Thursday, November 28, 2013

Live Audiences and my friend, Helen.

It seems I have to relearn this simple lesson every time I end up in a rut: Performing for a live audience is the easiest way to break through a writer's block. I had the joy of playing music for some family this weekend, and the smiles, applause and encouraging words have soothed much of the anxiety that has been building inside.

For many years, I wrote. I wrote about what I was feeling. I wrote about my sorrows and joys, my secret desires and my fears. I wrote poems and songs, and I wrote stories and essays. I wrote a lot. But, I was so worried that when I bared my soul-papers to others I would just be giving them the tools they needed to destroy any shred of self-esteem I had left.

I finally met someone, a very talented musician, who earned my trust by sharing with me first. She never pushed me outside of my comfort zone. Instead, she slowly allowed my comfort zone to grow and grow and evolve and shift and change until it enveloped her like a soft blanket. Lo and behold! She was on the inside where it was safe. It was with her that I fist began sharing my work, and it was there that I finally broke out of my chrysalis and learned to fly. Today, I am grateful for my friend, Helen.

Whenever my confidence wanes, or my desire to write or to play fades, or I just can't seem to find a topic or tune, I need to remember that misery loves company, and what is company but a captive audience waiting to see where my work will take them? It may be to a place we've been before, but sometimes we need to pass through places we've been to get to the unexplored territory on the other side....

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Come full circle...

In Tibet, devotees walk in circles on pilgrimages. They believe that Life moves in circles. Some say that if you run fast enough, you will run into yourself.

Come full circle.

We often find ourselves "right back where we started," though I often wonder if that can ever be true. Emotionally, this may mean that we are repeatedly finding ourselves confronted with unexplained emotions--all the stuff we've been running from seems to be running fast enough to catch up with us. When confronted with all this hurt, this sadness, grief, pain, rejection, regret, feelings of inadequacy or depression, we medicate. We medicate through drink or food, through tv, work and projects. We cover it with a blanket like a child cleaning his room, hoping that if no one can see it, it won't be real. We cover ourselves with a blanket like a child hiding himself from the dark, hoping that if it can't see him, it will go away.

Come full circle.

Instead of medicating, instead of hiding, I find it far more healing to write. Write down the hurts, the sorrows, the grief and the regrets. Lock it down so that it can't chase you anymore, and when you come full circle once more, with all your new knowledge gained from your experience, with your new eyes full of the wisdom that comes with hindsight, you can see those things, those things that you hated yourself or those around you for, and all those things become the very gifts that you use to help yourself and to heal others.

Come full circle. Come full circle and see how far you have traveled.