your guitar or sit down at the piano? Have some lines you need to memorize for a play, but not feeling motivated? Or perhaps you haven’t picked up the paint brush in months, or haven’t twirled or kicked your leg to dance in days.

If God created the universe out of nothing and we are made in his image, then we can create something out of nothing too…or at least out of the materials we’ve been given to work with.

We are one day away from the start of Spring. So I’ve gathered some quotes for you to give you a bit of a jump-start into a new season of creativity. I’d love to see, hear, read what you do!

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“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”  – Kurt Vonnegut

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”  – Albert Einstein

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“Creativity takes courage.”  – Henri Matisse

“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”  – Sylvia Plath

“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.”  – Jim Jarmusch

“To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.”   – Osho

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.”    – Martha Graham

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”  – Maya Angelou

“Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one.”   – Stella Adler

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