Down Below with Tiarn Florence
Poetry and creative writing as a form of healing with Tiarn Florence
It’s only been the last few years that I’ve come to understand the importance of words.
How to use them, how not to use them, the everlasting effect they have on the human mind.
How when strung together perfectly you can change the way you feel or have an impact on another person in an incredibly intimate profound way.
When I was in primary school, my year five teacher Mr Hannah, was really into poetry and his class was my first introduction to it. He would have us write the poem and colour the page. The best poems with the best presentations were hung up in the centre of the room and we were given prizes. I don’t have many teachers that had an impact like that on my learning, in fact, he’s probably one of three I can actually say I saw my work as something to be proud of (I was never good at the school thing.) I digress. That simple task of having pride in your writing and presenting it carries on with me to this day.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The songs and sharing them, takes a lot trust. Sharing more of myself in a serious or artistic way has always been something I’ve hesitated to do. The insight into my life with the things I hold dear and close and personal. It’s recently occurred to me these are the things that I should be sharing. What helps me, what guides me and lifts me. I realised that when I read about other peoples experiences, that is what helps me. So here I am, diving into the corners and showing you the best of them.
My initial idea was to create a Youtube channel but with the influx of content being shared about ‘how to feel better right now’ during this pandemic, it felt overwhelming and unnecessary to add to that. Now we’re two months in and I feel what I have to offer is slightly different and potentially helpful for at least one person out there in the world. So in the spirit of wanting to show up more and to be of service in a deeper way, here we are.
Down Below with Tori Forsyth is a mini series I’ll be doing for the month of May to try and encourage art and self expression in a new way.
My first guest was Tiarn Florence. An author and weaver of words, educator, intuitive artist, and bedtime storyteller to her two young children.
She uses words and art to process and heal herself, then offers them as comfort to others whom may feel lost or unseen in their human experience.
Tiarn published her debut poetry collection, 'Growing Pains' in 2018, performed spoken word at local, regional and state events, and is currently working on a new project that will guide others in using creative writing and art to explore and heal themselves.
Below is a written re-cap of what you missed.
TORI: How did you become a published author, what was the process?
TIARN: By accident but in saying that I don’t believe in accidents. It was divinely guided. Ever since I was little I’ve wanted to write a book. I was in a job and a friend of mine asked if I had enough poems to do a book? My answer was man, I’ve just been through some stuff and all I’ve been doing is writing so yes I could give you a book shelf.
The poems that I’d written, well most of, some were shit because when you’re in that creative place, some turn out shit. But I kind of just put it together. It was one of those things that I wanted to get out to prove to myself that I could do it. A real passion project. So I decided to self publish and severely underestimated how long that would take and it took about six months.
TORI: Do you have a writing practice/ritual do you write daily?
TIARN: My process has changed over time. Motherhood has changed it. Its not like I can just let my children fend for themselves while I pour everything into it. I’ve been trying this thing lately where I journal every day and I’ve noticed a lot comes through in that. Its hard for me to switch between mum mode and creative mode so I’ve noticed that lighting a candle and that signifies my time to sit and write.
TORI: How does poetry help you to process?
TIARN: Its a hard one because I don’t remember not doing it. So I don’t really know how to not use it as a tool. Although, in saying that with both of my pregnancies I didn’t write at all which is really strange but I think that its not so much I don’t say look, I have this thing on my mind, I’m going to write it and thats going to help me process it, its more of the automatic writing when I’m feeling a certain way. It’s really profound because by the end of whenever I’m at the end of writing, some gem of wisdom will appear. So I never go into it without finding a resolution no matter if it’s one page or five I would of just rambled enough and it’s like your higher self is like here’s your answer.
The exercise we did was a part of a creative initiative that Chelsea Wolfe and Bill Crisafi came up with called #reimaginemay and for May 5th the prompt was patterns and colours.
We encouraged you to write a short poem with us using a technique called intuitive writing. Which means really just writing the first thing that comes to mind when you think of colour or patterns.
Tiarns finished product:
I used to live in hues⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
of midnight indigo⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
before I had to choose⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
which way my life would go.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I've seen snow;⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
white as Winter,⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
cold as shoulders,⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
stings like splinters.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I've seen yellow⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
suns and flowers⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
then run for hours⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I've seen you go⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
and come and show⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
that it's not always⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
black and white;⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
sometimes it's bright⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
like pink and red⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
at dawn ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
or the sunset⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I sometimes forget⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
to look up at.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I've seen clouds⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
form and fall out;⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
too proud to shout⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
about how deep their love⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I've spent some time⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
in midnight indigo⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
and wading through⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
the down below⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
but I had to choose⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
and now I know⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
even the darkest storm⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
can birth a rainbow.
Feel free to join us now and if you do please share it with me.
I leave you with this quote.
“Poetry is a translated language between you and your demons” - Lisa Maria Basile
Down Below the series will be every Tuesday in May with a new guest each week. I hope you’ll join me and the wonderful talent I’ll be spotlighting. You may even walk away with a new love for something you never discovered before.
I’m a huge believer in the best things in life being free. Language is free, the expression to use it is free and something that we take for granted as being so simple and accessible is actually a tool and a window to create some magik.
Love Tori x