In a blog post on quotes, I mentioned using quotes to help you start writing. In my case, I write poetry. Not the rhyming, metered kind. But the kind that speaks a truth with an economy of words, a richness of visions.
For decades, I’ve had a fascination with maps. Any kind of maps. Street maps, mind maps, art quilt maps.
Tonight, I thought it might be interesting to combine a map with a poem. The words wander across the page, following the flow of water or a road that creates a map. I wanted to create a map in black and white, because the rest of the poem doesn’t fit into black or white–it’s about all the colors in between.
Here’s the finished piece, the poem is below it. The quote I started from is a Rainer Maria Rilke fragment, “I am given the question.”
I am given the questions.
Expectant, vivid with a need to know
the outcome, the future, the end.
You embroidered your story with thread salvaged from
your ruined past, exquisitely edged in fear.
The fabric of your life is yours.
Even with snags and knots
it is whole cloth still.
Fragile, thin with use, frayed.
But in its faded folds are memories
And within its wrinkles, a map
That steadfastly will lead you home.
—Quinn McDonald is a writer studying poetic medicine.