Finding the Story

I’ve always felt that the strongest artwork tells a story, no matter what the medium.

I’ve been reading works of writers who tell of the process of writing. One of the best is Frank McCort in his “Teacher Man“.  He makes the path to finding the story as clear as I’ve encountered.

Dance is just fancy steps without a story, music just a string of notes. Story is easier to identify in literature. I love hearing people interpret what I may have meant in a piece of art—that it stirs conversation at all. That’s a connection from my head to the others. It might help someone, might open a door or help someome see things from different angles.

I just took a creativity “personality test” by Adobe. It’s worth it to see the fun animations. Apparently I’m a dreamer. In taking the test I was stuck between my super-ego and my ego. These two have been battling inside of me all my life. Rules and shoulds vs my own (free, at least in my mind, creative, introverted, but in some ways fearless) being. I respond to the needs of others. I do what I’m told and try to do the “right” thing. I have a hard time feeling worthy. I have almost paralyzing performance anxiety. It is VERY hard for me to cut loose, to take big weightless (not effortless!) leaps. I hate to use too much material. I can’t work terribly large in my studio space. I think I know what I’m capable of, but have rarely, if ever, touched the ceiling. I also know my limits. I’m a bit lazy. I like learning, engineering, exploration, and process…don’t care all that much for any final product. Or is that just an excuse? Much of what I make feels like a steam valve, releasing pressure, but not really satisfying, stretching, making me dig or connect with anything. Little pretties that will sell. That in contrast to this…perfection and story in dance.

But, I have faith in my hands, in their knowledge from experience. I have felt the flow when hand and head take off and leave me behind…bliss! Does there have to be any more to it all than that alone?

I have often felt like a racehorse at the gate…ready to run without constraint, strong, able, eager. If I let me out, would I just run away and not want to come back? How to I open that gate and still live in the context of others?

Maybe that’s my story.