17 April 2012

YES is a powerful Word

I love my kids at Y.E.S.  Picked up my sweatshirt today.  We worked and played hard together today.  People acted out and got called on it by me or one of the other kids. Almost every kid that acted out,  apologized to me before I left today. I got called out once, too, and apologized.

What a great day!

Tonight, I'm considering doing a lot more theater with drug abuse teenagers...

11 April 2012

Privilege of Genius

Someone commented:  "Some people hold it against Steve Jobs that he was so hard to get along with and really mean at times but I say that isn't fair.  He was a genius and they aren't like the rest of us."

I'm thinking, Damn, I'm no genius but I could sure use one of those "get out of social prison free" cards...

08 April 2012

Come Back, Come Back...Let's Begin

A new friend came for tea yesterday. She too is a performer so discussion of the upcoming Fringe Festival performance was lively and deeply pertinent. "What's your piece about?" she asked. "Not sure yet," I replied. "Really only now coming out of the panic zone and getting a first glimpse of possible themes."

She said she'd recently been asked to identify the theme of her life.  The enduring, recurrent, "hot" topic or topics of her life. Of course, I was immediately drawn to examine my own life through the same lens. What are my life themes?  What do I write and sing (and pray and cry) about over and over again? recognition and visibility; identity; family; art and being an "artist"; faith, spirituality, belief; the human condition, the human heart and psychology.

Does the new performance have something to do with any of these themes?  Which?  How do I start?

I am attempting to lure myself away from the brink of despair (where I have been perched for two or three days), into a sustained, exploratory, play-time as first steps of creating something for Fringe Festival.  I am trying to make Writing more appealing than staring or eating or playing computer Solitaire -- all of which have claimed the lion's share of my attention lately...out t/here at the previously mentioned brink. I am scared. I consider engaging in some therapeutic blogging.

OK.  Here goes...

Step 1:  Open Bookmarks menu and click on "Sojourner in the 21st Century".
Step 2:  Click on "New Post" link.
Step 3:  Stare at blank page and let mind roam...
Step 4:  Open new tab and Google Image search on "Easter".  Harvest the first image that piques my interest:  two little boys toting a load of kindling on a crude wheelbarrow.

What this image has to do with Easter eludes me; but I look at it and begin to cry. I can see myself in both children and my heart is touched. Why am I crying?

Pain-body is, mysteriously, triggered by the kindling and the wheelbarrow and the barefoot boys; it draws a connection between these and my raggedy socks.

There is a prevailing Consciousness that views ragged socks and barefoot children in barren landscapes as signs of destitution, hopelessness, and a terrifying vulnerability. This Consciousness pervades the World. I see myself in the World and of the World. I see myself  through the World's lens. I am a mess.

An hour later

Feeling free...

"I see myself in the World and of the World."  Writing those words unlocked the shackle. Situated me somewhere outside. Situated me in Awareness of the World and my thoughts about the World - rather than smack dab surrounded and overwhelmed by the thoughts about the World. 

Writing those words broke my identification with that on-the-brink-of-disaster entity.  Freedom and energy surged and I went downstairs for focused practice on Fugue #4 from Book II of WTC.

Writing those words released me, and opened a gateway to a different perspective

where kindling is used to start fires
and toes poke through wool, feet shed shoes for direct contact with air and sunlight and moisture and grass
and vulnerable = capable of being impacted, inspired, touched
and Easter is about resurrection, return from the brink

and this ability to see, to re-frame and re-imagine what I see, to see in new ways
is part of what defines me as an artist

and this is gonna be a great show.

04 April 2012

Artistic Crisis....Again

I learned last week I've been selected to perform in the first Santa Cruz Fringe Festival. The Festival runs13 July through 22 July and my suffering has already begun:  insomnia, loss of appetite, panic attacks, ....

A crazy voice screams non-stop from a room in the attic of my mind "I can't! I can't!" Specifically, I can't write. I have nothing to say;  I've never had anything to say.  Yes, I've performed original work before but it was a fluke,....I don't know where it came from. I don't remember writing it. Did I write it?

Last night, I dreamed I was simultaneously driving a car and explaining to someone, as calmly as possible, why I must decline their invitation. I ran the car off the road in the process. It ended up nose down in a wide ditch. When I stepped into the ditch to survey the damage, I discovered there was another town under the road. With courage, I could get back in the car, put it in Reverse and safely reach the other town. I entered the car and put it in Reverse but my courage lagged and so the car wound up in a mechanics shop after hours. Now the challenge/task was a) to exit the car through a window, and b) to exit the after-hours shop through a window.

I am among three solo performers invited by a fourth to share a 90-minute slot on a TBA stage. Participants in the Festival will perform a minimum of 5 times over the 10 days of the Festival. Partly in response to my terror, I have thought perhaps I will improv for each of the 5 performances, in that way mostly bypassing the writing. But this choice is unsatisfactory. Today I realize the reason:  I am afraid AND I actually want to write a piece.

This is the illogical nature of fear.

The next day:
I slept like a baby last night and woke up three hours before the alarm with clear, detailed images in my mind of myself, on stage, calm. Moving and saying something. I feel the theme of the piece from the expressions on my face in the vision but I still don't know, in words, what the piece will be about.

The panic is gone. 

OK.  So eight days after learning of the gig, calm came.  I wonder if this is a pattern.