Pause for Repression

Working on transitioning my old home office space into a new one made me realize how oppressive my space was. No wonder I’ve been feeling overwhelmed and underinspired.

But digging through all my papers and files has unearthed some fantastic material. In this particular case, a writing exercise I’ve only used once, so I thought I’d try it again.

The exercise is to title something, and then working through the poem, conclude with the opposite idea/feeling. The concept of “repression” came to me because of my thoughts around my work space. Then I realized how important forms of repression are. We have to repress certain things, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to function as human beings on this planet.


We must repress ourselves
daily     in order to go on in order
to move a pen, a cup, a stone
we are so small
in our collected selves
we must reduce the disagreeable
to a mumbled prayer and hope to emerge
in a wider existence
an expanded being

There is memory beneath the
fiery doings of the fearful
digging into dreams, loosening the world
we have to trust it is below our feet
and beyond the stars
shedding everything we’ve learned
to cling to

Repression is how we eat our meals and
put the toys away
how we step one foot into the street
turn on faucets and lights and machines

If united we really knew
how infinite our way
we wouldn’t even bother dressing our bodies
we would head straight into the sun
wild and bursting

If you decide to try this exercise, let me know and share the results.


  1. Suma
    Aug 1, 2010


    I should try this sometime:-) Thanks for the post and the idea Danika.

  2. yr welcome, Suma. Thanks for stopping in. 🙂

  3. meeshelleneal
    Aug 6, 2010

    That was beautiful. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  4. Thanks, Meesh!

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.