Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Opening The Doors and Windows

“Our senses are indeed our doors and windows on this world, in a very real sense the key to the unlocking of meaning and the wellspring of creativity.”--Jean Houston

The Muse and the creative inspiration she embodies is not tidy or convenient. It's important to keep regular work hours and invite her to visit you then, but she may choose to visit you at odd hours or unlikely places, too. That explains why I woke at 2:30 AM with the sound of various songs from my play going through my mind.

Yesterday I attended the first run through of the songs in my play with four singers and a very good pianist. Composer Laura Rich and pianist Darcy Danielson took charge together, and I mostly sat and listened, and sometimes got up on the pretext of turning the heat in the hall up. I really wanted the chance to walk a little as I listened to some of the music. It was sometimes a big experience to hear it, and walking helped me to hear and integrate the sounds I was experiencing.

Reclaiming Old, the first song the Chorus sings brought tears to my eyes. I loved what Laura did with it, bringing something gentle, powerful, dissonant at times, loving and elegiac. What a process. The singers learning their parts together, me hearing where they stumbled because the lyrics were too heady or compressed, and noticing their delight and appreciation for what was being communicated in the songs. That kind of response came especially during the Reclaiming Old piece, the Scintillating Secrets of the Older Brain, and Sex after Sixty. Witnessing their response to the songs was like having feedback from my first audience in a way.

Still work to do of course. Lyrics and music are not done, but are in a process of development. This is just the beginning of opening this particular door, sharing what has been a collaboration between just Laura and I with a wider circle, then wider and wider still, opening the door to refining the songs and dialog in the play, opening the door to more actors, singers and musicians, to productions, to audiences.

"Imagination is the beginning of creation," George Bernard Shaw said. "You imagine what you desire; you will what you imagine; and at last you create what you will."
In that process, the Muse appears, gives you one of her incandescent looks or touches you with her incandescent wings and you find yourself going out beyond yourself into that beautiful place where what you are creating is no longer merely you. Opening the door to the transpersonal, the universal, the canto hondo, the deep song.

I had a wonderful astrological reading in December with Vedic astrologer Dennis Flaherty. One of the things he talked about was "getting into the river of what inspires you." That's what I am doing these days. That is how I want to live this part of my life.

The beautiful image included in this post is a window somewhere in Portugal. It rejuvenates me. There are many evocative doors and windows ready to be opened--the door of the senses, the door of the imagination, the door of the heart, the door of one's deeper dreams and purpose. What doors and windows are you opening now in your life?

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