Today i started a new online class called Cultivating Wonder by Andrea Scher.
Our first wonder-signment was to introduce ourselves by sharing our first wonder story and our most recent. Here’s a snapshot of mine:
Because i’m horrible with age (i’m one of those people who when asked “how old do you think they are?” i answer with a dumbfounded blank stare), i texted my mom to ask her how old i was in this memory of The Elephant Man.
She texted me back: 3 to 7 year old (she’s apparently bad with age too). So i picked the common difference, 5. Then she wanted to know why i was asking. Normally i would blow it off (the question not my mom), but today for some reason i decided to tell her the real reason i was asking.
And it’s true (both the digging and the strange :)). i’ve recently been thinking a lot about why i’m so serious about everything – life, art, drag, love, light, animals, my partner, my opinion . . .
Needless to say, my days of late have been filled with lots of internal dialogue and questioning all of which has left me in this liminal space of Why?
My mom texted me back – which i ignored for the moment because i wanted to finish reading about our final assignment which was to practice seeing wonder and to share your findings. i closed out the course tab and grabbed my phone to play – because in my mind i still had a bazillion hours till the end of the day and lots of time to wonderseek – but first i wanted to read my mom’s text.
Her text changed the whole course of my day . . .
That last word.
It was better than the word i had been feeling as of late – serious. i’ve been feeling it so intensely that i’ve felt a need to let people know that i’m really not that serious (see the last line in this). And i’m not.
i laugh and play a lot more than i don’t.
But i’ve bumped up against this “intense” quality of mine for quite some time. It’s something i never really thought about or would think of as being a bad thing until an ex-partner brought the idea into my orbit about 15 years ago, Why does everything you write have to be so dramatic?
That one question has reframed, infected, and at times hindered my process of creation, the creation itself, and my art and performance to.this.very.day. Just last week while getting ready for a show i asked myself, Why do i always have to do be so goddamn dramatic, abstract, and weird on stage?
The answer was in my mom’s words. Because that’s who i am. And apparently it’s who i’ve always been.
i am intense. My parents have known it. My partner knows it. Those who i’m closest to know it.
And now, right now? i accept it.
Intensity – whether i want it or not – is my special gift.
A gift in seeing, creating, and seeking those things that go beyond what meets the eye. It’s my job as a human in this universe to swim in the depths that others can’t, won’t, don’t see and find a way of communicating what i have found in an accessible language.
That language is art.
And art has always been at the root of my expression and my vehicle to understanding. Which is probably why i’m writing this – processing through creation. Understanding by getting it out of my body and mind and into this, into writing, into art.
Quite unexpectedly today, i was given the ultimate gift of wonder – an fragment of understanding of oneself.
So there you have it guys, in case you didn’t know. i’m intense. Like really intense.
Would that realization have happened if i was not seeking it out? Who knows.
And really who cares?
Because what really matters is through allowing myself to be open, to share, to tell the truth – to my mom about why i was asking – i opened the door to the answer.
And i’m sharing my story with you in hopes it may open a few doors for you.
Love, light + wonder,
P.S. i believe the class is still open for enrollment. i highly recommend joining. AND at a pay what you want rate you (like seriously) what have you got to lose other than your preconceived notions?
P.P.S. This convo with my mom prompted me to look through some old photos. Apparently she is right. i AM intense. Check it out.
THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT I LOOKED LIKE TYPING UP THIS POST!!!
. . . i guess some things we never grow out of . . . :).
I love you and always will