I wrote this wonderfully personal tale of rediscovering imagination called, Ruby Red Dragonfly, a couple of years ago. Since then it has been gestating deep within my hard drive. I printed a copy out of my computer about a month or so ago and have been reading it out loud to a group of hearty listeners on our weekly writer's call. I read one page of the story per week. At first I didn't think anything of this, my idea was a sort of dusting it off, bringing into the light of day.
Well, it HAS been gestating because I find it is harder to read. There are a few reasons for this floating in my head. One is that reading one page per week is a bit grueling as it seems there is more gravity around WHAT I am reading and the story that I am telling. Like a poem, each word most be spoken with deliberation and feeling so that by the end of the page there is a hunger for what lies ahead next week. This brings me to my second reason for its difficulty.
This writer's group that meets via conference call every week is more about EXPRESSING WORDS than the writing of them. I can feel the intention of the group when I join the call, it's a very focused intention that says, "Come on, show me what you've got! I want to feel it right here!" the intention says as it beats its fist against its heart, hungry to be fed, hungry to feel - love, joy, hope, forgiveness - to connect.
That powerful intention is often met from this end with a squeak in the throat. I used to want to read things perfect the first time. Now I realize there is no such thing. Every time I read is different. Each word wants its moment in the spotlight. Each one wants to ride the wave of emotion all the way into my heart and into the hearts of every single person listening. That's where the squeaky throat comes in -- the stage fright.
I'd like to say I read every sentence straight from my heart allowing all the emotion to flow through it. And that's where the beauty comes in, that's where I can see into the space that I am creating for myself in my writing and the reading of it. That's where I get to practice everyday as I read more, and as I write more. As I do this I become more familiar with the freedom in expression rather than the old, familiar, and quite frankly BORING experience of self-consciousness.
That's why today I sit here, the fifth day in a row without a voice, and write all this down on the page. It's funny not being able to express through my throat. I can feel a pressing down between my throat and my heart as if there's a clog there. Whispering the words on the page to myself is not the same as a exploding through my vocal chords. The freedom of expressing myself through the READING of my writing feeds my soul just as much -- NO! even more than - all the peace, love, chicken fried steak, and mashed potato & gravy comfort food that my belly can muster.