Thursday, February 12, 2009

"Using What's in the Room"

Pile of crap in a corner

Tonight, I went to see a play to fulfill an assignment for my acting class. Life is tough.

The play, Metamorphoses by Mary Zimmerman, presented the myths of Ovid as romantic and lyrical, while managing to retain the raw and brutal nature of the gods. Okay, so maybe that won't be in my paper. The play was well written, well presented, and well acted; however, the thing that struck the loudest chord within me was in the program notes. The playwright mentioned a line from Willa Cather's Song of the Lark, where a character remarks that "she will never be the artist she was as a child." Zimmerman translated that into her own: "I am at my best when I am unselfconscious and using what's in the room."

Interesting. How often do we tell ourselves - and others - that things will be PERFECT, if only [fill in the blank]? How often have we delayed our plans until X happens or arrives? How often have we deferred something until the time is right? Until the package arrives? Until the planets align? How often have we forgotten what we are even waiting for for all the waiting we do?

Perhaps - just as an exercise, mind you - we should try "using what's in the room." Look around . What do you see right there in front of you? What is there in your room that you can use? What can you do with it? What will you do with it? Don't think so much! Don't think about time slipping by; think of yourself slipping by while you wait for the right time, tools, mindset, people, opportunity. Maybe what you are looking for is right there in front of you, on the shelf waiting for you to pick it up. Literally.

C'mon. Don't you have something to do?


Lori Skoog said...

Fe...I'm doing it! You will see, when you have the opportunity to retire and have time, you don't wait to do anything...too busy taking advantage of every moment. Your words are so right on!

How goes it over there?

Janie said...

How true. I've spent a lot of time waiting for the right circumstances when I could have been using what's around me to make my mark in life.
I'm going to remember this and look around the room next time I find myself waiting.

rebecca said...

Okay, so this has to be the most pathetic excuse a human being has ever used in order to NOT do something. What's right in front of me? A treadmill. A functional treadmill. My excuse? I need to join a gym in order to lose the weight. And when I finally join, what do I do? Not classes, not weight training....treadmill. And, like home, I rarely use that one as well!

It's so true. We look for excuses around every bend to not do things, wating for -- like you said -- the perfect time, place, etc. Excuses, excuses, excuses... which is code for "I don't want to do it."

So, what do we want, then? When do we begin? When do start "living" our lives and stop "lying" to ourselves?

Good food for thought, Fe....

Anil P said...

I thought "she will never be the artist she was as a child" was interesting in what it reveals.

This must be true of each one of us.

As adults, cares can weigh down on things one does, cares that might be compulsions, or cares resulting from having to do things the 'right way' because of expectations and the like.

CoyoteFe said...

Lorelei -
Wait - I get to retire??? Bahahaha! You are my role model!

Janie -
Let us make a pact! Funny how there are so many things in the room when we decide to look.

Rebecca-san -
Your treadmill story is classic! And, such a good point about resisting because you don't want to do something. It feels just like that, but what about the times when you FORCE yourself to do it, and then you look up and hours have passed while you have become engrossed in that thing you didn't want to do?

Greetings, Anil -
So right about cares weighing us down. Maybe it's like barnacles growing until we can't quite see or feel as clearly as we once did ...

fellow traveler said...

Oh to be so "unselfconscious" that I can see what's in the room besides me! To be so free of me, that the pile of crap in the corner says nothing about me, but something to me as it cries out to be used; to be brought to life by the wonderful creative artist in me. To use what's in the room in this moment, to bring this moment to life.
Thanks for the exercise Fe!

CoyoteFe said...

Great comment! Let me know what you come up with!