“You already have everything you need to be happy.”
Bingo! All of us experience moments of insight that pop up out of nowhere. Maybe it was a matter of time and practice…drip, drip, drip, the bucket fills. Or maybe something more ordinary like boredom or exhaustion or jet lag slows us down long enough to notice.
What I wanted had been there all along, but I was too busy creating my own dukha to notice it. I see that tendency in my students too. They might be sitting nicely in a pose but the space between their eyebrows has a deep crease that tells me they are in pain. When I ask them about it, it’s almost like I woke them up out of a nap. A typical reply might be, “Oh yeah, this position always kills me. It’s been like that for years. I just don’t have good shoulders.”
The wind is blowing so hard it feels like I can’t hold on much longer. Even if I do, I can’t be convinced that the tree won’t get blown away itself. My little claws are grasping onto a thin branch as I look down to the depths of where I could fall. In this moment I wonder if it’s worth holding on or if I should just let go…
I’m supposed to be able to fly anyway. But somehow that doesn’t give me the confidence time after time to take the plunge. I remember on one of my trips out East, a Taoist person was spreading virtues of “not doing.” I have to wonder how I can possibly “not do.” If I don’t let go, am I not holding onto things I should let go of? If I let go into a situation that feels dangerous, am I doing what I always do—plunging into risk? The fundamental nature of “not doing” is, in itself, doing something!
i am running not quite as early as i want again today. but at least i did a pretty thorough vocal warm-up beforehand. maybe it is something about the Robot Immigrants coming to the Armory today and meeting with them after, but my warm-up was similar to the ones we do in our process. usually i do yoga because my body tweaks out a little sitting on that stool in one position for so long, but yoga hasn’t quite been solving that in its entirety. although i am building my core back up so that i can sustain the position (and minimize the pain and damage to my body), i realized from the last Event that i needed to work out my articulators a little more to maintain the extended verbal space that i am filling. so my warm-up today actually became a combination of both physical stretching and releasing, and voice warming and exercising.
working a shift at night is a totally different feeling.
you would think that i would be used to it, having worked in bars and clubs for so many years that i can’t even count the number on both hands. but even after all this time, it is still easier for me to get it together and get to places on time (early, even) in the morning. at the end of the day, i struggle. perhaps it’s due to the accumulation of energy. maybe depending on how you use it during the day, you’re either slower and more tired, wanting to crash on the couch or you’re amp’d up, full of life and want to expend some of that energy being with your friends and letting loose. while i’ve mostly lived a life of the latter, it feels that these days my body craves the kind of life where i am up with the sun and resting when the creatures of the night make their debut.
today was my very first shift at the Armory. amidst the chaos of my final week of the Fall semester in grad school, the holiday hubbub, subway delays, and too little time for the important things, i trekked my way up to the Upper East Side to read to the pigeons.
i could not be more grateful. upon arrival, i am filled with a sense of calm and expansiveness. there aren’t too many people in the Drill Hall. i see the familiar little heads of J.Ed and Deborah Black emerging from their intricate sheep’s wool cloaks. it is quiet and mellow. some people are laying on the floor beneath the curtain. others are slowly swinging in what seems like quiet contemplation. i want to join them, but i head back to the green room instead. it’s nice back there too. because we are instructed to show up 20 – 30 minutes before our shifts, i have time to stretch to make up for the yoga that i didn’t have time for in the morning. prior to this, i had a Kanji quiz and a taped in-class Japanese presentation. learning a new and complex language is difficult; communication in any language takes a great deal of energy in order to articulate oneself well.
:: the process that i go through writing this blog ::
DMunk and i affectionately joke about my never-ending ability to be “meta” about everything. (and you better believe that when i found out that WordPress has a Tag Cloud above a section called Meta, i revel in staring at this cloud and seeing what shapes emerge.)
but i haven’t really gone very deep with the process of writing this blog. maybe because it is inherently about process that it seems redundant to do so. but then i hear these little words repeat themselves and i realize that i channel these words often when creating new work. in Saratoga, Anne Bogart told us that when she directs SITI Company, a common thing she says when something is cooking is, “could be more.” to me, this means: it’s good. keep it. and where else can itgo?
as he immediately won me and the rest of the gang over with his charm, presence, and the inner light that he exudes with every word and every breath that he makes, i have often come back to that mantra that he holds in his sight on a day-to-day basis.
and so hearing it again on this day, i stayed at my parents’ house even though i was supposed to leave earlier with my sister, Alicia. because, well, i am here now. i was torn about going back to NYC—i have so many obligations to take care of, things to do, people to meet with, and cats to take care of (namely my own). but i mistakenly have someone watching them through today because i was confused as to when i was returning. (i have to wonder, is there any such thing as a mistake? then i remember that Everything We Do is Right.)
Toshi and i have been friends for 7 years now. we met in Voice & Speech class when i first started acting school at HB Studio and he just moved to the U.S. from Japan. we were friends at first sight even though we never officially hung out that much outside of class. but i believe that we shared a connection and mutual respect for each other’s talents and spirits, and despite wanting to work together, the chance never came up.
we kept in touch super loosely over the years. you know, via Facebook, or seeing each other at shows that we or our mutual friends were in. that was, until about a year and a half ago when he insisted that I audition for the Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.
:: Day Seven Back in NYC – One Week Anniversary! ::
well, it looks like all it took was a night of getting a few drinks, having great artistic conversation, and pushing myself to go to bed a couple hours later than the jet lag time was allowing—and i am back on my usual sleep schedule. i was enjoying the wack-a-doodle times that the jet lag was making me awake, but i don’t think waking up around 1am or 4am is the kind of thing that one can do regularly and be a functioning member of society (for most intents and purposes anyway).