Tag Archives: intimacy

Telluride Prelude: First night, before any full days

Last night, I attended a Carbon Leaf concert. It was one of the three touristy things I’ve scheduled during my stay. This evening will be Art Walk—nineteen(?) galleries stay open late to allow folks to browse, check out their art, and maybe even get to yack with the artists. Next Tuesday is Talking Gourds, the monthly poetry night at a local wine bar. (Okay, TG isn’t “touristy,” per se, but it is the very event I scheduled this visit (as well as two of my other three visits) specifically around.)

Where last night’s concert was held is a teenier venue than I expected. A good third or fourth the size. My sitting at a “middle distance” from the stage, therefore, had me in the next-to-the-last row. Even in the cozy intimate setting, I managed to seat myself in isolation, at a distance from the rest of the concert-goers. Well, this is how I’ve tended to roll: separating myself from the rest, keeping good distance between me and them.

The main character, and narrator, of the movie, Never Cry Wolf, remarks of his being, “a watcher of people.” Me, too—albeit a watcher from a distance. I was one of the two handfuls of folks not up and dancing in front of the stage. It was more than not having a partner to dance with, not feeling comfortable getting up front anyway and boogeying. Nope. Seems there’s something of a darkness, too, in my watching from a distance. A volitional intention to keep myself separated and away.

Maybe some of today’s, this week’s, work will be the watching of myself, will be discerning a wee bit of what this darkness is about.

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Filed under No [One] Is An Island

Risk Taking, Putting It Out There

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There’s a discussion taking place within a FB group I belong to, regarding the sensation of feeling like an intruder within a gathering. One of the members had gone to an other-side-of-the-state poetry club’s monthly meeting, and had felt like an outsider. Even though they’d been greeted and treated warmly, because of the town’s close-knit nature, this person had felt no small bit of having not belonged there. Another of the FB group members commented that even when asked to host such an event, it could feel like they’re intruding—that having a sense of not belonging can plague any of us, and at any time.

Hemingway has said writers are to write clear and hard about what hurts, because that’s where the power is. In other words, we are to risk going out on a limb in telling the bared truth because that’s when the “what matters” gets written. Time and again, I’ve seen when someone has opened their heart a little bit in expressing themselves, their vulnerability has been gratefully received.

I think intimacy happens when we cross lines, when we risk the stepping out of our shells. The huge majority of us aren’t as all-together as we appear. We’re often not alone in feeling out of place and maybe even intrusive. So somebody confessing their awkwardness might find they’re actually of the majority in the room, rather than the odd one out. This kind of connectioning is why risk taking and being clear about what hurts is so important: Our isolations are what bind us to one another.

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Filed under Honoring Your Writing and Your Being a Writer