SITI Day 1
I survived. We all did. Quite gloriously, in fact.
I've just read a new translation by Michael West of The Seagull with my composition group.
Warm and exuberant group of people: one very funny, zesty woman from Spain, one sweet chocolate-bearing man from Germany, a fella (who may also be my new handstand partner) who went to Yale and now lives in Boulder, a sassy woman with a thick Chicago accent, and one of the younger participants who's still in college.
We had our first composition showings today and I experienced my usual sense of panic, being the first director in our group. I think the piece (an abstract story about the Arkadina-Treplev-Masha V) went all right - definitely lacking in sufficient jo ha kyu and it had more tableau and less action than I would include if I were to revise it. All in all, though, a lot of fun to create and it was certainly fun to perform and watch the other compositions.
Earlier in the day Anne asked us to reveal the central, Sisyphean struggle in our work today. Sometimes it feels like there's a new boulder every day, but the one I chose to discuss had to do with limitations - acknowledging the vast array of emotions I experience when I encounter a physical limitation, honoring those feelings, and still making conscious choices to change and work with what I have and can do...I think, especially in light of my experience in composition class today, I'd better extend that to limitations in general and...specifically, dealing with the guilt/shame/anxiety I sometimes feel in reaction to having negative/self-critical feelings. Negative, self-critical feelings and fear are inevitable and important parts of my growth, my process as an artist and a human being...and I need to honor them, plunge into them even, and still come up for air and recognize that those feelings are a pool of sorts...there's a deep end and a shallow end and places in between and I can choose whether I stand, wade, flail, or drown at any moment.
So, my new Sisyphean task is, I think, to celebrate creative failure...to leap into the deep end of the pool without looking and have faith that I can tread water for a long time if need be and swim with the best of them (whoever they may be ;)). I don't really want to get out of the water.