Words… Go Big Reach Love Find Swim Run Grasp Hello…
Without certain words, the futility of everything can seem utterly defeating.
So understandably we all look for a validating script, a role, a purpose…
As it’s been half-term I have of course been thinking too much, but hey that’s what I do.
Yes, I need to get out more – and I do try to.
I recently have been learning lines for a small local play – it’s been quite a while since I ‘acted’, so I am a tad apprehensive and nervous. I recall ‘reading’ (bad acting) Teddy in Pinter’s ‘The Homecoming’. I remember really attempting to know Doug in Lucy Gannon’s ‘Keeping Tom Nice’. I specifically remember a whole summer getting to know Lucky in Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’. I remember walking up and down a Cornish high street hunched in a mask as a wordless creature in a bowler hat. How could one possibly feel those words? “…quaquaquaqua … the heights of divine apathia divine athambia divine aphasia… unfinished!…”
As I learned years ago, as Stan’ said; “In the language of an actor, to know is synonymous with to feel”. Feel the words, feel the world around you. I tell you, I did feel something of a ‘Lucky’.
I am still learning this new play’s lines, but again, a key part is to make those lines real. Not just read or even speak them out, but live them out in the performance space.
A friend asked me recently “How many of us can hold on to hope in a hurricane? Is hope still good when wild winds rage?” My immediate thought was “Words can be powerful. It’s one of the only things to hold on to when nature roars…” But again, the key thing is to feel those words that we hold onto. Words can be powerful.
Unfortunately, some of the words I can’t shake are the mindless criticisms, the failing disappointments, the expectant comparisons… like devilish stains, they can colour our worldview. Thankfully, there are some other words that good friends have shared. The harsh words are often based around material or cultural expectations. The more creative words are more respectful; selfless, generous, forgiving, love-filled words.
So, especially when wild winds rage, stuff goes wrong, promises are broken, disease, damage and loss overwhelm us, and we feel utterly defeated, I pray that we might know, and feel, words that are more selfless, generous, forgiving, and loving. And I remind myself that I am still, and probably will always be, learning my lines.
Perhaps actions follow once we have helpful words…