Musings (Day 282/365)

Happy birthday to me. In celebration, I only cleaned up the backyard. The bulk of the William Blake stuff, still in the basement, will have to wait until some other time.

I also read: Unspun, and part of Thinking in Circles, and now I’m delving back into Out of Our Minds. A quote from a research consultant has struck me. Speaking of the characteristics of a creative organization, David Liddle says:

“It is first and foremost a place that gives people freedom to take risks; second it is a place that allows people to discover and develop their own natural intelligence; third, it is a place where there are no ‘stupid’ questions and no ‘right’ answers; and fourth, it is a place that values irreverence, the lively, the dynamic, the surprising, the playful.”

Well, I think he just described the Lacuna workshop group. There were only six of us who were there week after week, Marc, Molly, Melissa, Laura, Carol Lee, and me, and I think we did an incredible job of creating the two pieces we staged from nothing. We all contributed, we all took off in different directions, we all built on what the others brought. We took essentially in each case a plotless poem and created a visual staging that I think intrigued and delighted our audience.

Since that was our goal, to surprise and delight our audience, we succeeded wildly. As usual, though, we succeeded beyond anything our audience could expect. It’s like the fact in biology that animals are hardwired to respond to stimuli that go beyond anything they encounter in nature, e.g., a certain butterfly will be attracted to a shade of blue that is brighter/more vivid than any potential mate he might encounter in the real world. Our audience may have been delighted, but there was actually more there to delight them than they were even aware. (Did I just get my analogies inside out?)

The kinds of things we invented, Toast Heads, Ice Sprites, dancing hedgehogs, puppet walls, snowdrifts that turn into banks of flowers, a troupe of traveling sunflowers, stained-glass tortoises pulled by an angel, are truly and totally wonderful. A more polished version of them all will only amaze an audience even further.

This richness is due entirely to the six creative minds who cobbled it all together (with thanks to the other minds who joined in from time to time: Mary Frances, Kevin, Galen.) This bodes extremely well for the workshopping of the entire show, if and when we begin that process.

As Carol Lee said at one point, “This is hard, so much harder than just buying a script and doing that.” But as she also pointed out, what an incredibly enriching experience!

83 days to go.

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