Imagine the seed of change, perhaps, carelessly dropped into the earth of your consciousness by a casual comment, or a persistent voice that calls you to ‘look into this”. But you carry on with your days: working to maintain life.
One day, you’re in a place surrounded by people and situations that are beyond the normal realms of your day-to-day activities. There are moments when you pause and consider the purpose of it all, all this running around and keeping the fire burning till you feel burnt out.
You start to inquire what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. How did I get here?
Saturday morning, I did my 3 pages of Morning Page (Artist’s Way) at 6 o’clock which is very early for a weekend. However, I am determined to develop the habit of getting out of bed and staying up rather than allowing for the temptation of “lingering a little longer” in bed which often ends up to be another one to two hours of combined half-sleep and strange dream states. It’s my 6th day of my new practice. I am so sleepy, almost “stupid tired” that words are trailing up or down on the pages. Incoherently drunk from lack of sleep I forge forward to the last 3rd page.
I do everything within my power to hang in there in my awakened state: coffee, shower, sweep the floors – just mindless activities to keep me moving. Eventually I maintain an awareness of being “awake”. I quote “awake” because I begin to experience the state of change beginning. The tough shell of the spore holding the golden fluid of life, begins to soften, and allowing for stretch of tiny tendrils reaching towards light.
By 9 am, I am eating toast and coffee for breakfast as I stare at the oleander bush beyond the iron bars keeping them out and locking me in. I feel restless in my confinement, because I’m at a halt in play, feeling stuck in the mud because I can’t get to the gold I’m digging for.
“Why am I writing this?” “Why would anyone read this?” “What if I’m wrong?”. The self-sabotaging question formulate my worst fear about the journey I’ve embarked upon. My worst fear is I have nothing to say.
I swallow and gulp down the rest of my breakfast to run away from myself. The reflection in the mirror is distorted, and I don’t like what I see. Picking up the dog leash I coax my dog, “Walkies?”. She and I wander towards the thrift store near my apartment. When I’m at loose ends I go there to play. In this store of possibilities I can play pretend without denting my wallet. I browse through the books and found – “Six Plays by Henrik Ibsen” and “The Theatre of Revolt” in the heap of other peoples’ refuse.
I sink into “The Theatre of Revolt”, and found a blade of thought to maim and banish the sword of doubts my mind had raised.
“The revolt of the dramatist, it is important to add, is more imaginative than practical – imaginative, absolute, and pure. In the earlier phases of the theatre of revolt – in some of the works of Ibsen, for example, and of Shaw – the drama sometimes begins to look like an act of utility; and in the plays of Brecht, it is designed to lead to political revolution… Dramatic art is not identical with reality for any practical application, but rather proceeds along a parallel plane; and dramatic revolt therefore, is always much more total than the program of political agitators or social reformers. The modern dramatist is essentially a metaphysical rebel, not a practical revolutionary; whatever his personal convictions, his art is the expression of a spiritual condition.”
– by Robert Brustein from “The Theatre of Revolt”
I got to this place because I asked for it – I wanted to take the journey into the unstable and unknown. As a self-declared playwright in a family of “practical” jobs and careers, I’m alone. This journey asks my fingers and toes to stretch beyond my comfort zone, and be prepared to be surprised and astonished. It’s no longer the product that I’m obsessed with, but the process of change and expanding my consciousness through my writing. The byproduct is inconsequential to what I’ve learned along the way.