Spent a fun couple of days with Unveiled Spoken Word Jogja.

It involved a poetry workshop and their 1st ever poetry slam, where I got to be a judge!

During the workshop, 2 other guest poets (@carissa.putriziandra, @steffiwashere) and I were part of a panel discussion, which was followed by time in small groups.

We each facilitated one of the groups, and encouraged participants to write a poem based on our choice of writing prompts. – I chose, ‘write a poem in the form of a recipe’ and ‘the letter D (or equivalent)’, where you pick 5 words which begin with the same letter, and use them throughout the poem.

The time allotted for this exercise was only 10 mins, and what each participant managed to write in that space of time was impressive,

During the final part of the workshop, the participants were encouraged to share their poetry and receive some feedback. The added bonus being, that it was also a kind of dress rehearsal for later that evening when they would be participating in the poetry slam.

We also each shared a poem. I a fresh off the press poem called, Are We There Yet?

Later that night, it was affirming, encouraging, heartwarming, and more, to see how participants had taken on board our feedback, and incorporated them into their performances during the slam. Two of the poetry workshop participants placed 1st & 2nd.

So what’s this got to do with embracing the opportunities?

Well, everyone who was at the workshop was embracing an opportunity. Many, were also embodying ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’. Writing poetry for the first time, reading poetry aloud for the first time, co-facilitating a poetry workshop for the first time and so on.

The very reason I was there as a guest poet, was because I’d:

  1. Embraced an opportunity to participate in the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival poetry slams a few weeks ago, and that is what connected me with the @unveiled_jogja family (& others).
  2. Said “yes” when asked if I’d be a guest poet. Even though timings were a little tight, and I was not at all sure I was ‘guest poet’ ready.

No.1 set off a sequence of events (No.2 being one of them), that has surprised, encouraged, and humbled me. Even if there are no other related opportunities to come, embracing those given in the ‘here & now’ has done my heart & soul good.

So what opportunities can you be embracing?

Could you be appreciating the moments, time, life you have now a little more?

Where might a seemingly small request lead you?