Last night I was very proud to be a St. Louisan. Several theatre companies got together to present a small sampling of their works. Of course, First Run Theatre was there presenting a couple of their 15 minute premieres and so were a host of other theatre organizations. With 19 choices, but only 6 slots to go to, well, my husband and I hung around the main area and got to watch several original works. I guess that was how things worked out. We had constraints on breaking fast and eating, so we had to make it to locations at or close to the restaurant and that’s not the point of this post at all.
I was very impressed by all the works presented. St. Louis showed me their talent last night and there’s a part of that talent that talks to me. One part says, stop writing. Quit while you are ahead. The other part of me says, take the challenge and push yourself and your story beyond your comfort zone. It’s going to be OK. I don’t know. I think about my short story “Terminal Illness” and am trying to figure out a way to create a more realistic story arc, and perhaps a way to touch people and move them past themselves. It’s really a lesson to myself. What would the story of “Terminal Illness” teach me and how would I grow from it? I don’t know the answers. If I did, I would have a great play already. Forever haunting me would be “Dilapidated Castle”. I’ve decided to kill Salman, one of my characters but where would that leave me? Writing is hard. I take that back. Writing is easy. It’s a piece of cake. Honest, from the heart, gut wrenching, I cannot believe I wrote that type of writing is difficult. Very difficult. Extremely difficult. It exposes every element of yourself and it’s not even like standing naked in front of an audience. It’s far more intimate than that. It’s allowing the audience to watch your naked soul and how does one even do that? If one were able to do that, how do you face the world again? They say, our fears hold us back. For me, it’s more than fear. It’s that trust when you go into an operation and allow the surgeon to cut into you and allow the world to see. Sometimes, in very rare moments, I feel I have it in me. I feel I want to express myself in ways I have never done. Sometimes, I just want to run and hide and all I can say to myself is “hell no! Double hell no!”
Funny thing is that when the writer in me wins out, I will write, but again, it’ll be in a password protected document for no one to find out, even when I’m gone. Or maybe, just maybe, I may be OK in death. After all, I won’t be here to face the audience and I will never have to face the audience in that case.
Ahhh, but I think about one of my favorite faculty members in dental school; a gentleman who is no more. Dr. Lancaster was privy to my first version of “The Color of Rain” when it was still called “I love you”. I will never forget what he said to me. “What are you doing here?” What was I doing in dental school? I was studying to be a dentist. What else could I have been doing in dental school. What do people do at school? Here I am, over 15 years later. I make a living by being a dentist and yet, I am most moved by the written word. To me, if I were to be able to write and move people, that would be the world itself. Sometimes, I feel like I’m watching it go by. I tell myself I don’t have it in me. Here I am in my silence, sitting at a table, clacking away at the keyboard – writing. It’s a start. I’ll take it for now.
Best to you all,