Monday, July 25, 2011
Things are Cookin' in Fairbanks
Let's imagine for a moment that the students (er, "registrants") aren't exhausted and over stimulated; let's posit that we are helping draw connections between this mixed bag of offerings. We are in the thick of it all with one week to go. For sure, anxieties are high. "Surely, my writing would be further along," some posit, "if not for this book project." Others choose not to engage embodiment and performance. Most of the folks here are participating for their own "enrichment;" who can really argue with their choices not to engage in certain dishes at the buffet?
I also tell these folks a little about my process. How I work an idea in multiple media at the same time. Try writing about it. Try drawing it out. Collage some photographs. Improvise a monologue. Find a gesture. At some point, the idea settles into what it wants to be: a performance, a poem, a painting -- sometimes all three, sometimes all at once. But always the different ways of approaching the idea influence each other -- call this a kind of "lateral thinking."
I know, for some this approach is profoundly uncomfortable. What does waxing a car really have to do with karate, Mr. Miyagi? But when you relax into it, when you trust the process, you discover that pretty much everything plays a role in creative expression, whatever the medium. Even a walk in the woods is part of the writing process (in my experience, often the most important part).
I think our students are lighting a different kind of fire...if they can just get over their fear of matches. And their belief that rigid categorical distinctions will keep them warm, or keep them from getting burned.