Sunday, February 13, 2011

Calistenic 1, Week 5

Contraction Rewrite.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others" -Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love.

My Rewrite.

Not Inadequate by Benjamin McClain

My fear is not inadequacy.
My fear is power beyond measure.
My light, never my darkness stirs me.
We fearfully ask the night,
Who am I to be Talented?
Who am I to be Brilliant?

Who am I not to Be?
For we are of God.
No illumination can be derived from timid search.
No enlightenment gained from shrinking for others.
Playing small does not serve the world.
Shine my friend, As children do.

And as we shine, our presence allows others.
And as we are liberated from our fears,
we allow others to do the same.

1 comment:

  1. Ben,

    I think the form of your contraction rewrite of Williams’ treatise on fear sits more appealingly on the page and reads better than hers, thanks to your more concise sentences and questions. However, it maintains her didactic tone and therefore lacks any imagery (i.e. light and dark in line three) that might make it more exciting. The switch from first person singular to a collective first person plural gets a little jerky. I think it should be all about the speaker.

    I wonder how it would sound if the two questions of the first stanza were asked first. The ‘fear’ of the first two lines could use more qualification, such as “innermost,” or “ultimate.” The second stanza speaks in the negative for the most part, so the second line, being a positive one, might fit better at the stanza’s end in order to help ‘turn’ from negative to positive. The word “presence” in the last stanza sounds flat against “shine” and the last line could use more punch. I think this whole draft is a good launching pad for taking each line, see if it stands alone, and try enhancing it with much more imagistic and personal language while still allowing it to respond to the questions.