Friday, February 05, 2010

Pause for Gratitude

Sometimes the blessings come fast and furious.  The sheer abundance can be part of the joy, but I also worry that when there are so many all at once, I might not take the time to give them each their due. 

Friend Marta is visiting for a few days, and taking some time for a writer's retreat.  Having a playmate, right here in the apartment, to talk to on such topics as spirituality, grace, books, writing, sex, bodies, home, family, place and community (which for me, and I suspect Marta, are really all the same thing) is such a joy. 

Having her working here so contentedly also reminds me that this apartment is not without its pleasant qualities, particularly on sunny winter days. 
I have a modest project of my own coming up.  I'll be putting a new piece on its feet this Monday, in Scranton, PA, at the Spectacular Scrantonian Spectacular, at the Electric Theatre Company.  Friend Jeff is organizing, hosting, and producing said event, and I'll be on the bill with Kate Chadwick, Richard Grunn, and Billy Rogan.  Above and below you see some of the masks/puppets-in-progress that will be setting foot on the boards for the first time that night. (Don't worry Jeff, they're closer to completion than these images show, I just want to save the final images for the performance, and after.) 
I love this part of a process, where the ideas are or no longer just in my head, but not yet completed.  Basically it's the most expansive part of the journey for me, when the raw materials start to excite me for their own sakes, whether that be text, images, music, shiny things, or big sheets of cloth in gorgeous colors.  Even as I know not everything will be usable, even as I know the fantasy images in my head will never be fully realized, I revel in this stage, what I call the 'splashing about'.  This morning, right on schedule the fears, insecurities and despair showed up, telling me all the way things could, even would go wrong.  I know this is just part of the process, but I also recognize that these voices haven't always been wrong.  That's why they still get my ear.  Fortunately I'm able, at least today, to listen to the ones that sound a useful warning (ie. they tell me to make changes I can still make), and ignore the vague, confidence-eroding ones that just aim to make me feel bad.  Marta, food, and throwing pretty cloth around have helped with these.   
I'll be the first to admit I'm not always good at completing things, or developing them after the first enthusiastic push.  I'm not forgetting that issue (it's also why this here post isn't very long, since I really should get back to work).  But today I'm enjoying this moment, the making, problem-solving, and dreaming moment.  Good friends, good work, time to enjoy them both (let's forget for the moment how whiney and resentful I've been of the time I spent just earning money: stupid money), I'm very blessed.  Good to be able to see it, while it's happening. 


Jeff Wills said...

Excited to see behind the curtain of what you'll be bringing, Patrick! Very much looking forward to it. You should know you've linked my name to Marta's 'blog; this is in a way giving me FAR TOO MUCH CREDIT, so I encourage you to leave it just as it is.


Greg said...

Oh, my goodness. The great delight I got from seeing those morning glories in your window (and you know that was considerable - your faith in them during this season should be a lesson for me) is almost completely overshadowed by the joy I get at hearing you so excited by the creative process and Marta's fine company.

Have a great weekend!!

Birdie said...

The creative process is such a life-giving activity, isn't it? When the picture in our heads becomes reality, whether it's words or art or actions.

I'm eager to see evidence of the finished product and to hear all about it. Thanks for the preview!

Java said...

It's now Sunday night. Are you in Scranton Pennsylvania Scranton Pennsylvania Scranton Pennsylvania Let me say it once again! ... That's the town that knew me when! (sorry, got carried away there. It's the rhythm of the town, baby)

I was actually in Scranton PA once. About 1.5 years ago, in the summer. Spent some time in the Scranton Wal-Mart. Not terribly inspiring. I'm SURE the talent you're bringing to Scranton will be much more inspiring than whatever I saw there. Wish I was there. Love you, dear. Break a leg.