Really, I write poetry….
Not knowing he would be required to read it to the class, J. Ivy wrote a poem about clouds for an English assignment. Despite his embarrassment Ivy read the poem out loud upon his teacher’s request. His teacher was impressed and encouraged him to perform his poetry more in public. Now, J. Ivy cannot picture life any other way…
“I can’t imagine these years without poetry as my companion and the stage as my home.”
What do passion and purpose look like? It’s the progression of taking one guided step and then the next. “It was always one thing leading to the next…My purpose is to use my voice to help heal people.”
It was not planned or contrived, it was a gift followed. “My work has always centered around wanting to lift people up and inspire.” J. Ivy says he has been lifted by others and giving that back is his vision.
Ivy’s poetry comes from real emotions. He says that he never stopped moving in his purpose, so when opportunity knocked, he was prepared.
Dear Father: Breaking the Cycle of Pain
In his new book Dear Father, J. Ivy talks about the process of his poem after the same name and the healing power of forgiveness. After his parent’s divorce, Ivy spent ten years without seeing his father. The reflection brought on by writing, played a significant part in Ivy’s desire to forgive his father and move on to a better life.
It was then that an adored cousin gave Ivy some sound words to ponder…
“If you don’t forgive, you’re going to carry that pain the rest of your life.” @J_Ivy @mistressoftea
Ivy chose to forgive his father, “The day I decided to forgive, which was two weeks later on a Thursday, he called me up out of the blue after ten years.” A year and a half after Ivy and his Father reconnected, his father passed away. It took another conversation with his mother, after his father’s passing, for Ivy to write the poem and fully let go of the weight.
After some sharing, Ivy realized that the story behind the poem was even more compelling than the poem itself, and thus the book Dear Father was born. When you operate from the place of fear, you take away space from love, compassion, and joy. “I feel like you only have so much space inside and when you have all this junk piled up, you can’t clean out for that peace.” You can live a more peaceful existence by letting some of the junk go..
J. Ivy believes the path of Forgiveness led him to greater opportunities like the Kayne and Jay-Z recording session, “
I hoped on the train of forgiveness, I plowed through that pain and then was this blessing waiting for me.” There is power in letting go.
The Creative Process
“One of the most beautiful feelings I have is buying a new notebook and knowing that I’m going to fill it up and then seeing it filled. There is something so special about that.”
Get the creative flow:
• Start with a fresh notebook
• Write by hand
• On the left page- free flow, no structure
• Take those words/phrases and tie them into a story, a project
Beautiful opportunity is waiting; we just have to stop getting in the way.
Advice to Younger Self
You already have inside of you everything you want to do and create. Be super confident, believe in yourself, and never stop. Learn lessons, but don’t get bogged down by them.
Now it’s your turn! Here is your writing prompt via Mr. J. Ivy:
“If I could embody every ounce of love, and do away with the hate, what could I create?” Let me hear your responses in the comments.