Alone Together

I like when we are alone together – it is one of the reasons that I love writing workshops. I set people on the path to write and then we write. Parallel play, we called it, when the kids were toddlers, doing their thing separately, happily, together in the room. Safe, solitary, together, alone.

Sometimes in art class, I feel all the other painters and I have dropped into a zone together. Like whoosh, we took an elevator down to a sacred place. We’re all this deep quiet, meditative place together, working and creating.

Any creative and collaborative venture can do this. Theater, too. When people are rehearsing their lines separately and then come together and one at a time, take their turns.

On Sunday, Chris and I, each played several parts in a reading of Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas as a part of New York City’s Welsh Church. I played Mrs. Organ Morgan.

Mrs. Organ Morgan: But they’re two nice boys, I will say that, Fred Spit and Arthur. Sometimes I like Fred best and sometimes I like Arthur. Who do you like best, Organ?

Organ Morgan: Hm? Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me…

This got a big laugh. But I certainly can relate to Mrs. Organ Morgan. Chatting away, happily, and then realizing that I have not been heard. Sometimes I feel alone in a marriage. And hey, tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day so I am offering a dollop of reality with all the day’s sweets: being married to someone with Parkinson’s — or any serious illness — can be lonely.

After the Under Milk Wood reading, an acquaintance of Chris’s patted him on the back. “You’ve still got it.” I hope that this made Chris feel good – that his Parkinson’s hasn’t ended his acting career. While I can complain about my loneliness, let’s face it, he’s the one who really got the raw deal.

Back on the bright side: I dig creating theater for the communal and solitary aspects of it. Everyone buys into a shared imaginative scenario. There’s magic in suspending disbelief. To me, it’s therapeutic to drift off into a dream-like world.

All creativity and making things is therapeutic. I like to make art, make friends, make dinner, simply make.

Lately, I have felt a new blossoming — thinking about possibilities for creative living and working.

Under Milk Wood takes place in an imaginary Welsh village Llareggub, which comes from ‘Bugger All’ backwards.

Thought for the day:

We are not wholly bad or good, who live our lives under Milk Wood – prayer of the Reverend Eli Jenkins in Under Milk Wood.

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Making Stuff Makes Me Happy

I have been taking a photo a day for about two months now. I post the pictures on Facebook. Sometimes I don’t feel like taking a picture. But it takes two seconds and often the result surprises me. One friend told me on Facebook, “I love your photos of the day. They are always so lovely, AND they make me want to move to NYC.” She made that comment yesterday when I had stopped for a moment to notice this doorway.

But I can’t take all the credit. The filters at Instagram make my photos look artsy. Ten million people are using Instagram (is that possible?) Also, I’ve been dipping into the Effy Wild’s Book of Days, which is inspiring one thousand people to fling glitter and self-love around in pursuit of a daily journal. (I try for weekly.)

Everyone is an artist. I believe this. I believe we get an endorphin rush every time we create. When we run too — although I have not been running much lately. Humans are wired to love creativity and fitness. Being athletic and artsy are natural de-stressors.

I love the feeling of an inch of charcoal in my fingers or the swoosh of a loaded paint brush against the paper. I love the click on my phone’s camera. I love hitting the Publish button on my blog.

I just love making stuff.