A marble bust on the window sill of the Poetry Cafe caught my attention during a writing exercise. From his perch, he headed our oblong table. Who was he and how did he end up here – a story begging to be written. I found out later that it’s the poet John Milton, the rest I might imagine some day.
My memories of studying Milton when I was at school would concur with the sentiments sellotaped to the sill “Please do not move Milton. He is awfully old and particularly heavy”.
His poetry wasn’t mentioned or discussed on Saturday. We were gathered for therapeutic writing workshops. The first using somatic writing. Helen, our facilitator defines Somatic writing as “a technique of free-writing that links and integrates different levels of consciousness in a way that is therapeutic, creatively liberating and allows a deep exploration into our true sense of Self. It side-steps the rational mind to access a wisdom deep within, facilitating emotional, psychological and spiritual growth”.
I loved the exercises. One in particular netted us each three words/expressions that we distilled from lengthier text through a series of eliminations. I was left with Returned and At last as my two pillars with Play as my bridge word. I was very happy with my trio – they made perfect sense to me.
After lunch we went straight in to the “Feel the fear and write anyway” workshop. In a visualisation exercise we were encouraged to meet ourselves 10 years on and have a candid conversation. My older-self encounter went well. I was pleased to notice that I had scarcely aged a day. I was struck by how relaxed and together I’d become. And I was intoxicated by a wonderful scent the me-plus-10 was wearing which I instantly recognised as a perfume from Liberty’s. One of the exclusive Le Labo range (Vetiver), not cheap at £105 for 50ml. By 2024, I figure, I must have sorted out my finances because I was dripping in the celestial dew.
So what perils of wisdom did I pass on to me? Well just like the little boy in the Polar Express movie I was handed “Believe”. In myself I suppose, in her, the woman with the expensive scent.