Skeletal Adjustments (to scripts and lives and legs)

by Cynthia Wands

A tree in Ojai that I photographed because I loved its structure

I’m in the final stages of finishing a script that has been part of my writing life for the last two years. This one. This one has been in my dreams, at my desk, in the car, at the doctors, while I’m eating. When I’m watching television. It’s there. I’m in a workshop (thank you Jennie Webb!) where I can sense the whole of it, the shape, the kinks, and the reach. It’s a lot like a chiropractic session for the writing soul.

I’ve been able to finish other projects while working on this – but this one has me in it’s orbit. I want it to be able to stand up on it’s own and fly and sing. Or run. Or get the kinks out.

And the kinks can hurt. Especially if I sense my comprehension and my grasp are not quite in alignment with my imagination.

I think about this when I’m in physical therapy for alignment issues ~ after a surgery some years ago, one leg is now longer than the other (hmm, I notice I didn’t say one leg is now shorter than the other….) andI’m working on balance and centering and core strength. The tune “Straighten Up and Fly Right” comes to mind here.

As I’m being twisted and tinked with there at physical therapy, lots of images come to mind. A tea party with lots of different tea cups, each character voice in the script presenting a different view/color/shape. And another image: when you let yeast rise, and add the flour, a bit of sugar, and shape it so it will rise. That’s a bit like writing. And when it rises – yeast willing – its part of the ingredients, and the heat of the water, and the particulars of that day’s weather. And that’s a part of writing. But it’s this last bit. Where you take the whole of it and shape it – and you form it into the final bread/play/idea. You can see that my mind flies to food and tea and writing when I’m going through the motions at physical therapy – it’s a kind of refuge when I’m being handled by strangers.

So I’m in this shaping phase. I see this play has a whole different intention than what I started out with – and that’s how much this script has taught me .

Here’s to the upcoming tea, when I can celebrate the end of play. The closing of this writing chapter. And letting these characters fly.

My collection of teacups – a reminder of the different voices and shapes in the world

1 thought on “Skeletal Adjustments (to scripts and lives and legs)

  1. Love this. It’s wonderfully strange how writing is always a journey. Your imagery is beautiful and visceral. Thank you.

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