Wordy Wednesday

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An Etching —

it’s a softened slope

a warm canvas waiting for my paintbrush to fill it with movement, feeling and completion.

it has a mind of its own

a rhythm, a cadence, a time signature that is hard to understand

but as my study delves into its intricate layers, i find the the familiar

a gripping pulse that leads me to use my hands

giving my finger pads permission to explore on my terms

for its benefit.

a living, breathing form takes shape

the beat that lives within it begins to capture my heart

including me in its breath

“breath” being the only word i can think to describe it

because once it has taken hold i barely give it a second thought

i have already acknowledged it has burrowed into my skin

preparing its new home for your paintbrush, your vision, your melody

the painting you choose to etch into my body, my heart, my soul

Wordy Wednesday

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Imagine yourself…

hearing the sound of rubber brushing the tarmac as flights take-off and land.

seeing the gorgeous New York City skyline, clear as day, as gulls skim the water for the meal.

being able to see all of your friends and loved ones after having made a long trip to see you.

not having to worry about what to wear, eat, or drink, how to pass the hours of your day, and wondering if you’ll be able to get a full night’s sleep.

Now imagine yourself at Riker’s Island.

For the past few weeks, I have had the privilege of honing my teaching artist skills and carrying the Adler ambassador name working alongside Tommy on Riker’s Island. Let me tell you that there is never a dull day over there, and I am learning more about myself with each bus ride over the bridge. I have to admit that I am very honored to have been chosen to assist in Adler Outreach’s pilot program with East River Academy, (the school district placed at the prison for those inmates wishing to earn their GED while behind bars) and that the students are definitely giving me a run for my money, in a good way.

When you think of Riker’s Island, you may immediately think of “Law & Order,” (at least I did) and the connotations that went along with the place whenever Briscoe uttered the words, “Well you’ll have plenty of time to think over at Riker’s.” As with all penitentiaries, there is this mystery, a genuine curiosity for those “outsiders” who want to take a peek inside. And to those of you who feel that way, I strongly ask you to reflect on your reasoning for that attitude. Each week that I have been out there, I go through a myriad of emotions, scaling from doubt, to pride, to joy, to excitement, to sorrow, to confusion, to sympathy, to questioning. The boys and young men who choose to attend these classes, are just that boys and young, who have made choices in their lives which landed them in this place. But to see their eyes brighten when we walk into the classroom, or hear one ask as they sit down “Are we writing another play today?” brings their humanity to the forefront and as we work together bringing scenes and monologues to life, using their words to write them, the classroom can turn into one of those jet planes you hear across the river at the LaGuardia Airport, as the guys’ words transport us to 1950s New York City, Washington DC after Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream Speech” and into the kitchens of a fictional mother and son.

While I am still trying to discern my feelings about these boys, the place they now call a temporary home, and the snapshots I see of what their lives are like once we board the Q100 for home, I look forward to the early alarm clock every Friday morning, and hope that it will be a good day filled with creative fervor and possibly, a few smiles.

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Ciao

Wordy Wednesday

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I don’t even know if I can preface a post with the phrase: “The older I get the more I…” but I feel that intro is apropos for this week’s Wordy Wednesday.

The older I get the more I…

begin to learn what to do and what not to do when it comes to my relationships. Now in the context of this post I’m merely looking at relationships from the friend viewpoint and not the “significant other” category (seeing how I don’t have one). Over the past week I’ve come to understand the power of words, how those words should or should not be communicated, and that no matter how open you perceive a friendship to be there are always lines that should and should not be crossed. Yeah sure I’m speaking in generalities, but I don’t believe the specifics of this tale need to be known for my discovery to be effective.

I have to admit that this was a hard lesson to learn but because of it, I was able to reconnect with other friends, make myself vulnerable to someone new in my life, who embraced me fully and listened to all I had to say as I finally voiced my frustration and confusion, and (this is so actor-y of me) able to push myself to a new level in terms of my scene work for the production I’m starring in at the end of the month. Talking to my mother about it was also an interesting experience in and of itself because I haven’t really talked to her about these kinds of issues in such a way before, and, as always, she listened wholeheartedly and gave me the advice I needed to handle the situation with grace while at the same time hitting me across the head with some Eppes schooling. (haha)

This post may seem very longwinded but I just wanted to put it out there if anybody else happens to find themselves in a similar situation. Remember that words can hurt, not all of your opinions need to be heard out loud, and whether or not you think a friend can hear and handle what you have to say, keep in mind that they have opinions too and what they think and understand to be true to them holds just as much weight.

Wordy Wednesday

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release…

standing on the edge

my toes are curled around the sandstone, gripping to all i know about my past

my past experiences, past triumphs, past disappointments

but then there is a rustling in the trees causing me to point my head to the sky

and there it is

the calming sea of the atmosphere

with its soft puffy waves moving slowly with the current of the air

emerging, combining, deciding where to release its deluge of renewal.

 

silence

i am once again in tune with myself

my eye peers down over the precipice and i see a figure in the water.

it appears to have outstretched arms and a warm countenance

my toes begin to wiggle

my body is telling me to move ahead

to release myself from what is known and dive into the unknown

the figure begins to turn its head

it’s now or never

if i don’t jump now,

i’ll have to go it alone,

without knowing who that is

why they were waiting for me here,

and what my future could be with them in it.

i close my eyes

time passes faster than a swift inhale and exhale of breath

and there you are beside me

or were you there this whole time waiting for me to let go?

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