Sunday, February 7, 2010

Writing from the heart

Valentine's Day is right around the corner, and with it comes the classic quandary: Finding that perfect gift. This year, why not try something new? Instead of - or better yet, along with - the classic chocolates and flowers, why not try writing down what's in your heart?

It doesn't have to be perfect. In fact, it's sometimes even more powerful if it's flawed. Keep it simple - maybe it's a short story, a remembrance of your first date. Or maybe it's a poem. Give it a try. I'm hardly a poet. I'm not schooled in classic poetry, I confess I like things that rhyme, and getting all mushy kind of makes me uncomfortable. But when my husband and I were dating, I presented him with a poem as a Valentine's Day present. It was silly, really - more of an ode to how much he did for me, how he was always there when I needed him, and how much I loved him for it.

It had four stanzas. It rhymed. It was, in retrospect, classically bad poetry. I didn't care. It was for his eyes only. And when he read it, it was the first time I saw his eyes fill up with tears. It was only then, I think, that I realized just how powerful writing from the heart can be. Today, 17 years later, that poem is framed and still up on his dresser. It still makes me smile every time I pass by.

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