I haven’t posted in awhile...I think about 3 weeks have been missed on this “weekly blog”. One week was because I didn’t feel inspired to write. Inspiration, for us “artistic types”, is often like eating cookies that are right out of the oven: soft, delicious, and, unfortunately, only last a short period of time. I guess we don’t necessarily neeeeeeeeeeed to eat our cookies right out of the oven, but reheating them just isn’t the same…
The next week was because I left my computer at my man’s place in Santa Barbara, and of course it was then that I felt ALL my warm cookies catapulting out of the oven with nowhere for them to land… (this analogy could so easily be misconstrued…)
And last week was missed because I had no true down-time to just sit, allow my brain to soften, and let the thoughts and feelings fall out. Buzzing at a high frequency for days at a time, while I feel like a fucking superhero, working on so many exciting and fun projects lately (updates to come) and checking all the tasks off my “to-do” list like
BAM, BOOM, POW,
...does not always seem to contribute to my creative flow when creating original content. And this past week there was a slight lack of cookies as well (I'm sticking with this analogy dammit).
The above image was something I created the other night, amidst a moment of feeling completely disconnected and in pain in my body. Overwhelmed by the rush of news, whispered utterings, or conversations about DACA, Hurricanes, Earthquakes, Fires, and the recent deaths of those dear and beloved to me, my system went into freak-out mode:
Mind: Fast flashes of images, colors, shapes, playing out like millisecond films, of the turmoil, of the ways in which I am not doing enough to help or heal, of the far-too-lateness of the world's efforts to change the circumstances, of the panic in the time it takes to process, of the sense of shame and disappointment that I didn’t do more when I had the time, of the ways in which I escape from the now to try to understand the what-just-happened or the what-will-happen-next?
Heart: Soft long beats pump the blood only as far as my solar plexus, fearing that if stretched further the heart will give out from exertion. Swollen yet strong, it holds the knowledge of compassion and connection in these troubled times. Heavy with understanding, it speaks a voice of no written or spoken language, but a felt language, that holds answers too simple and pure to be understood by the fix-it nature of the brain. Utterances that are often only heard with my eyes shut.
Body: Tense muscles and skin cells close off my sensitivity to the outside world, but increase my sensitivity to my inner chaos. Aches in the shoulders, neck, head, stomach, sometimes the feet and hands, overwhelm my sense of sound, smell and taste, until they are almost numb, muscles and joints screaming at me with each breath to “please don’t let the pain reside here...we are not its home...we can’t hold the weight of the emotions you leave here undealt with…”
Spirit: Open, ready, and patient. Willing to share lessons of wisdom where they will be received in my mind, heart, or body. Available to take in the information Mother Nature, or Mother Culture, is offering, to gain awareness about the world I live in, and never respond out of fear or hatred.
As an actor, I am so lucky that I have certain tools that can be used in times like this, that have been practiced and honed in environments specializing in safety and acceptance.
If I can offer one thing to anyone reading this, whether you are an actor, performer, or not, it would be this tool from my actor’s toolbox: let it out. Whether it is to yourself in the safety of your room, to a dear friend willing to hold space, to a therapist who encourages freedom of expression, or to the open air and universe in a form of creative expression, the things that cause us pain will only intensify in our bodies, and expand into our reality, if ignored or shoved under a rug for too long.
That was what I did with this image above. Whether you perceive it as a good or bad piece of art, it was a crucial moment of expression that needed to move, and this was how the intensity of pain in my body wanted to get it out. Pain can turn into a film layered over our eyes and our skin cells, affecting how we see the world and react to those around us. While it is an emotion that is necessary and important to feel, it can sometimes even feel good to hold inside ourselves for long periods of time.
One of the great beauties of theatrical training, was that it felt like walls of the studios and rehearsal rooms were actually grateful for expression that was unfiltered, nonsensical, and sometimes, in the realm of insanity. Humans, particularly artists, are usually only a couple (but an important couple) of steps away from insanity. And what brings us these few steps closer are the things inside ourselves which we resist, and shut away, whether through anger, pain, shame, or sadness.
I’m not claiming to be an expert, of course, but I will say, since letting this image fall out of me, accompanied by some wails, screams and cries in its creation, I have become clearer, softer, more aware, and more capable of connection with myself and others. And I feel more ready and available to do the work that needs to be done in my community. I finally was able to write this blog post for example (cookies yay!), which I had been writing and re-writing for at least the past 4 days.
I hope the blog posts will occur more regularly than once a month, but my goal is to keep this a platform of authenticity for myself, in whatever the blog decides it wants to become. Sharing the layers of my musings is a journey for me as well. I hope you will find the mode of expression needed in this moment for yourself.