Posted in art and healing, creativity and health

The Spoken Word

Welcome to Art and Healing Thursday!!

Thursday you ask?  What happened to Art and Healing Wednesday?  Well the truth is that I like many of you live my life by routine, I guess some might call it auto-pilot.  I’m usually off from work on Wednesday, but my co-worker needed a few days off so I worked yesterday.  When I logged in later in the day I realized my mistake that I hadn’t been mindful of my time and space.  I was just floating through and thought it was just another day.  So I stand corrected and look for Art and Healing next Wednesday…now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

A friend of mine, Kim Rosen, wrote a fabulous book titled, Saved by a Poem.  Kim is an amazing performance poet and an even more provocative workshop leader.  When I was at her book signing in October she said something that made me stop and really focus on the spoken word.  She said that there’s a difference between memorizing something and learning something by heart.  Memorizing is that torturous activity invoked by teachers to get us to enjoy poetry or learn certain facts.  The truth is that memorizing something keeps it in our short-term memory like when we cram for a test, but it doesn’t stay.

The spoken word on the other hand is something that inspires us to go deep within and attach those words to meaning, heart, and soul.  Learning a poem by heart, or a song, or anything spoken/sung means that you attach meaning to it.  It provides you strength, comfort, or a clearer way of expressing ourselves.  There are certain poets whose work I admire and work on learning, but I still need prompts.  It’s an ever evolving process for me, but one that is simultaneously challenging and comforting. 

I watch someone like Kim Rosen and I’m amazed at the number of poems she has learned by heart.  She has a great tickle file in her mind, her heart, and her soul.  She’s able to bring forth the spoken word that fits any given situation.  It provides a container for discussion as well a way to challenge our beliefs or to get us to strengthen our life position.  The spoken word is one more way of utilizing your creativity to support your health and healing practices. 

On your journey to wellness I hope you speak many words from the heart.  The spoken word, no matter the form, is pure and that purity allows for ultimate self-expression.


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

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