Yay! I finally got it—I think.
This morning I was kicked out of bed at 4:00 a.m. by an intense need to write it down before I forgot what I got. Wait—write what down? I already forgot what I forgot! Rats—there I go again. I forget a lot. Not just the little things, like where I put the butter, but the big things too, like who the heck I think I am. I’m gonna have to blame it all on the weird cosmic energy that’s bombarding the planet at the moment.
Oh, right! This morning what I finally got is that who I am isn’t who I think I am. Right. I knew that. The message finally became clear as I was pondering the blogs that I’ve written, their general overall content, message, tone, and theme. It’s hard to see one’s self through the eyes of another, because others perceive in ways that may or may not match the truth of the one being perceived. So writing a blog as self-revealing and personal as this one can sometimes be—how do you say—scary because vulnerability begets vulnerability and heaven forbid, somebody should see me in a way that would be embarrassing if I were to be found out.
Does a playwright or novelist ever wonder how an audience might perceive the characters that she has written into a play or a book? How would I see myself if I were the audience watching myself act out the part of the main character in the story?
Oh but wait! I am the character and the script writer. I’m the one in the starring role of my own one-woman show, standing on stage front and center playing the part of Julia, the character of many faces: the strong, weak-willed, self-confident, insecure, disorganized, confident, befuddled, self-serving, generous, strong willed, stubborn, indecisive, character who is apt to be both lovable and fearsome all in the same breath.
This confusing role could drive an actor to the brink of insanity, lost in a head-spinning morass of confusion and self-criticism all the while trying to sort out what’s real and remember to walk the dog and pick up her socks all at the same time. Today she’s the confident, strong one. Tomorrow she’s sniveling and insecure. Today she’s spiritual and whoops—wait a minute—now she’s bordering on egomaniacal. It’s the role of a lifetime. Or two, or two hundred. Small wonder such a character might imagine herself unworthy or deserving of anything worthwhile in life, what with all of these unexplained and unexpected variables cluttering up the inside of her psyche.
But it’s all only a play, isn’t it? Well, isn’t it?
When I first started my writing adventure, self-deprecation crept into the scene and became incorporated into the theme of the plot. Along with that came the perception by others that I may have a little problem here and there that needed a bit of fixing. Some viewed my self-deprecating humor as a sad commentary about my sense of self worth, concluding that I was somehow lacking in something that they were not. I, on the other hand, saw self-deprecation sprinkled with a touch of humor as healing and relatable because under the skin we all share the same humanness and are therefore subject to the same self-tyranny that leads to self-sabotage. But beneath the fear of whatever others might think, I saw writing and acting my part as simply a role I agreed to play while I’m here on planet earth. My job is not to judge my part but to play it however best I can and let the chips fall where they may. They never said it would be easy.
What I got was that however I choose to define myself, whatever aspect of the character that I play at any given moment, I am none of these things and I am all of these things wrapped into one grand and glorious ball of humanness that looks like a body, but in truth is a spark of the divine. While separated by bodies, we are spirit beneath the flesh and bones.
As I roll toward an end of my little one-act play here, I wonder—did I say what I meant to say? Did I get my point across? Will I be misunderstood? Will someone perceive my willingness to be vulnerable as weakness? Or will they see it as strength? Will I be perceived as I wish to be perceived? Does it matter how I am seen by others, or what anyone thinks of me? Do I really care? I guess that would depend upon which character you are asking.
I’m not sure about the answer to that question, but it really doesn’t matter because it is what it is, and will be perceived however it is perceived. If somebody benefits, then I will rejoice because my work here is done, at least for the moment. Heaven only knows what the next assignment will be, but whatever it is, I am looking forward to it. We all appear on the stage of life with a script, a part to play, a character to embody while living our role, but a forgiving director allows for improvisation if we need a redo to get it right. But in the end, the secret to the mystery of the plot is that we just can’t get it wrong because we are students in an acting school directed by a teacher who refuses to flunk anyone out of the class. We get to repeat, improvise, repeat, ad lib, repeat until one day we wake up, see the light, and get it right.
Speaking of the light . . .
Tomorrow is December 21st, and the curtain will rise on a new show that has been in the production stages for eons. From what I hear, it’s going to be quite a grand light show and all I can say about that is—keep your eye focused on the light, stand steady, stand strong, relax and enjoy the show. It’s all good.
Note: The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us)