The Truth and Lies of Poetry

There is power in poetic verse. Words roll off the tongue like music and lose us in the sway of emotions that flood each word. But what about the messages hidden within poetry?

There are many ways to hide truths and or lies behind emotions. Often poetry takes us on a path we don’t control and we discover answers to questions along the way. But not always. If the engine that drives a piece is emotion, it’s inevitable that the author will sometimes get it wrong. After all, we need many more things than love to survive this world, and those that love should definitely still use the phrase, “I’m sorry.” Still, poetry has at one time taught us these things as truth.

How do we sift through the half-formed thoughts, fragmented ideas, and coloured emotions of poetry? Is it worth it? It is, especially when the poet speaks to us of their own personal story, with words that journey to understanding.

I say, you will never find gold if you are not first willing to sift the rivers for it. Maybe that is what a poet is. A prospector, braving the cold river of emotion, the pan of language in hand, searching the sediment of life for nuggets of truth. Will we find gold? Or pyrite? Or nothing but unwanted rocks?

You will never know until you are willing to jump in that river or start a poetic journey. The key is to understand it’s a journey, and a fragment of a journey, not a whole.

I thank God every day for the gift of the written word, and the gems I have found in the gift of poetry. But I also know, not every word I write is truth. They are expressions of emotion. I am also aware that the things I believe in this moment will change, as it should. Life is continually teaching us. A person who stays the same is a person who never grows.

I pray I can grow with open eyes and mind, ready for the truth, but also aware of the lies. For searching for both is necessary for growth.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef


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The Worth of Early Works

We store away our children’s scrap paper drawings as if they were masterpieces. Maybe not all of them, but the few that hold sentimental meaning. But with our own art, whether written word, the stroke of a paintbrush, or a photograph of a first cake decorating session, we push them to the back cupboard, or even throw them away.

Making room for a new and better isn’t wrong, but maybe we should hang on to one or two of those learning pieces. Treasuring them like we do the scribbles and hand paintings of childhood.

Why?

Undoubtedly your first works hold mistakes, just as mine do. So why keep any of them? Why show any of them to anyone?

They are beautiful examples of growth.

How often do you get discouraged in your creative life, and need a reminder of just how far you have come? How many times do you need help to keep your feet on the ground? Or encouragement to not give up? Keeping, and even displaying the art made while in the first stages of learning can be these powerful reminders.

Above is a picture of my first 4 foot by 2 foot painting. I wanted to stretch myself and see how different it was to paint a larger piece. The water was FAR from what I was going for…

So when I finished, what did I do with it? I hung it in on my kitchen wall, and every time I looked up at it, I thought about what I would do differently next time. (Now it’s hanging in my sister’s cabin because she is crazy and loves it.) I learned so much from just looking at it every day for over a year.

Everyone was once a beginner. No one has yet ‘arrived’ at perfection. So cherish those sloppy first strokes and overused words. Let them shine a light on your future creative path.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef


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Morning Beach/Art Highlight

Have you ever walked a beach in the early morning, and seen the pink in a sunrise shimmering off the water? Its quiet moments like that I live for.

When I can’t find them in my own life, I like to paint them into being. Morning Beach is an example of such a moment. I was looking for quiet in the middle of a house gone mad, and here I found it.

Morning Beach is also another example of my early works. It is one of the first pieces of other artists in my social group. It was such a boost to hear their encouraging words. As I was and still am growing into my art.

Originaly painted on canvase papper in acrylic paint.

Prints and other products are available at my Redbubble Shop.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Author’s Interview/BY Kirsten McNeill

I was recently the subject of my first author’s interview with Kirsten McNeill. Kirsten is a fellow writer, as well as an editor for self-published authors. It was a great experience. You can read the interview by following the link provided. Don’t forget to check out Kirsten’s other posts, and all she has to offer the self-publishing world.

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Black Capped Chickadee/Art Highlight

Black Capped Chickadee by: Mary Grace van der Kroef.
Original painting is acrylic on 12in stretched round canvas.

This week I have a new design available at my Redbubble Shop! I am really proud of this one. I had been eyeing up some round canvas paintings an acquaintance of mine was creating, and decided to ask for some at Christmas this last year. My husband obliged me, and this is the first put to good use.

I have proven to myself that birds are something I am gifted in painting, but flowers are different. I usually struggle with getting the depth I desire, or the delicate details my mind is picturing. This is an example of one of my best attempts. I am proud of it, so am excited to make it available for other people to enjoy.

Black Capped Chickadee is available on over 70 different products though the Redbubble Shop.

Six Word Stories (9)

Winter like I know it has still not really come to my new home. It has only teased us with a few day long romps through white, but that’s alright. It will be thoroughly enjoyed when it decides to make our new home, it’s home. If only for a short time.

I was not sorry to see 2020 leave. I was equally dissatisfied with 2019 and 2018 as well. I find my memories of the last 5 years fragmented and sharp.

But those shards hold truths I need to revisit. Sometimes puzzling through the mess is how we find out healing.

That is what life is, after all, an endless journey of learning. Each day holds possibilities for answers, healing, and growth. Painful or pleasant, learning is something we all do.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Photos sources from unsplash.com.

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