Colorado Gives Day: A Way to Heal

Editor's Note: Colorado Gives Day takes place tomorrow, December 8, but you can schedule your donation today.

Cant o

how do you describe what saves your life
feels wasteful to just spit it out 
fine wine too Divine to devour 
sometimes Inferno’s worthwhile afterwords 
for this kind of Paradiso 

I wrote a version of “Cant o” as an ode to creativity on International Poetry Day, 3.21.2018. I was 17 months cancer-free. 32 years young. Creativity can be medicine if we let it. I express this, hyperaware of my Blessings and privilege, and clearly, creativity doesn’t literally cure terminal diseases. Still, there is something powerful about that fighting Spirit life reborn each time we surprise ourselves with what we’re capable of envisioning & building.

Don’t we all deserve access to healing, especially through the arts? Too many face death too soon without enough, even though our Earth provides everything. We have a sickness beyond this pandemic that kills through the schizophrenic ways a select few let people die via the cost of living and racism. Our communities need so much healing. That journey starts with ourselves.

We cannot look away as much as we must look within. We cannot accept our illnesses with defeat. We must face our needs, traumas, and biases. Our world has always provided us the tools to create a future that heals more than it hurts. Creativity helps us save ourselves because the process allows us to acknowledge our reality, bring our shadows to the light, tap into our power, and witness our ideas and visions materialize.

There are some Hells I cannot unsee between cancer in 2016 until remission in 2020, but my healing journey creates silver linings. I am Blessed and privileged to embody this sentiment: “Every second is a new beginning.” The arts fuel my warrior Spirit for myself and our worlds. In the midst of one of the longest years of our existential Awakenings, I hope we get as creative as we can on our journey of second chances. Imagine.   


Theresa Rozul Knowles is an educator, creative/content writer, and event's typewriter poet. Her 12 years of teaching has included cognitive skills training, coordinating special education programs, and teaching creative writing. She graduated from the University of Memphis with honors in literature and a minor in both Italian and theater. She has one poetry chapbook, Samhain & Such Inspired Junts; her poetry has been featured on NPR's All Things Considered and has appeared in Sampaguita Press and Immortal Verses. Theresa's business Citrine Ink connects communities through creativity and culture.