happy holidays, generous writing

by Kimberly Shelby-Szyszko

Speaking of unexpected sources of inspiration or, if you will, gifts that don’t fit into (figurative) boxes, it occurred to me, how swell and gift-like an extraordinary play is – the kind with the capacity to shed light, to transform, to expand our world, along with our individual and collective understanding of it. The kind that reminds one she isn’t alone in said world. A play that acts as a soul companion of sorts for one who’s experienced it, for subsequent days and years to come. I think of “thank you” notes I might have written over the course of a lifetime to Carol Bolt for ONE NIGHT STAND, Wallace Shawn for A THOUGHT IN THREE PARTS (and, really, everything else), Gertrude Stein for WHAT HAPPENED, Rochelle Owens for FUTZ, Harold Pinter for OLD TIMES.

It’s quite a rosy way of looking at what we do, I’d say, writing as an act of giving—if only to one person, a single “willing and prepared hearer,” to borrow from Robert Louis Stevenson. And it isn’t so naïve. After all, it’s often been said there’s an audience for everything, for every creative offering. As we look and click around, glimpsing comments on various YouTube videos, there is often the suggestion that this postulate is true.

I do wonder what sorts of gifts we’ve all been working on this holiday season, who will be their most affected recipients. And how to best go about finding those recipients. Another post, I suppose.

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