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(Find Yourself) at Constant Falls – 9 thoughts on 108 poems

"Find yourself praying. Pressing your palms against one another. Offering your heart. Offering alternatives ­– mustard, muddy slopes, leaves – prodding then punching the rising dough with your fist and going at it. Your heart is appealing. In ways it hasn’t before…"

I wanted to write a memoir. I wrote 50,000 words in a month and felt ill from lack of sleep. I knew it wasn’t a good memoir.

I wanted to write about autism, broken education systems and disability payments but wrote about supermarkets, anxiety and waterfalls.

I wanted to respect the privacy of my family so I didn’t go into detail about the events I wanted to record. I wrote around them, which was vague.

I wanted to chop it all up so I divided all those words into days and hours, manageable sections. Then I chopped those up until they were just a few words, which turned out to be meaningless.

I wanted to leave it alone so I did.

I wanted to make it work, I realised during a yoga fundraising event for people with disabilities and their carers. I have mixed feelings about calling myself a carer.

I wanted to write the way I enjoy writing, the way I enjoy moving. I decided to take the last 108 sections to match the 108 sun salutations I was doing and think about faith and stamina.

I wanted to create some distance and constraint so I fed each section through a dada poem generator and the jumbled lists it produced gave me a sense of familiar pleasure.

I wanted to write with energy so set myself a time limit to write into the lists and when images and patterns emerged, I understood that if these were the poems that needed to surface, then I would encourage them.

"Find yourself with the rights to your own story, your lunar eclipse. You couldn’t see it exactly, couldn’t face the excitement around the incident, whether something was or was not silk. Something was indeed silk! The moon offered a feeling of completion, whatever that was at the time…"

Kathrine Sowerby


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