Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Searching For The Words

There are arrangements of words on paper which evoke responses from a pliant reader; “I’ve seen what has been seen, done what has been done, dreamed what has been dreamed. With slowing or race of heart I recognize – usually only when I have no precedent for what I’m reading – that I’m vicariously experiencing someone else’s perceptions.”

With that premise in mind, I offer the thought that every good writing begins with a descent into madness; depth is never the result of a casual glance, but rather an unblinking stare, no matter how blinding that stare might become.

And behind the initial impression is always the question – “How do I feel about this?
How do I feel, how do I feel, how do I feel?”

And there’s the problem. Sometimes I get tired of “feeling.”

On the one hand, discovery is a wonderful thing. What does this mean? What is the subtext? Where would this or that naturally lead? To suggest answers, a writer will often step outside him or herself – an observer, rather than a participant, in humanity. Like an
intruding spirit, silently watching. To interject – anything – would alter direction of the story. And the writer, without substance here, would never do this.

On the other hand, there’s the gypsy thing. For months, late at night, I’d hear what sounded like sleigh bells. No kidding. I’d dream about being in a gypsy caravan, going I don’t care where. A friend suggested that I wanted to travel or perhaps move. Could be. This sounded like a real possibility. Strangely, after I started directing the play HARVEY in July, the dreams stopped. I hadn’t thought about that until right now.

During the time I’ve been in rehearsal for one play and then another, even a pretense of observation became impractical. (Other than drinking heavily, nothing isolates you from the attentions of actors.)

Life moves from passive to active. And this is a good thing. Isn’t it? Problems are addressed, insecurities seem somewhat farther away … life is skittles and beer (Don’t ask me. I heard it somewhere.)

But then, with the veneer of humanity imposed, something happens to sensitivity, ya know? No matter how hard you try, the will … hardens, and …

The process starts all over again.

Unless …

Do you know something I don’t?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There was a time not too distant when I didn't want to feel so I didn't write. I think at times our maddening hearts need rest before they can begin again and breathe deep in wonder.

K.L. Knight