Written by Dagmar Morgan
I am a candle looking for other flames to ignite. I don’t believe in darkness.—from an untitled poem by Dagmar Morgan
I’ve always been creative. I’m an introvert who could be found in my little bedroom writing plays and filling journals with stories and poetry. It was no surprise to anyone when I decided to go to music school and become a singer/songwriter.
That was going just fine until…
We lost someone in our family. It was the kind of loss that steals your sense of “normal.” Everything spiralled out; nothing looked the same as it once did. My home, family, mental health, even my finances.
I fell deep into a dark place and stopped all art. No writing, no singing, no worship team.
I moved away from music and singing for a long time, but found I still needed a place to put all my feelings; something inside me was still yearning to express.
Then came one afternoon at a little café with a notebook in front of me, tears streaming and words spilling onto the page. I had no idea what I was writing. I just needed whatever was inside me, all that pain and loss, to find a place outside me.
It felt amazing! After a few days, when I dared to go back and read what was spilled all over those pages, I began to recognize pieces of…poems. Not songs, but poetry.
More importantly, these were poems of prayer. Laments of all I have experienced coming to the surface. I began to devotedly show up to that notebook. I began using my writing as prayer and meditation.
As I created more and more, I wondered: Did other people do the same? My question was answered by the interwebs.
I found open mic nights all over my city where poets shared and created. I went and watched and was encouraged to share my very, very, very bad (yet nonetheless authentic) first poems.
Standing behind a microphone, sharing my poems to a room full of people proved to be empowering and incredibly cathartic.
It was a feeling I had never fully experienced before. In truthful hindsight, it was a gift.
But Jesus was not done. He had pulled me into a new creative space I didn’t even know existed. From this space, I could finally see a path to healing. And so, I set upon it. Guided by Jesus.
At one poetry event, as I stood in line to put my name on the list to perform, I noticed a girl seated beside me in line folding paper cranes. Fold after fold, over and over. There were tons of these cranes strewn across her lap. I asked why she was making them, and she said they were a gift for someone having a hard time. I thought, “What a nice thing to do.”
The night went on. I took the stage and performed an intense personal piece about my story. All the while, I could see her nodding and folding, nodding and folding.
I left the stage nervous about what I just shared. Was it too personal? Too much?
As people started to exit the venue, that same paper crane girl rushed up to my table, placed a paper crane on it and walked away. I sat holding the crane, turning it in my hand. It had been folded and unfolded over and over. The crisp perfect edges were widened and rough.
I instinctively ran my hands on the worn in creases and unfolded its wings. I’m not sure why, something just told me I was meant to. The words “I understand” were written on the inside.
In that one small act from an anonymous girl at a poetry show, I was transformed. What I imagined as a tool for my own healing had the power to do so much more.
Words and art can heal. Not just me, but whoever they touched. God can use poetry and spoken word through me. I can tell the world who He is and what He does through art.
Maybe I should write a poem about that.