Thursday, February 25, 2010

Begin Again

Some time ago, Louise at Recover Your Joy began a powerful blog post with a rule from St. Benedict:
"Always begin again."  I didn't know about this rule when I wrote a poem with the same theme several years ago after an experience with Stewart Cubley at "The Painting Experience." The workshop was a life-changer and the concept of beginning again, regardless of whether something was a success or a failure has stayed with me. 

Every day, every moment is an opportunity to begin again.

Begin Again

by Joyce Wycoff

I stand at an expanse of white paper.
  Fears rise like a rush of ravens cawing
  My inadequacies to an indifferent world.
  “Begin,” I cry above their screechings.

I throw paint — fuchsia, chartreuse, deep purple.
   Hope for a miracle slowly sinks into gloom
   As the Muse rejects my careless offering.
   “Begin again!” she commands.

I plan a lofty scene filled with symbol and sign.
   Color and context weave an eye-pleasing cry
   For approval and recognition that does not come.
   “Begin again,” the Muse repeats.

I wildly cover the space with scribble and daub.
   Then, lost on the page, I stand frozen in fear,
   A hollow husk with no place to hide.
   “Begin again,” she whispers.

I stand — waiting, listening deeply.
   A feeling guides me to a land timeless and unplanned.
   Brush, color and hand create in an unjudged harmony.
   I am awake, alive, vibrating with vision.

Softly the Muse just repeats, “Begin again.”

About the image:  This image earned the title "Begin Again" because it started out as a color doodle and then got cut apart, reassembled, and enhanced ... it literally "began again."


  1. Great post, Joyce. Your poem is wonderful.

  2. Mostly I am just excited for your opening tomorrow; so sad I can't be there to rejoice with you! But our friendship begins again every day, too -- even if I'm not there to celebrate the joy of that.

    Many blessings!

  3. You'll never know how today, exactly today, I needed this.

  4. Hello lovely Joyce,

    Begin again. Everyday. I love your poem -- it makes me want to haul out my paints and throw some colour at the world!

    Thank you my friend.