Monday, March 7, 2011

Question Only

As I make my way back into blogging, I have found that I am kind of operating more like a public journal than a topic-driven blog right now. Just so you know. This is what my actual brain sounds like.

Here I am in the week-before-production week for this show that I'm in, and the lessons continue to deepen for me. Lessons about committment and focus and tone and operating under pressure. I realized two things, that for better or worse, I take every single group note totally personally. And often, it is personal, because I am personally not where I should be, despite my cheat sheets and highlighted index cards in my pockets. Sometimes it's not personal, though, and I still can't keep from internalizing everything, just like I do when I'm on the other side of the process. I eat, sleep and breathe the shows that I direct, as these directors do, and just being *in* the cast does not seem to change that fact. It seems to be built into my wiring now. So, this is a great reminder to me that when I direct, there are very likely cast members like me taking things on their shoulders that may or may not be theirs. And...that getting legit pissed off from time to time and telling people to get heads in the game is an effective tool to light a fire under people's arses.

And... I still can't dance. Even with remedial Maxi Ford for Dummies lesson from a super nice dancer this evening. Not even kinda. Hopeless case.

On Wednesday, I have to go to this Teachers Write writing workshop, and I have no idea what to bring. I've been sifting through some past writing - blog entries, a bit of a chapter of something I wrote about my grandmother's brother and sister in law, a thing about being beaten up by bullies in 5th grade. I have no idea what to share, or even if I should. No one at my school knows I have this blog, and I can't imagine that my "Dear Sixth Grade Boy" posts would go over so well with the administration, should they stumble upon it. I mean, I don't think I have ever posted anything totally inappropriate, but public education, one does have to err on the side of caution. Not sure what to do about this.

Which leads me to the concept of censorship. Both my own self-imposed censorship, and that which is imposed upon me by outside forces. Sometimes I wonder what would happen if I ever really let loose...put out into the world everything I write...decided that there was, in fact, no such thing as an "acceptable level of truth..." except the raw truth itself.

It'll never happen. I believe in relative truth...and that some things are for certain eyes only. I have written plenty of things that I would not want my mother to read. I have written plenty of things that I don't want ANYONE to read, all the manic ravings and shameful confessions of my dramatic, hormonally imbalanced spirit. They're in my journals, but don't make it here, generally. In flipping through these blog entries this afternoon in search of something to bring to the workshop, I'm struck by the rosy, optimistic, upbeat sort of personality that is so prevalent in these postings. I'm also aware, though, that it's only part of the story, and I can only hope that people who know me...or even readers who don't...will know that just like everyone else, I have so many shadow sides. I'm cranky and petty and jealous and snappish and lazy and moody. Sometimes. But I don't want the world to read all of that. Is that a gross lack of authenticity, then? If my blog sounds like Mary-Freaking-Sunshine all the time, is it actually a portrait of a real person, or just a caricature of the person I want everyone to think I am?

The optimism is real. The gratitude is very, very real. The appreciation of my friends, my amazement at my daughters, the sense of mission and purpose I feel in my life as a teacher...all real. But that's not all of me. Not nearly all. What is my "all?"

I have no answer to this. Just pondering the question.


  1. Hmm, I feel compelled to belt out "you are my everything" but that seems creepy and stalker-ish. Not to mention I can't sing and it would scare those around me.

    My thoughts? It's almost impossible to be our "all" other than in brief moments because that would be freaking exhausting. And, most situations don't require our all, so we hold in reserve to protect that which is most true.

    So what is the core? The line that runs through us at all times and allows us to be who we are when we are?

    There's a line from a poem, and I confess I can't remember the poet, but it goes, paraphrased, because this is from a memory from 20 years ago:

    Your absence goes through me like a thread through a needle. Everything I do is stitched with its color.

    I think about that "stitched with its color" often. Even when I'm not thinking about an absence, I wonder what is that thread in people, and do they think it is what I see, or am I only seeing the parts they let me and I'll never know? Or, are we blind to our own thread because it essentially is made up of all the parts of ourselves that we put into the world and make those relative truths?

    No answers here, either. And this is waaayyy to brainy for me on only one cup of coffee.


  2. C, you are brainier on one cup of coffee than most people I know on a gallon. I like that image of the thread through a needle. I understand that. That will stick with me, too, I think.

  3. You let out the dark side in snippets, it's there in your entries, but is not the main thrust which I think is very genuine to you Kell. You are an optimist, mostly :)

  4. I really like that Thread Concept. Can’t you just see all of your sparkly threads twirling into a rope inside you? :)

    I think you are authentic if what you write comes from an authentic place. If your goal is to present something true to you and your blogs are honestly written then I think you’ve succeeded. Just because you choose not to share certain thoughts doesn’t mean what you do share is a caricature. When we read a novel we round out characters without the author spelling the ups and downs out for us. We don’t need you to show us your stream of consciousness to know that you are a real person with real emotions who gets sad and angry and jealous and petty sometimes. We fill in those blanks and round you out because you show us how positively human you are. I think.

    And anyway, how you (or anyone) is seen by the world varies so much with the perception that others that it just isn’t worth worrying about if you show ‘enough’ of you. People see/read what they want to see or what they identify with and they color those things with what they know (or don’t know) about you. And your threads. The positive things are just as authentic as the less than positive things. In my opinion anyway.