Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Water Solution. Or Various Ways I Find the Heart of the Story.

So I am closing in on the end of a play I am writing. It is the one I am trying to fit in between other things.

(Many many many other things, mind you.)

What this means is that I have to get to know it again after some distance from it. I have to re-enter the world I have created. I have to revisit, in this case, a small town that has just had a tornado rip through it, tearing back the roof tops and walls to reveal the natural disasters of humanity within.

Usually, if I just leap back in, there is something sort of clinical and cold about the dialogue that ensues. Too clever. Too sharp. Too on the nose. I know it right away.

So I do one of two things. I go for a walk or take a bath.

When I used to go out to the beautiful Hope Springs on writing retreats, I would walk the labyrinth in the meadow every day after lunch. It took the entire winding way in to the center to work all the detritus out of my brain ... what the email said, what I said in the email back, what bill do I have to pay, what am I forgetting ... work it out work it out.

On the way out of the labyrinth, whatever novel or play I was working on would start to talk to me. I would run the last few circles to get back to it before I lost it, the new images.

Jack and Ed sit on the roof and re-organize pebbles while they talk. 

Lucy's dad is sitting in the back yard, his hammy hand fixing a sprinkler sort of thing, getting him soaking wet. There is a ratty folding lawn chair and a burnt brown yard.

If I can't walk, I take baths. I let the very-hot water remind me of my own boundaries. I stare at the tile and listen to the water running and then I can see things. It is some sort of sensorial regathering and I suddenly know where I am going.

The scenes unfold to me so clearly.

Two of the Vivian Girls can play their own braids like violins.

The old man and the woman standing in the rubble of what was her home. The doctor is carrying pregnant Meredith. All is lost. And something is found.

So now I am back to it, building toward the siren that says "another storm is coming." And the counter-intuitive move for this messed up family to head into the storm rather than stay safe out of it. And then the rubble. And then, hopefully, a bit of beauty.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

TEDx Talk!! Freedom Comes in Movement

Here it is, my TEDx talk! I hope you can find time to enjoy it and if you are inclined, share it to.

It was a great day for me and a highlight of a great year for sure to be able to try and synthesize, a bit, about why I do what I do.

But the most incredible thing of all is that it has already inspired movement. Here is a blog by a new friend who heard about the talk and has joined me on a brave journey of rediscovery. Please read her, support her and breathe for her when she falters.

And wherever you are today with your own journey, I hope you find your own version of freedom soon. If you too struggle, think about what state of mind your body is mapping for you. If you need to, make a new map. If you need my help, I hope you will reach out.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

On TEDx, Easter, The Hunger Games, Knee Surgery, Teens, Gratitude


I have been moving full steam ahead on so many projects. Thanks to all our VIVIAN GIRLS supporters for funding us on Kickstarter.

And thanks also to everyone who worked to make TEDx a success and special thanks to Debbie, Mom, Nick, Andrea and Pete plus the TEDx team for listening to me practice. What I wanted yesterday to feel like was exactly how it felt: like I was centered in a room with people I am connected to, sharing my experience, strength and hope. I felt that times a billion.

Today I finally took time to slow down, lay in the sun on my porch, read the HUNGER GAMES, cry a bit, make friends with the birds, and think about what love is and what love isn't. That is a fine Easter Sunday practice, don't you think?

Tomorrow I will meet a new group of girls at the Academy of World Languages as we start our after school time together in a True Body Project experience.

Before that, Nick Sharp is having ACL surgery in the morning. So say a prayer for easy fixes and a speedy recovery. I am off to fetch him so Mom, Nick and I can stare at the beautiful sky together and eat some Easter-ish fare.

All in all, just a brief note to say thank you. And you. And you.

I hope you are finding your own beauty and gratitude this Easter Sunday with people who love you.