Final Project: A Collection of Anxious Poetry. By: Maureen Bungay

Packing For Your Future: Instructions by: Lorna Crozier
Take the thickest socks. Wherever you're going you'll have to walk.
There may be water, there may be stones. There may be high places you cannot go without the hope socks bring you, the way they hold you to the earth.
At least one pair must be new, must be as blue as a wish hand-knit by your mother in her sleep.
Take a leather satchel, a velvet bag and an old tin box-- a salamander painted on the lid.
This is to carry that small thing you cannot leave. Perhaps the key you've kept though it doesn't fit any lock you know, the photograph that keeps you sane, a ball of string to lead you out though you can't walk back into that light.
In your bag leave room for sadness, leave room for another language.
There may be doors nailed shut. There may be painted windows. There may be signs that warn you to be gone. Take the dream you've been having since you were a child, the one with open fields and the wind sounding.
Mistrust no one who offers you water from a well, a songbird's feather, something that's been mended twice. Always travel lighter than the heart.
"Packing For Your Future: Instructions" on Saying Goodbye by: Maureen Bungay
Take your time when saying goodbye. Start early, for there are many people on your list.
There may be tears. There may be smiles. There may be some people you feel you cannot go without. But hold on to the adventure that the world has offered you.
At least one goodbye must be sad. "Must be as blue as a wish". It will probably be with your mother, as she's the reason why your anxiety flutters.
Take your old scrapbook, the one you started when you were seven-- with pictures of dead relatives tucked away inside.
This is to carry the memories that you yourself have forgotten. Take "the photograph that keeps you sane". The one from simpler times, though you know "you can't walk back into that light".
In your bag don't make too much room for sadness, leave room for a happy perspective.
"There may be doors nailed shut", there may be relationships you cannot mend, there may be times when you are happy to be gone. Take the dream that has calmed you for years, the one with open arms and fields.
Mistrust no one who is interested in your friendship, you know how awkward you can be. Sometimes it feels like your baggage is heavy, but remember you are always travelling lighter than your heart.
"Packing For Your Future:" Anxieties by: Maureen Bungay
Am I selfish for leaving my mother behind? She depends on me for patience: the trait that my father is lacking. Is it wrong to leave the weight on my sisters? Please. Please let them step up.
Will I cry when I hug my friends goodbye? Of course, who could I be kidding. I'll be leaving them with the Fundy tide, the green forest: our final group trip.
Sometimes I worry so hard, that I dive into a sea of questions. But I already know all of the answers. What worries me is the thought of seeing my dark shadow. The one that would follow me, looming over my head.
I will let go of what I can't control. My mother, my sisters, my tears. I am not being selfish, I will live my own life (she said, trying to convince herself). Till then I'll pick at my cuticles, whispering my anxieties to them.

I decided to write my own poems for the creative assignment after I read Lorna Crozier's Packing For Your Future: Instructions. Her poem resonated with me for so many different reasons. One in particular was her tone throughout the poem. The first time I read it I was overwhelmed with a bitter-sweet emotion in my heart. I realized that it was because I am moving across the country, and it felt like Crozier had wrote it specifically for me to read. I made the decision to write my own take on Crozier's poem, and another poem that was inspired from it.

For my first poem, "Packing For Your Future: Instructions on Saying Goodbye", I attempted to mimic Crozier's structure, style, and tone and even going as far as using some of her lines. I did however use the majority of my own lines making Crozier's poem a lot more reflective of my own life. I didn't find it very difficult to rewrite Crozier's poem in my own version because I found it to be so relatable in the first place. One of the most significant changes I've made in my adaptation of the poem is the last line: "Sometimes it feels like your baggage is heavy, but remember you are always travelling lighter than your heart". This line is significant to me because I am a very sensitive person and my heart is always heavy with emotions.

My second poem "Packing For Your Future: Anxieties" has a bit of a darker tone than my first poem. What I was trying to accomplish was essentially to express a few of my own anxieties about moving away through poetry; It is evident in this poem that one of my biggest concerns with moving is leaving my family behind. The structure that I used for this poem was four stanzas: the first two being questions (or anxieties), the third is the addressing of the questions, and the final stanza is a solution (or a temporary resolution) for my anxieties. For the background I chose a picture of a wheelchair in black and white. This picture represents my mother, which I thought was fitting because she will be the one that I will worry over the most. Although this poem is a lot shorter than my first I would say that it holds a more significant meaning to me because of the fact that I am facing my worries head on and making myself feel vulnerable.

I really enjoyed working on this project because I got to challenge myself to write original poetry and share it with another human being. Because I have never shared my poetry with anyone else the biggest challenged I've faced was preparing myself to be vulnerable. I loved reading Lorna Crozier's poetry and using her as my muse for my own writing. Using Adobe Spark for my project, and my journals, was a really interesting experience. I loved that there are so many available pictures to choose from and that there has always been one that fits what I am trying to convey perfectly. Overall, this project allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and confront some of my fears. This course has been one of my favourites, ending the day with a poetry-reading session every Tuesday and Thursday definitely made the week a little easier to bear.

Credits:

Created with images by stevepb - "suitcase luggage baggage" • Unsplash - "person girl young" • Jhong Dizon | Photography - "Light after Darkness" • ferobanjo - "wheelchair lonely physical" • Kanenori - "road earth storm"

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