Tuesday, November 3, 2009

AT and OT

I've done a bunch of writing exercises for art therapy and occupational therapy while here, where we have half an hour to come up with a response to a prompt or are given a sheet to work with. Here's an example.

"My personal mission statement"
To find happiness, fulfillment, and value in living I, Lily, will:

Lead a life centered around the principles of Growth, Empowerment, Honesty and Fairness.

Remember what is important in life is Learning, Sincerity, Friendship, Relationships and Happiness.

Revere admirable characteristics in others, such as Passion, Commitment, Courage, Enthusiasm, Faith, and Patience, and attempt to implement similar characteristics in my own life.

Humble myself by acknowledging that I can be Impulsive, Reactive, Excessive, Insecure and Tedious and by constantly striving to transform my weaknesses into strengths.

Recognize my strengths and develop talents as a person who is Adaptable, Imaginative, Open-Minded, Sincere, Visionary and Insightful.
The words in bold are my words, and came from five pages of exercises to choose them. That one is structured. Here are my less structured ones.

little drummer girl
bata tum tum tum
march, little drummer girl,
enlisted in the draft.

my arms are tired,
my feet are sore,
my mind is in the past.

bata tum tum tum
little drummer girl,
marching day by day.

i could have jumped,
i could have flown,
but I have dues to pay.

march, march, march
little drummer girl,
the haze it drizzles on.

my glasses fog,
my vision's gone,
my feet ..start to slog.

march! keep marching,
you're a drummer girl;
you cannot think to stop.

i'll take a breath,
my glasses clean, and keep
marching step by step.

I'm so frustrated with being here. When I wrote this I was just counting the seconds before I could get out, back when the plan was to leave last friday. I made a series of sculptures to express my painful, bored exasperation with being trapped in here, which I'll share when I have access to a camera.

Here's one where the prompt was to come up with six animals I feel a kinship with and write a poem or short story including them all.

Creatures I admire
The spider weaves an intricate web,
delicate patterns to ensnare its prey.
A sting like a scorpion, quick to attack
whatever challenge might come its way.

The unicorn stands on its own, alone,
a whimsical freak for the mind.
The one footed crane stands alone in a pond,
its reflection rippling time to time.

A fox with its cunning, wit and charm,
strides through the forest with curious eyes.
It burrows a den, wraps itself then
transforms in a chrysalis. The butterfox flies.
I like the idea of a butterfox. I drew one when I was sixteen. It's a fun hybrid. Some of the stuff I'm sharing is a little embarrassing, to be honest, but that's okay. Yesterday I shared that chapter from a possible story about my time here, and before that I wrote an as-it-happens type of purge of what was going on, which was freaking me out. Anyway, this one I just wrote today. The prompt was to write a short story or poem about my superpower of choice.

"Something new about myself"
I'm sitting in my room begging to escape, watching swallows dip and glide. Suddenly there I am, feathers and beak, but the window is bolted shut. Then I'm a fly. I crawl through a tiny crack in the frame and zip outside, become a bird again and dip and soar with the swallows.
I land on the ground and I'm a snake, weaving through the grass and stones. I see a mouse and sneak up on it, ready to strike. It sees me and darts away.
Now I'm a leopard, silky sleek and teeth to kill. I slink into a group of trees and climb one. I clean my paws and watch the world go by, feeling comfortable and calm.
I see a man who used to taunt me walking alone and pounce on him with my claws out, calmly gnaw off his face and then step off him, letting him live. I transform into him, with his face, and say, "You sick freak. Get used to hearing that." Then I'm a bird again, exalting the rush of retribution. But slowly I feel worse and worse about my action.
I feel so guilty. I land and become an aloe plant, but it's a useless tack. I rise into a tree and reflect on my awful mistake as I soak myself with the sun's pure light. I grow.

I'm back in my room now. Outside isn't ready for me yet, and I need some way to keep myself from veering back to repeat my mistake. Those sorts of things take time, so I'll wait, for everyone's sake.
I want to get out of here, but I understand the need to wait. You should see what I made in OT today. It's a card, with the inside being my feelings and the outside being how I think I'm presenting myself to the people around me.

On the inside it said, in clipped magazine letters, "Fuck everything while I sleep. I want to leave!" But, I'm feeling alright now. Still frustrated but not so angsty.

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