Below, as promised, is the third poem that I wrote during one of Rupi Kaur’s Instagram Live workshops over lockdown. Rupi provided us with the title for this one (“The Making of Me”) to which I’ve added a subheading that I feel fits mine – “Amateur gut interpreter”. The prompts for this one were all about exploring the connection between our mind, body and self. Here’s what came up for me and what has lead me to a very belated Life Tips update: Life tip #19: Spend some time learning how to listen to your gut. Do it often, or ignore it at your peril.
The Making of Me: amateur gut interpreter
My mind has been telling me for some time now
that I am an imposter.
I try to push these thoughts away but I can’t help but foster this
idea that I’m fake.
I’m not a wife, a writer, I’m not anything that’s real,
how could I be?
I’m just little old me and little old me could never be one of those
people with a purpose or anything worthwhile to say.
My self is controlled by my mind
like a character being manoeuvered about
on a platform by a teenage gamer.
Looking over my mind’s shoulder you can see that it’s me,
same person as I have been since Level 1,
ready and waiting to do my mind’s bidding
no matter the countless restarts.
Prepared to level up at a moment’s notice but not
fully equipped to beat the big boss
until my mind is really ready for that.
Until it has tried and failed enough times to know
what to expect and what buttons to press in quick succession and when.
My mind can be a slow learner, depending on the game.
Don’t get me started on side missions.
My body has been keeping my mind and self alive all this time,
unquestioningly, so that they can survive and keep playing,
It doesn’t care about the disconnect or resulting discomfort when
my mind and self are in a disagreement.
My bones and flesh and hair and sweat and organs are
the grown-ups of the situation,
taking the higher ground and staying out
of petty squabbles as much as possible,
just doing whatever it takes to get me through another day.
My gut is the most caring parent, who knows all the cheats,
but knows too that I need to learn some things the hard way.
It turns out she won’t share her wisdom unless she is asked,
won’t speak unless spoken to.
I think I am finally, luckily,
learning her language.