Tonight, we will pass through the longest night of the year.
We will regain a tiny bit of light, with each new day.
The end of 2013 seems to have opened a thousand little doors of terror inside me. This is the first time I am “properly” developing a play. That means I’m not jumping right into a production process but taking time to write, re-write, show it to others, share my thoughts, and hear the words read aloud. It’s brought me face to face with many of my feelings of inadequacy, superiority, futility, and desperation. It’s been a long night in the life of this artist.
(What corner of your life needs a tiny bit of light? Where are those dry, cracked places that can be softened by the heat, smoothed over by warm touch?)
I’ve just returned from London where I was able to attend one of the two readings my play was offered.
Hearing the words read aloud brought clarity to what isn’t working and offered me a sharp view into what needs to change. Sharp and pointy and slightly painful, but that’s my own inner critic. The world outside my head offered ripe fruit and juicy seeds to chew on. It reminds of the thoughts in my previous post about how people, human beings, are the most sustainable and valuable resource we have.
Sharing my misshapen, oozing, little work-in-progress has been a magical window into kindness and consideration. People across the globe are offering their soft hands, their light touch, to guide this piece along. Friends and family rallied to help me get to London. The cast and crew in London offered their talent, their time, and their best thinking to help move the work forward. I returned home with over 60 pieces of paper, audience feedback forms, that give me strength and energy and new thoughts! And, there are a few theater companies waiting for the new script.
In Central and West Asia, people celebrate Shab-e-Yalda (solstice) by staying up all night together, eating red and orange and yellow foods, especially pomegranate. They make wishes and recite the poetry of Hafez to each other. You are supposed to open to any page in a book of his poems and read the first thing you see. That excerpt is meant to offer some guidance, some insight to you. Here’s what I turned to today:
“…And the hundred graceful movements
Your body now makes each time
The wind, children and love come near.”
― حافظ, The Subject Tonight Is Love: 60 Wild and Sweet Poems of Hafiz
Thank you to everyone who helped me to move along with grace this past year. In the darkness, your hands, your voice, propelled me forward.
The warm wind blows up the edges on the thin grey shroud. You can reach up and pull it down now.
Happy Shab-e-Yalda, Happy Solstice.