Chased by a Rhino.
Last night I dreamt that I was being chased by a rhinoceros ! Symbolism much you think ? These things are big, people ! It was not orange and pink and it did not carrry a typewriter. It just was out to get me and wow... these beasts are fast too ! I touched its skin in the dream and it felt like rubber. It was trying really hard to get me with its horn but I ended up barricading myself behind a bunch of plywood. Which... worked to keep me safe from the rhino but... um... then I got really bored because I was stuck in a tiny room behind plywood and I had no idea if the rhino was still around or if it was safe to come out.
And... that's pretty much the story of me and playwriting. I started this thing ( NaPlWriMo) in 2006 to get the support I needed to finish a play that I was working on. It was causing me serious angst and pain. The play is about a runaway girl in the "labyrinth of silence" ( at the usa /mexico border where the Juarez murders were/are happening) who is in search of her murdered mother. While I was writing the play, my own mother passed away and somehow my writer self began to think I had subconsciously killed my own mother. It was a crazy rough ride after that. The play is still unfinished to this day but I know I 'll finish it when I am ready. Since then... my play writing has been seriously injured and The Artist Way was my friend in reclaiming the power to write what I want without fear that it will end up injuring people I love. This whole story sounds so cheesy to me and it was one of these things I had read about before but I never thought it would happen to me ! I thought all the stories you hear about writer's block and people being traumatized by writing teachers or getting their creativity stiffled by others was a bunch of rhino shit.
But that stuff happens. It really does. It happened to me. The last three years have been a whole new world for me. Allowing myself to accept that it was true...... that our writer selves do get hurt and that with enough support we can make it through and come out the other side.
I know a lot of people fear doing NaPlWriMo because letting your writer self bump up against others can be quite scary when the bumping has caused pain in the past. It is often a lot easier to hide and isolate and retreat when we feel threatened. It is a perfectly human way of defending oneself. Yet, often, what we need is quite the opposite. We need to let down the walls and face the beast and trust that it will not annihilate us.
Every day I spend here with you all is a joy and I get to reclaim a bit of myself. I am going to write this solo show if it kills me ( quoting Josh Conkel here) ! I still have so much fear, resistance, doubt and it comes up every day.
So. I am making a pact with you. I am not going to post anything on this blog or in the forums until I have 10 pages written. Next time you see me on here... I will have 10 pages of whatever this insane solo show is.
If you are in the USA, don't forget to vote today !
I'll see you on the other side of 10 pages.
"The Police are rhinoceroses. The Magistrates are rhinoceroses. You are the only man among the rhinoceroses. The rhinoceroses ask themselves how the world can have been run by men. You ask yourself: is it true that the world once was run by men?" Eugéne Ionesco, diary entry, 1940.
Naplwrimo runs on love, sweat and your generous help.
Thank you to our donors!
Machelle Allman, Holly Arsenault, Will Bond, Karen Chandler, Michael Lee, Leslie Liautaud, Jeff Mackey, Maggie McAleese, Marian McNamee, Marla Porter, and all our anonymous donors.