Today: A Poem by Elisabeth Michel

Please enjoy a poem submitted by Beautiful Community member Elisabeth Michel. Perhaps it will inspire you to take up your pen. In fact, Elisabeth also shares a couple of writing prompts to help.


Today, I will write.

I do not consider myself a poet.

But I think of the voices now silent,

And I remember the writers.

The dancers.

The chefs.

The travelers.

Musicians.

Scientists.

Artists.

All the ones who could. Whose individual songs rang with power, even when soft. Whose perspectives helped us see parts of life and truth that we would have otherwise missed.

The ones who, in pursuit of their purpose, shaped the world around us.

They may, at one point, have thought they couldn’t.

Yet they blessed us when they did.

So today I write.


Writing Prompts:

1. What’s something that made you smile this week?

2. For the next two minutes, write down all the activities you engaged in today, in reverse order. (Start with now, and then write what you did before this moment, what you did before that moment, etc.). Go as far as you can in 2 minutes. After the two minutes are up, review the list and see which activity/moment in your day thus far has the strongest emotions attached to it. What was that moment, and what are you feeling?

Note from Elisabeth: “A professor gave me this writing exercise in college, and I love it to this day.”

If you feel comfortable, feel free to share your answers from the writing prompts above in the comments.

Elisabeth Michel is a health equity advocate passionate about seeing a world where everyone has the opportunity to reach their maximum potential. Currently living in Michigan, Elisabeth enjoys photography, improv, playing the piano – and when spring and summer finally overtake the Michigan winters, she loves to lounge outdoors in the grass with a good book.

Photo by Kaci Kennedy

 

Two weeks ago, we had the great pleasure of partnering with Carolina Performing Arts in a creative workshop that explored identity and belonging through the powerful work of Carrie Mae Weems.

Using The Kitchen Table Series as an inspirational tool, we led the workshop participants in a reflective journey to think about the tables or structures in their lives that that have been instrumental in shaping their identities and beliefs. Through conversations, writings and illustrations, participants were able to share how these metaphorical tables affirmed, challenged, and shaped who they are today.

 


After the workshop, we attended Ms. Weems’ lecture, Past Tense, which was a multimedia meditation on culture, power, and identity, fitting perfectly with the theme of our pre-performance workshop. Many thanks to our collective members who came out to participate and support this workshop. We’re grateful for Carolina Performing Arts for the opportunity to bring the work that we do to a wider audience. And we want to send a huge thank you to Carrie Mae Weems for gracing us with her presence, brilliance, and artistry.

Iconic American photographer Carrie Mae Weems comes to University of Carolina-Chapel Hill on Wednesday, April 10 to present Past Tense, a striking lecture-style performance in which she examines the right to justice and peace through the lens of the classic play Antigone. Accompanied by startling imagery projected onscreen behind her, Weems explores themes of social justice, escalating violence, gender relations, politics, and personal identity within the context of contemporary history—recurrent subjects in her practice as a visual artist. Learn more about the performance and the artist’s motivation for creating this work.

We are excited and honored to partner with Carolina Performing Arts in a pre-performance workshop event before Carrie Mae Weems’ performance of Past Tense. Join us as we explore the impact of Weems’ art and celebrate the revolutionary power of words and images.

Our creative workshop, free and open to the public, will take place on April 10th at 6:00pm at Gerrard Hall, which is located right next door to UNC’s Memorial Hall. Also, friends of TBP who plan to attend Weems’ performance (and you should!) can receive discounted tickets ($15) by using our promo code:

TBPFRIEND can be redeemed online, by phone (919.843.3333), or in person at the CPA Box Office at Memorial Hall (M-F, 10 AM-5 PM). To redeem online: Select desired date on performance page. On next page, you must enter the code in the top right corner of the page before selecting desired number of tickets for the code to work properly.

Creative Workshop
April 10, 6pm
UNC’s Gerrard Hall
226-234 E Cameron Ave, Chapel Hill, NC 27514
https://www.facebook.com/events/305596270119342/

Past Tense
April 10, 7:30pm
UNC’s Memorial Hall
114 E Cameron Ave, Chapel Hill, NC 27514
carolinaperformingarts.org/pasttense

She’s a wonder to us.  She’s heroic, bold, and manages to meld both simplicity and depth in her thought provoking images.  Take a look at this article discussing her work and exhibit at The Guggenheim last month.  Some how, many don’t know this wonder of a woman but to us, she is a hero and we herald her every chance we get.  She’s featured as an honoree on BET Honors Monday night at 9p/8c.  Don’t miss it!

 

Photo Credit:  Carrie Mae Weems