Routine Rhymes with Poutine
1. routine; plural noun: routines
a sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program
2. performed as part of a regular procedure rather than for a special reason.
Synonyms : standard, regular, customary, accustomed, normal, usual, ordinary, established, natural, unexceptional, typical. everyday, common, commonplace, conventional, day-to-day, habitual, wonted, familiar.
1. a dish of French fries topped with cheese curds and gravy.
In Québec, the term poutine is slang for mess. (The Canadian Encyclopedia, online)
And for a poet
That’s a problem
Cause I’ve never had poutine
And I don’t much care for routine
So here we are
Poutine is slang for ‘mess’
(This is true)
Routine is slang for ‘the creative’s nightmare’
(This is false)
I made that last part up
Cause poets can do that
When they’re writing about
But on a serious note,
I love the mess that comes with creativity
I love the million little pieces of paper
Glued onto a scrapbook page
Named a ‘junk journal’
Boasting little tidbits to explore and find
I love the million little threads of thought
Woven together onto the written page
With just some ink and processed trees
Yet making order from my disordered thoughts
I love symphonies of notes
All overlaid one on the other
Covering a score of music
That delights my senses
And reaches deep into my soul
I love a million brush strokes
Superimposed on canvas
as though they are one painting
Artistry rising up to meet palette
Colors mixed with care
alongside 'happy accidents'
Turned to fine art
I love all the ingredients of poutine
So I’m guessing I would like the whole of it
If I could get past the mess
The mess of foods touching
And soggy french fries
And cheese curds away from their Wisconsin home
I love all the ideas about routine
The same actions done over and over
After the alarm goes off
And the day starts
And we do all the important things for our precious selves
Our oral hygiene
Our skin care routine
Our 10 sure ways to stay lean
If I could get past the nightmare
That stifles my carefree creative being
Bored out of her gourd
Cogs in a machine
Assaults to my self-esteem
Just because I was dyslexic
In my daily routine
I might like to try poutine
Straight out of a food truck
Where I know the mess
can be neatly thrown away
If it’s not my favorite dish
Just like I might like to try routine
Straight out of a self-help magazine
Where I know the parts I don’t like
can be curiously abandoned
cautiously and serendipitously forgotten
If it’s not my favorite thing ever.
That’s the thing
Routine gets a bad wrap
From us creatives
Poutine gets all the praise
Because beauty is in the mess
To take blank pages, white canvas’, empty scores, and barren bowls
And then to fill them
With all the disordered chaos
We see, we hear, we envision, we dream —
Seems like the very best kind of routine
So, I will agree
To try poutine
More, I will agree to ‘make ordinary’;
I will commit to a regular practice; a scheduled decision
To bring beauty to this messy world
I will make my routine
The sharing of myself on paper—
Filling barren bowls 'til you savor
The mess, in all its beauty.
And I will call on the creatives
To join me in the regular
Of bringing beauty
From the ash heap.
Normalizing the creative spirit
Normalizing a million little dyslexic threads named Beauty
Woven together to reveal
A poet’s dream.
I wrote this poem in participation with hope*writers Daily Prompt Contest Day 3, Routine. If I get randomly selected I get a logo tote bag and a journal (to add to my dozens and dozens of journals). It's not about the winning, though.
It's about being consistently creative.
And that's what I found this poem to express for me. I believe in the arts. I believe in the creative arts, the fine arts, the visual arts, the culinary arts; the art that each of us creates. I believe music, poetry, painting, gardening, and cooking touches the human spirit in a way other things cannot. I believe art therapy, music therapy and writing therapy (journaling) can heal as much or not more than 'talk therapy' ever could.
In my story of healing, I was invited to Mud Dauber pottery studio during a dark time of depression and friendlessness. I believe taking a hunk of clay and molding it, shaping it, correcting its flaws, firing it, glazing it, firing it again and then showcasing it brought a healing I never thought possible. Art gets you out of your head. The creatives in that studio became my dearest friends. They heard me say out loud, first, that I wanted to paint barns with only make-up. I bravely showed them my very first cosmetically painted barns--crude and awful renderings--and they encouraged the dream; they complimented the healing they saw in me. The beauty they brought to the mess of my life touched my spirit over and over again. They introduced me to many new art forms and encouraged whimsical, brave, daring expressions--out of my routine--to color outside lines, to bring texture to my existence, to arrange flowers, make junk journals and to try something new. They were the best therapists a girl could ever ask for.
Their friendship, art therapy.
Their artisanship, their friendship.
I found profound healing on the tip of a pen and at the bottom of a make-up brush.
I hope you do, too.
I hope you routinely find the beauty in the mess.