Monday, February 8, 2010

The Spark

In University I took a theatre workshop that pushed me to the limit. I ended the final night terrified and crying. It made me look at myself and my fears in a way I wasn’t expecting. How was I supposed to know a series of games would affect me like that? There was one exercise where we were supposed to jump up in the air from the squatting position. But we weren’t supposed to just jump, we were supposed to wait and listen to our bodies, and our bodies would tell us when to jump. We were to wait for “the spark.” I rolled my eyes internally, I knew whatever I did, I would need to tell my body to do it. There was no waiting for a spark. There was no follow your heart, and any gut instincts I had were telling me to curl up in a ball and make it all stop. Any plans I had that year were calculated, considered, weighed and pushed along. Although I was suffering from some sort of depression, (I didn’t label it at that time) I knew that if I waited for the spark I would still be there squatting there at the end of the workshop.

Tonight, I’m struck by the humor of how that moment could have gone. They would have to go on with the workshop as I sat there: “Don’t worry about me, keep going… just waiting for the spark.”

When I started writing this blog, I must have been hit by “the spark.” I was up at six and I was writing and reading and scrapping around the house looking for things to do. That spark has cooled a bit since then. Yesterday morning (today was an event of its own), saw me awake before the alarm went off, I moved out to the couch, set the egg timer for an hour. I slept for the full hour and the alarm woke me up after a long dream.

I’m good at sleeping. Sleeping makes me feel warm and connected and my dreams are always an interesting story.

Instead of being as excited by my writing as last week, and this Saturday, I’m frightened by it. I see all the bad habits I’ve learned over the years and know it will take a shift in my planning and ideas of what a good story is to make my writing better.

So now, I have to look at the theatre lesson, excluding the fact that some mornings I may just be exhausted and want to sleep in, I need to be that spark. I know I can be up early in the morning and accomplish reading and writing and music. My aim is to strive for it. My partners in this will be a nice strong cup of coffee, my journal, an Ondaatje book, my piano, maybe some fresh air on the mornings I don’t run and a shot of determination. Hopefully, once I realize that it feels just as good to accomplish things as it does to dream of them, the spark will come back to me.

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