a quartet, and a question

​​

 

​ Last night, I performed my poetry for the first time. I’ve actually been writing for over five years, but my first true poem was about Cheerios (I’m easily inspired; don’t judge). Still, if you would’ve told me that I’d end up on stage, not singing with my a cappella group, not receiving an award, but reciting my poetry? I would’ve laughed in your face. For at least five years, that’s exactly what I did. I’d push back at every nudge towards a platform, nervous and nauseous at the thought of feeling so exposed. But growth is a never-ending journey, and last night, a new bud bloomed on the tree of my life.

I’ve always used writing as an outlet. This means a lot of complex, painful feelings get put on paper, often. Unfortunately, and fortunately, when I first started out, I would light a match as soon as I put my pencil down; I wanted to get rid of what I was feeling. Even just watching the paper curl up as it burned relaxed me; water and fire are naturally contrary, but both fascinate me. Because my tears would lead to smoke, there are years of poetry that only God can appreciate. Eventually, I realized that even the pieces I wrote from the bottom of my valley had value, so I’d take a picture before burning the original, filing away a picture I would never admire.

It took a lot for me to get to the point where I could share my poetry, first with myself, and then with others. I mention this in my testimony, but for two years, I didn’t write at all. I just couldn’t find the words. In 2016, I started fresh as a poet with work worthy of being analyzed, but writing still served its original purpose. It’s more of a prayer than a poem, but whatever I was going through on October 3rd, 2011, pushed me to write about it in a Hello Kitty notebook. I probably misplaced the notebook for awhile, something I would do with all of my diaries, but the habit remained. For every poem I post or perform, there’s a prayer or painful thought I purge on paper.

Poetry is easy. Sometimes I’ll go back and turn an “and” into a “so”, or a “with” into a “while”, but I write what’s meant to be written. I’m sure of that. Poetry is how I think. It’s how I pray. But building with Someone else’s blocks seems foreign as you get to know Them. Blogging started as a way for me to analyze His Word, but I’m beginning to look into myself as well. I know that there’s a purpose to what I write, to who I am. Like most people, I spend a lot of time and energy trying to figure out what that purpose is, and how I’m going to fulfill it. The question is, where will I find my answers? From a world full of confusion, stress, and unrest, or from the One Who created it? The One Who’s proven Himself to be faithful, even when I’m not? The One who sees me as pure and whole, even I can’t? It’s one thing to stop and smell the roses, but I’d rather be patient and allow myself to grow.

The pieces I performed, annotations and all:

Author: Iyaniwura Olarewaju

† | naija | nj | Cornell

4 thoughts on “a quartet, and a question”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s