direction · family · performance · perseverance · theater

Postcards from the Edge (of a Bookshelf)

Normal
0
0
1
518
2955
24
5
3628
11.1287

0

0
0

Two nights ago I picked up a book that’s been on my shelf
since July of last year. I brought it back with me from New Jersey, where I’d
stayed with my brother and attended a good friend’s wedding. My brother was
getting set to move from his (omg LUXURY) apartment (by SF standards) to
Baltimore to live with his long-time girlfriend. (Seriously — a huge one-bedroom for $950. Come ON!, she drooled.)
He was getting rid of nearly everything. And my brother is a
keeper of books.
I didn’t know this about him. We haven’t lived in the same
place since I was … 23 and he was 20, still living in our childhood home. So, for about
ten years I haven’t been able to witness him living on his own, developing his
own habits and patterns, becoming a real self-sufficient adult who buys his own
eggs and toilet paper, and who apparently keeps books.
I am not a keeper of books. I am a library whore. I love
them, escaped to the one in our neighborhood growing up, and mostly, I like to
live light. But, as I’ve settled into my own adult-ness, and one place-ness,
and probably not moving anytime soon-ness, I’ve begun to slowly add to these shelves.
And when Ben was about to throw out (or dear god, I hope
donate!) almost all his books, I scoured his shelves for anything that wouldn’t
weigh down my carry-on bag too much. I took a few “classic” novels,
returned my copy of Catch-22 to myself,
a few books on physics, and two on acting.
One is by Mamet, and is a little too mean for me (not as in
base, but as in incompassionate and didactic). The other is called Auditioning by Joanna Merlin.
My brother had the great experience and success of doing the
plays in high school and in college, and I even flew back once for his star
performance in undergrad (the play of which I cannot recall), to attempt to
make up for the years when I’d been absent from his life. He was a fun actor,
an able one, and I still hope/wish that he takes it up again one day.
Confidentially, (if this place can be called that), acting
was one place for him that his stutter completely disappears, and he is the
confident man I know him to be.
The Auditioning book
hadn’t a crease in its spine. Brand new. And Ben gladly passed it on to me.
I began reading it again because in class at Berkeley Rep on
Monday, I opened the notebook I’d brought, which I use for theater stuff, apparently.
In the notebook were some handwritten notes and quotes from Merlin’s book. I
must have written them down when I was reading the book last summer, and then
promptly put it back on the shelf.
The quotes were revelations, the extending of a hand down
into the dark world of trying and hoping and trying some more in the
course-less world of theater. I took the book back off the shelf the other
night, and haven’t been able to put it down since.
There’s practical information about what happens at an audition,
compassionate anecdotes about sitting in the waiting room for one, and tips and
exercises for how to explore a scene or monologue. It’s a great book. I’m
devouring it. And I know I’m at a place where it’s relevant now, where it
wasn’t when I began it a year ago.
I have a frame of reference now; I have a better
understanding of the challenges I’m putting in front of myself, and the ones
that are inherent to the process.
If my best friend hadn’t gotten married, if I hadn’t had the funds to go, if I hadn’t stayed
with my brother, if he hadn’t been discharging all his books, if I hadn’t taken
this class at Berkeley Rep, if I hadn’t picked up this very notebook, I
wouldn’t have gotten this gift.
This tome is a welcome hug and nudge on a path I’ve never
walked before – but someone else has. 

Advertisements
anger · fear · performance

Brain Dump.

Normal
0
0
1
492
2806
23
5
3445
11.1287

0

0
0

i could write about how beautiful winter is here
that right now the rain is dripping over the green and flowering
back garden and tree-hidden houses behind my building.
i could write about how i feel stuck on this writing/
self-inventory i’m supposed to be doing, and haven’t been able
to work on because we’re not doing it the way
it was designed, and i feel lost and unsupported
and conflicted about telling the person I’m working
with because i have before and things haven’t
changed, and I don’t know if it’s just me being
stubborn or avoidant or if this is really just
too precarious to attempt by myself, when
the work was designed to be done in person
with another person.
i could write about how i cancelled my audition
in san jose last night because a) i didn’t realize
how far san jose was, and b) i think i might get
the role I auditioned for on wednesday in Marin
and the plays run concurrently.
i could write about coming home last night, instead,
and “resting,” actually lying on the couch after cutting
up some beets and turnips and putting them in the oven
and putting a blanket over me and my heating pad and
shutting my eyes. and just letting myself and my eyes,
especially,
rest while the vegetables roasted. how luxurious it felt
to simply do nothing – not nothing, aka watch netflix,
not nothing aka clean my house, just nothing, and not
nothing aka meditate, which could be similar but wasn’t
as my mind wandered and i let it, and i let it get a little
fuzzy
and out of focus as my cat balled up in my lap to rest, too.
i could write about my friend texting me his friend’s dad is
about to die from cancer, and texting him my sympathy, but
that i wasn’t available to process around grief of that
kind.
I could tell you, it’s because it’s too activating for me
because
it reminds me that my cancer is only a year past, that last
year
at this time i was preparing for my fifth and final round of
chemo
and hearing about someone else’s cancer just reminds me how
close i am to mine.
                               but
that’s not why i didn’t want to hear
about it. i don’t want to hear about your friend’s cancer because i
don’t care. because i realized when i got his text that i am
still
so viciously angry about what happened that i don’t have
room
to be compassionate, really. because i only have room to
think
about my own cancer, and to especially not think about it.
to
not touch into the feelings I still have about it.
                                                                          and then we’re back
to the work that i’m not writing about right now that’s
supposed to
exorcise and alchemize resentment and trauma and pain.
i could tell you that i don’t give a shit that other people
have cancer
and you’re having feelings of finality and loss and grief,
because
i sat in the sodden, rotten trench of it for a year, and i’m
pretending
right now that i hadn’t. that i hadn’t had to think about
mortality
every single day. that the finality of life wasn’t consistently licking
at my ear, whispering about carpe diem and fatal rules about forgiveness 
as health. and boo-fucking-hoo that any of you now are called to
process such things with such naive surprise as if none of this existed
before it happened to someone you have a glancing acquaintance with. 
i could tell you i looked into the woman who’s profession is
helping others heal from trauma. and that my tax return
might go
toward sessions with her, or someone she recommends in the
east bay.
i could tell you that my eyes hurt from looking at computers
all the time
and that i’m also grateful that my job doesn’t include
working outside
in the rain or food service or pest removal or any other thing unpleasant.
i could write about any of these things. but
                                                                  i guess i just did.

abundance · adventure · performance · self-esteem

Fortune cookie wisdom: Action is the key to success.

Normal
0
0
1
406
2315
19
4
2842
11.1287

0

0
0

I didn’t actually set my alarm last night, so you get an
abridged blog. I have an audition tonight in Marin, and I wanna make sure I
shower!
I spent some time last night after I got home from rehearsal
culling through the near 200 photos that the headshot photographer put in her
gallery from our shoot a few days ago –they look AMAZING. Not “me” per se,
though I don’t look half bad, but the style, the lighting, the cropping, the
angles, everything, I am SO glad I paid
for a professional shoot finally. As I’ve said, I love and appreciate how my
friends helped me with some before, but this woman shot Rainn Wilson from “The
Office,” and
he got work… so…! Off to perfect my snarky, sarcasm then.
I can’t wait to write her a Yelp review, which is how I
found her anyway. She used to work in LA, then was commuting to work here and
in LA, and now is just here – to be close to her man, Aw…
Out of 200 photos, I get to chose two that I want her to “basic
retouch,” and then I get all the rest by disc. Oh, the choices! But I’ve narrowed it down to half a dozen, with one
being my stand-out – like, wow, Molly you look like someone who actually does
this.
It’s again how I felt walking out of rehearsal at SF State
last night – I said aloud in my car, “I’m so proud of you, Molly.” It’s such a nice feeling to have about yourself.
I also, last minute, a.k.a. Monday, signed up for an audition
that’s being held this Thursday, and both tonight’s and tomorrow’s have very different
needs for audition pieces.
Luckily, for tomorrow’s I’ve reached back into what I’d
done when I was auditioning while I was a student at Mills, the piece I was
using in the Winter of 2011/2012. I didn’t know if I’d still remember it, and I
fell FLAT when I used it once then (“I’m
sorry, can I start again; I’m so sorry, can I try it one more time”) – oh the
poor auditors! I didn’t have it memorized.
But, as I went over it yesterday while driving to rehearsal,
I realized, I do actually remember it mostly, and I can hope to get it by
tomorrow evening (or just admit I don’t, and use a notes) – Luckily, tonight’s is a cold-read audition, which means I
don’t have to have anything memorized, I’ve just gone over the “sides” (the
pieces of the play) that they want us to read from. It’s going to be a group
audition, since all of the scenes have multiple characters in them. If I— I
was going to say, If I get this role… 
but I won’t, not from fear of jinxing it, but simply because I want to
remain true to my intention, which is to show up for myself to the best of my
ability, and leave the results up to whatever they will be.
I’ll still be using my old headshot that I got a year ago,
when I had like an inch of hair, but, I’m already in the door, the rest is up
to the “me in person.”
Break a leg, Moll. Break a leg. (OH! And BREATHE!) 

acting · action · change · commitment · confidence · kindness · laughter · life · performance · persistence · progress · recovery · relationships · self-support · sobriety · time

For those of you playing along at home. . .

For those of you playing along at home, below are a few
updates on things I have here written about:
  • The
    caffeine-reduction experiment has been a near-fail since beginning the
    temp job, but continues to remind me to feel guilty.
  • I realized this morning that the free bus I sometimes catch to BART can take me all the
    way to the city, instead of transferring to BART (thank you to my school’s
    student bus pass, making bus transit in the East Bay free).
  • I put
    back up the series of my paintings that I’d taken down during Calling in
    the One
    , at which time I’d realized that women
    not looking at their lovers was something I wanted to move away from. I
    put them back up when the okJew was potentially going to come over, and I
    didn’t want a blank expanse of wall over my bed. I’m not sure if I’ll take it back down. 
  • I have
    not yet finished, but I have begun, the art project for my friend’s
    wedding. It sits on my desk, accusing me.
  • I
    bought cat food.
  • I graduated with a Master’s degree a month ago. And I was offered a weekend job at said pet food store. Generously offered (not the compensation), but no thank you. Not yet, at least.
  • I have
    art that I need to make for the September art show my friend invited me to
    join. I’m not sure what I’ll do, but it’s been backstroking through my
    psyche for a month or so.
  • I must
    follow-up with the boss at where I’m temping to ask her precisely what she
    meant when she said she would be happy to give me “a recommendation” for
    auction houses here and in the city (um, I meant NY city – I guess that habit still dies hard).
  • My dad
    will be closing on the sale of my childhood NJ home in the next month or
    so, and is planning to move with his fiancé to their new Florida home
    toward the fall.
  • I am
    eagerly awaiting June 20th, when the results of the daily
    sweepstakes I’ve been entering for a trip for two to Italy will be
    announced. You may be the lucky winner.
  • My
    writing style is influenced by who I’m reading currently.
  • At the
    moment, I just finished Nora Ephron’s new book, and began a collection of
    essays by David Foster Wallace, whom I’ve never read, but seen the
    author’s name so many times on my BART rides that I thought to give him a
    whirl. I’m not sure I will continue.
  • I will
    be art modeling this Sunday for the artist who I first worked for, and two
    of her friends. I’m not sure I will continue.
  • I have
    9 new voicemails I haven’t checked.
  • I went
    on the walk I’d planned to take on Tuesday evening yesterday evening, and
    it was glorious. I ate what must have been a small, cherry-sized peach,
    unless it was of course, a cherry, from a nearby tree which I jumped to
    pluck from the low hanging branch. I’m not dead, so it was not poisonous.
  • As
    soon as I get paid this cycle, I’m going to register for the summer acting
    classes at A.C.T., and I can’t f’ing wait. I looked up all manner of
    electronics yesterday that I could hypothetically use my more regular
    income of the next 6 weeks to purchase, and yet, I realized that what I
    really want are those lessons. And new shoes.
  • I’m
    now working one-on-one with a woman who’s found recovery around negative
    patterns of behavior with sex and men, and I’m infinitely looking forward
    to freedom around some of this.
  • I’m
    continuing to work with a woman one-on-one around financial recovery
    stuff, and am looking forward to being “placed in a position of
    neutrality” around money.
  • I love
    Patsy.
  • I haven’t
    yet played my bass with my friend with the drums up in Berkeley, and it
    too stares at me, not gently weeping, but with silent mewling.
  • I
    realized that most of the writers I’m reading right now have written as freelance
    writers, and it occurs to me, that I might be able to do that, if I look
    into it.
  • I
    haven’t applied to any jobs since last week.
  • I used
    my 3 lb weights yesterday after my walk for about 3 minutes. And began to dread the 3 hour posing/drawing session on Sunday.
  • Dr.
    Palm Reader’s office wrote to ask after me, and so I looked up my
    soon-to-end chiropractic benefits “in network,” so that I can get back to
    that kind of thing, without breaking my bank, or participating in a
    somewhat murky flirtatiousness.
  • This
    is the end of my list. 
adulthood · authenticity · band · compassion · courage · dance · discovery · letting go · life · maturity · music · performance · persistence · poetry · receiving · responsibility · self-care · singing · surrender

Pulling a Carmen: 2

When I began this blog-a-day back in November of last year,
my first post was called “Pulling a Carmen,” as I’d been reading and was encouraged by her own blog-a-day postings. In the time since, sometimes I
just find it hugely funny how parallel my path is to my fellow blogger and
friend.
For recent example:
  • I also just starting going back on to the internet dating
    scene. In fact, I have a coffee date today with someone I met on JDate
  • I too have said fuck it, and asked out a dude yesterday.
    Unfortunately, turns out he’s married, but it felt really good to do so.
  • Several of the books that are lining my desk and bedside
    table are travel books about Europe, underlining my intention to take a real
    freaking vacation some time this century.
  • And, I also rented a camera and video camera from the
    school’s A/V department to begin taking pictures again. 

Sometimes I feel awkward about our exceedingly similar
trajectories, as if I’m copying her, but the reality is that independently, we
come to these things, and then come here to write about them. It’s really
funny, and also somewhat comforting to know that there is someone who is
traveling a similar path toward “To thine own self be true.”
On that note, I went to see my friend’s band play in the city
last night, and then headed with my girlfriends to go out dancing in Oakland.
Prior to both these… we went to the Dharma Punx meditation – nothing says
spiritually fit like meditating for 40 minutes before downing coffee with an
add-shot. 😉
But to relate it to the ‘self be true’ part – each of these
are places where I want to feel more connection. I hadn’t been to see live
music in MUCH too long. It’s on my current list of “Serenity Moths” on my
refrigerator (a list of things that aren’t cataclysmic, but slowly and
subterraneaously eat away at my serenity and foundation). Yes, “Absence of live
music” is on there, and so should be “dancing.” I’m a white girl. I have no
ambition or goal to be anything but a mildly flailing Elaine Benice, but … i
love it. The absence of self, the absence of self criticism or posturing or
need to be anywhere or anything else. Lost in the music.
The band brought something else up for me. Like the
“dropping” of the whole acting bent at the beginning of this year, what I’ve dropped
more often than anything is the “being in a band” idea.
As you may know, I have 2 guitars, a bass, and a small USB plug
in keyboard. Each as dust-covered as the next. The bass amp sits as a monument
to abandoned dreams in my apartment.
Last night, watching my friend’s band, I remembered that this is
something I want to do. In fact, I’d emailed one of the guitarist’s wife about
6 or more months ago to talk to her about her own process of getting toward
singing in a band – embracing her inner teenage rock chick. If I had my … well, if I had my own back, I guess, I’d play
bass, and I’d sing. Talk about vulnerability.
This week, I stood practically naked in front of an audience
and spoke my poem into a microphone in a moderately full theater. That isn’t nearly as frightening to me as
standing in front of an audience, singing, or playing.
The truth is that for several years, I’ve been gathering information
about the whole bass playing thing. But, no, I haven’t been playing. A few
years ago, I asked a guy I knew for bass advice, and he sent me a long list of
places to start (which I didn’t pursue). About a year later, I contacted this other guy about bass
lessons (which I didn’t pursue). … And the guy I asked out yesterday is also a bass player. Apparently,
I have a thing.
Every few years, I’ll troll craigslist, and I’ll answer a
few ads for singers. I even recorded myself a little on my computer’s
Garageband to send as a sample. I got a “not a good fit, but thanks anyway” from one,
and no reply from another. And, hey, I don’t blame em. When I’m terrified, it
comes through. I don’t know. I’ve written here about it kind of frequently –
and dismissed it and been “embarrassed” by it just as often.
However, once again, the thing that occurred to me last night as I
watched my friend’s band was another case of “I want to do that” … followed by
“I can do that.” There is no one stopping me, obviously except for myself and
my fears, and that critic that says “Not good enough” and chops me off at the
knees before I start.
One thing I’m working on releasing at the moment, a pattern
and belief and behavior that is just not fucking serving me anymore, is my need
or habit to stay small.
When I was living in South Korea, my friend nicknamed me
“Ballsy Mollsy.” I had the absolute chutzpah and hubris to ask anyone anything,
go anywhere, and do pretty much whatever I felt like doing in the hedonistic
way most drunks do.
However, there is a quality of that Ballsy woman who still I am,
somewhere, and who I want to resurrect or reveal or uncover or let loose – or
even just let into the light a little tiny bit.
I find it’s happening in some ways. And I know to have
compassion for myself as I try to aim in this direction which has been a Siren
song for me (uh, no pun intended) for … oh, 15 years.
But compassion for slow progress, and acceptance of
stagnation are two different things. And I’d really like to move forward from
here.
So, for your reading pleasure, here’s a poem composed about
a year ago. Reading aloud is encouraged.  As is recalling the line “So let it be written, so let it be done.” Cheers. m.
Band Practice
Tnk tnkTNK thwap
Tnk tnkTNK thwap
Bzzzt FLARE feedback
TNK tnktnk THWAP
Tnktnk THWAP tnk tnktnk THWAP
TNK tnktnk THWAP
Tnktnk THWAP tnk tnktnk THWAP
Tnka tnka thwap
Tnka tnka tnka thwap
Tnka tnka thwap
Tnka tnka tnka thwap
Tnka tnka thwap
Tnka tnka tnka thwap
TNK TNK THWAP!
acting · community · direction · friendship · performance · poetry · school · self-support · theater · work

"I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life"

When I was growing up, when my family went on long car
rides, my dad had
instituted a rule. My brother and I could only ask the question “Are we there
yet?” three times, combined. Not three for him, three for me. Not phrased
differently to bypass the rule. Three times. Are we there yet.
I’m sort of glad the Universe doesn’t have a rule like that,
although I suppose it sort of does. For the number of times that I’ve asked
what’s next, the answer remains as vague as the Magic 8 ball’s “Reply Hazy –
Ask Again Later.” Apparently 3 seconds later is not later enough, and you get,
“Cannot Predict Now.”
But, it’s sort of comforting in some ways I suppose. A friend
said to me recently that we don’t know what’s next because it reminds us we’re
not G-d. I also heard that G-d loves us just enough to not let us know what’ll happen next. The perpetual
“SURPRISE!” type Higher Power. But, really, I think that if I ever knew really
what was to happen next, I’d spend a lot of time manipulating to my way of
thinking – if I’m meant to go in direction A, then I’ll start to pack for that
direction, not knowing that perhaps I’m supposed to go to A, but with a byway
in L, Q, and H in order to learn what I need by the time I get to A.
I was out with a group of us school poet folk last night at
dinner after our performance poetry … performance. Which went highly well, I’d
say. Pretty full theater, no technical problems, and, me, in my makeshift
nudesuit – because really, when the else time would I have the opportunity to
do that??
So, we’re out at dinner, and the women who are finishing
their first year are asking about my experience there, if I took cross-courses
at Berkeley, if I’ll stay in the Bay Area, and what’s next. And they’re
just curious. I say that I really took school sort of as a walk – I looked into
taking a GTU cross-course, but didn’t. But, I took painting, and singing, and acting.
I mean, it is a liberal arts college
(though you may not guess that from the highly funded business school it now
hosts). I
did take the school
experience as a bit of a walk. It wasn’t academically rigorous. I think I took
one class that had a lot of reading on theory and criticism. I took one that
had moderate reading like that. And the rest, well, they were pretty much,
write poetry, read poetry, discuss poetry. Period. It was sort of awesome.
I suppose I feel a little chagrined at not having taken more
advantage of the opportunity, but then on the other hand, I think I also took great
advantage in ways that weren’t as “rigorous.” I did just find out yesterday
that you could rent the most awesome a/v tech equipment for up to two days –
even lighting and high tech cameras and video cameras – so I’m a
little bummed I didn’t take advantage of that – cuz it sounds AWESOME. I guess
I do have a few days left! Maybe I’ll be a filmmaker for a few days, as I
continue to send out tendrils into the work world.
I have one more class to complete. I have a class time on
Thursday for Acting Fundamentals, and then our class performance next
Wednesday. It’s just a scene, each of us students paired with someone and doing
a scene assigned by the professor. But, I feel really comfortable there. I
forget. I mean, after that flurry of activity in December and January around
headshots and auditions and monologues, I let it all go to focus on school,
which was appropriate, but now that I have a little more breathing room, I hear
it. Like I hear the painting studio.
Stress and creativity aren’t quite compatible I suppose.
But, in any case, being on stage last night (though I wish I’d reread my piece
before I got onstage, as it was quite distracting to know I was/appeared
naked!), and practicing my scene with my class partner, I mean, I just feel like
I know this. There’s an incredible
amount to learn, but I know about blocking, and staging. I helped the two of us
create movement in the scene, to listen to the text and let it inform us. I
also tried to not be bossy 😉 as this was a joint effort. But I felt in my
element.
I have an invitation to have coffee with an acting friend of
mine – something that’s been pushed down the pages of the calendar like a
shuffle board disc, and I intend to ask my acting teacher to coffee for an
“informational interview” type conversation. But as I continue to look for
work, to find out where and how I’m supposed to earn, and embody the question “what can I give”
rather than “what can I get,” and let go
of the Am I There Yet, I can also take FULL advantage of what I have in front
of me – advocates, peers, and a wicked a/v department. 
balance · performance · poetry · progress · self-care

Reframe.

In a stroke of inspiration, I have produced both
disappointment and excitement. Disappointment, as I’m not sure I’ll wear a nude
body suit for my Performance Poetry class final performance. Excitement, as I
think I know what my piece will be about.
As I’d mentioned, I needed to see if the whole brazen nude
body suit thing would be supported by the content of the work – why wear that
if you’re going to tell lyrical poems about cherry blossoms? This morning,
however, I believe I was struck with the inspiration paddle, and think I know
what my piece will be about.
Originally, it was to likely be about a woman’s relationship
with her body, how it waffles between ownership by self, and ownership by
others, including mainstream media, etc. But, I feel that I’ve covered a lot of
that for now in my thesis work, and although, sure, that’s an issue that’s
present or “up” in my life, as I began fleshing some of the new idea out in my
morning pages this morning, I think I’ve found something riper, funnier, more relatable,
and interesting. I’ll keep you posted.
I’ve started using a different morning pages notebook, as
I’d finished my last a few days ago. It’s thinner than the last, but much
larger pages, which equals much longer writing in the morning. (It’s also made
from post-recycled materials, so it’s not new growth trees being cut down so I
can write, I wonder what the Harry Potter
stars are up to now – which, yes, occurred this morning along with all the
else.)
I was a bit intimidated to be writing these 3 long hand
pages much longer – would I have enough to “fill” it? What more could I
possibly have to say. But I actually think this new length is just right for
me. It’s longer than the last, and is giving me the room to get further into
stuff before I wrap it up or end. Which is partly why I think my new idea for
my performance came about – there’s more room to work it out, and watch it
stumble across my page.
On another note. My friend left yesterday, and my little
space is my own again. Driving to the airport at 5am will a) make you
appreciate a rental car, and b) cause the skipping of my morning blog
yesterday, so please forgive. I was a bit pooped and outward energy depleted
from the trip.
It was very good practice, though, I believe. To wake up and
have a person there. To go to sleep and have a person there. Granted, on the
pull out couch, but still. I’ve been a solitary bird here in my apartment for a
long time, and having another human here … well, was interesting to notice how
I act and react.
Part of me is enormously proud that I got in most of my
morning practices, and I stayed within my spending plan for her trip, and
brought lots of snacks and meals with me so I didn’t have to eat out very much
at all. Part of me is very acutely aware of how other-centered I become in the
presence of someone a) so close to me, and b) who’s in my space almost 24/7.
But, the good news, is that I noticed it. And I began to do
my best to reign back in my codependency. I don’t need to complete your sentence. I don’t need to add in my two cents about your story with my own.
I don’t
need to be thinking of
how to respond or what I’ll say next to keep the conversation interesting and
exciting.
It was hard, honestly, in the few times that I consciously
thought, I can let this thread lie. I don’t need to pick it up. It wasn’t that
I was being cold, or uncommunicative. But when there came moments when I
certainly had my opinion, or an alternate opinion, I didn’t have to voice it. I could let my friend state her opinion
or share her story without having to add in my own or contradict or augment
what had already been said.
Some moments, it felt to me like there was a huge, blatant
gap in the space when I was usually “supposed to” say something. And it felt
awkward and uncomfortable for a moment – within me. Surely, she didn’t realize
anything, and a new thread of conversation would be picked up immediately. But
I noticed. I noticed, basically, that I was holding my tongue.
Which, I suppose, leads me back toward my own center. I
don’t have to put out every idea or thought in my head. I can let myself rest
in the calm of a conversation, or someone else’s story. This isn’t a very
frequent habit of mine, usually. Although, I do tend toward the loquacious
side, with my friend from New Jersey, we’ve spent so many years as the other’s
half, it’s “natural” to want to just chitter chatter away. But, I realized it’s
exhausting.
She, again, was not asking me to contribute in a way that
was depleting. And it also comes back my former habit of accepting jobs I don’t
want, when they’re not asking me to give from my dregs. If I take care of my
center, notice that my focus is somewhere in between me and another person, me
and a job, and can bring it back to myself, and sit, sometimes in the
discomfort of not engaging in a behavior that leaves me feeling depleted, then I
get the chance to give from my best, and also, to simply rest in the
companionship of another person.