Feeling much better this morning. I took the steps I needed. Today will require a few more steps. Still even more to take after that!
Date: August 8, 2013
Days Spent on Project: 172
Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC
Person I would have sent it to: Today, this Crane goes to Professor Davidson.
Kenyon is known as an English school (besides their nationally recognized swimming team, of course). It could seem, at times, that you couldn’t walk five steps without running into someone who was majoring, going to major, thinking about majoring in it, or just taking a few classes to get “the experience.”
I wanted that experience too. I mean, if the school is famous for it… why not wade into that department?
So, my second year, I chose to take a year’s worth of English classes. Somehow, I managed to bypass the first year Intro English class. I jumped into more specific classes for upperclassmen.
Professor Davidson offerend a Shakespeare course, which obviously peaked my interest as a drama major. We read Hamlet, MacBeth, Lear, and Othello, discussing them and their brilliance over that semester.
From this course I learned that I probably didn’t have the scholarly writing chops that the English department wanted. Perhaps I would grow into writing later in life, but my skills didn’t entice them. This struck me as I’d always had a side passion for writing creatively. It was the first time someone explicitly told me I needed to work much harder to be average.
I also understood something for the first time: Theater isn’t literature.
For the first year of Drama classes, we students were reminded that the theater writings weren’t meant to be read silently and then discussed in groups, looking for meanings and importance. Theater was written to be performed. Shakespeare penned Hamlet for a group of players who would take the time to memorize the lines, learn some blocking, and then execute what they had learned for an audience who watched.
Charles Dickens did not pen A Tale of Two Cities for a group of people to divide the text, memorize them, stage them, and perform them for people. Literature is written to be read by someone, who stages that world in their own head.
It was and remains a huge difference between the two worlds: drama and literature. To this day, I bristle when people want to sit back and discuss a work of theater, ignoring that everything on the page is intended as clue for an actor, director, designer, etc. to deduce how they would perform it.
I guess the class wasn’t that bad after all, especially if I finally understood what my drama teachers had been discussing a year prior.
Music I listened to while sewing: Hadestown, by Anais Mitchell, again. A few weeks ago, I realized the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice held a lot more solutions for a puzzle I’ve been trying to write my way around for a few months. Instinctively, it felt right to incorporate the arc of that story into the piece I’m working on.
I abandoned it eventually, as a friend described it as being overly used and familiar.
However, I reached the same question last night as I was working late. This morning, the tale popped into my head again and the answer was just there.
I’m not going to fight the impulse today, choosing to ignore the suggestion my mind keeps making. I’ll follow that trail for a bit. We’ll see.
Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: It really is a mental game, isn’t it?
“Life,” I mean.
Life really is a balance of what you HAVE to do to exist and what you WANT to do while you exist, isn’t it?
And it’s difficult, sure: it’s a question you have to answer for yourself continually because the answer keeps changing. It’s hard to find that balance. It’s difficult not to sink to one side.
I want to enjoy this time I have right now, before another show heats up next week. I want to go to the gym daily. I want to work on these Cranes. I want to work on this writing. I want to work through my pile of books to read. I want to be lazy.
And I suppose that’s okay. But I have to remember the obligations I have to life and the people around me.
That’s not too deep, I’m aware. It’s where I’m at this morning, though.
Hope your day goes well today.