“Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15.
The above is one of my favorite scriptures. I hear it in my head when I am chug-a-lugging along pushing against the stones. It is a sort of affirmation for me; encouraging me to continue the study of seemingly unconnected things – dirt, music, planets, etc… I am always reading tidbits here and there about this or that…studying…to release stress or because I run across something that gets my attention. The information bits always come in handy especially when I need to meet a deadline and don’t have time to research (because the play I just spent all my time researching is not ready to be written so I have to write something else and write it quickly). I notice that my subconscious will unflinchingly pull a tidbit from the annals of my mind that will fit…perfectly…into whatever I am writing. I used to think that I had all this useless information in my head and what wasn’t useless was so disconnected that finding what to connect it to would be a serious challenge. Except…when interpreting dreams, I find the tidbits come in handy. In dreams, all information is relevant as it can reveal the unknown, all that disconnected information finally serves a purpose. I believe that is why dream sequences show up in my work; it’s part of who I am as a woman, part of that “write what you know” thing. I know dreams, flashbacks, and things of the spirit…
There is a play, Body Indian, by playwright Hanay Geiogamah. In this play, Geiogamah uses the sound/symbolism of a train; his notes set up the business of the train.
“6. There should be a loud, rushing sound of a train starting off on a journey to signal to the audience that the play is beginning and Bobby’s entrance can be emphasized by the distant sound of the train.” Hanay Geiogamah
I could hear that train for months after reading the piece; it was haunting… moving…beautiful. It affected me. It made me want to create moments like that in my own writing. As long as I am stretching myself as a writer, I know that eventually I will be where I envision myself. When I write, I hear sounds in my head sometimes but I had never thought to make the sound a character until I read Body Indian. Perhaps that is just my response to the piece but the train was a profound presence. An acting instructor of mine told me that if I could see it so would the audience. I could see that train as I read; I must admit, I have been devouring Geiogamah’s work ever sense. How to make the sounds visible — that is the question.
In the night, as I write, I like to listen to music, especially violins. I have begun a play called Fiddler’s Bridge; it is my hope to make the sound visible in this piece. I am listening — as it finds its way to the page — for the sound of its song…
Those of us, who ride the night winds and the morning breezes, who straddle the fence of crazy and sane, must study…always…at our craft. Earning the “wright” in playwright through diligence and preparation…unashamed and unapologetic for the feats we attempt. We are the catalogers of our time and must all play our part in marking his/her/our/story. We must continually grow as artists so our gardens are full of fresh vegetables and herbs and words…that communicate humanity or if so be inhumanity…Tweet