Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Reflecting Back

As I come close to departing for Ghana, I am, as I should be, thinking a lot about what I'm doing. Teaching theater, as a Western theater practicioner, in a West African country, what the hell is that? Why should I be teaching art? I've gone back to a journal entry I wrote a year ago September, an edited version of which I want to have up here.

I just finished Six Feet Under. Yes, all of it. There are about twenty-eight gazillion things I have learned and loved and gained from it, but the one that’s sticking to my ribs at the moment is, Art can do that.

Art has done that. I have cried my eyes out over this show in the last two weeks, I have felt real pain over it, but it’s worth it, beyond worth it. Augusto Boal is wrong, or at least he’s deeply limited. Sometimes we do need catharsis. Sometimes catharsis is not releasing as in letting go and forgetting about something forever, sometimes it is releasing as in opening floodgates, bursting a dam, storming a fortress. Art can do that.

I can do that. I think I have done it, a few times in my life, and I can, and I want to, and I need to. The question is not why, and whatever my political agonizing I think I have always known that. I know why. It would be awesome to be able to explain it someday, but I know it. The question is how, and that is my work, discovering and honing and really using the way or ways in which I can best do that.

I don’t fucking care what “that” is. Again, it would be great if I could explain it one day, but I know it, and people who have been present when good art changed the air in a room, however many others were or were not present (and whether or not it was actually a room), know it. I’m not dismissing the things you can deepen from defining shit you know, but you have got to GOT to fucking know it and know you know it. When I say I need to know what my work is, I need to know it in every sense of the word “work.”

I have exploded out of my chest. We live with mortality, we live in it. Yes, and? Mortals, as a species, as individuals, we have built a world, we are always building it, even when the world we’re building is a damaged one. We still fucking well inhabit it. I’m not sure art is a basic need, not sure it is really your path in the darkness, but it is certainly light.

I am okay with light. I can provide light. If my students teach me anything, it is that no matter what, if you’re still around, you find a path. I want to provide light.

I can provide light. Not revolution, but Six Feet Under isn’t revolution, it’s just fucking good. And there are qualities, but there is also quality. Some things are just fucking good. It happened to move me, as it might not move everyone, but it is good. And it doesn’t turn your world over, it turns into your world, structural ambiguity entirely intended. I can do that. I can’t do it alone, but obviously no one person on that show did it alone either. I want to do that.

God, I want to rip the screen and the sky and go through, and I could. There will be a million steps along the way that will weaken me, but that happens, and right now I want to go to sleep but I could do anything, and I know the things I have chosen to do, and I know why. And I have lived in and shared a fictional world, with fictional people and fictional relationships that just shook down my universe.


And on that note, I am going on hiatus. There may occasionally be a Friday Poetry up here when I feel like it, just to keep you on your toes, but for the most part Third Rail Themes will be down until June, when we will reevaluate its presence and purposes and all that. I'll miss you!

77 Comments:

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At 1:36 AM, Blogger 鄭雅琦鄭雅琦 said...

良言一句三冬暖,惡語傷人六月寒。......................................................................

 
At 12:31 AM, Blogger 俊成俊成 said...

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At 12:32 AM, Blogger 陳韋夏陳韋夏益東富益東富 said...

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At 11:08 PM, Blogger h盧aze文lhunt雅er said...

超棒的,給予最大支持。(* ̄△ ̄*)............................................................

 
At 9:10 PM, Blogger 夏瓊陳詩蓁富 said...

做好事,不需要給人知道,雖然只是一件微不足道的事,但我相信,這會帶給我快樂。..................................................

 
At 10:19 PM, Blogger 劉隆季劉隆季 said...

Learning makes life sweet.

 
At 10:26 PM, Blogger 馬志榮惠玲成 said...

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At 1:17 AM, Blogger 承王蓁 said...

Quality is better than quantity...................................................................

 
At 1:32 AM, Blogger 淑成李李淑成李李 said...

缺少智慧,就是缺少一切..................................................

 
At 11:08 PM, Blogger 思張張亦 said...

感謝分享 功德無量............................................................

 
At 5:59 PM, Blogger 淑涂涂華 said...

一時的錯誤不算什麼,錯而不改才是一生中永遠且最大的錯誤..................................................

 
At 4:09 PM, Blogger 文王廷 said...

Many a true word is spoken in jest..................................................................

 
At 7:16 AM, Blogger 罗韬 said...

所有的資產,在不被諒解時,都成了負債..................................................................

 
At 9:10 PM, Blogger 雅王任 said...

相見亦無事,不來常思君......................................................................

 
At 11:36 AM, Blogger 江仁趙雲虹昆 said...

知識可以傳授,智慧卻不行。每個人必須成為他自己。..................................................

 
At 3:36 AM, Blogger 蔡曼鄭美玉屏 said...

人生中最好的禮物就是屬於自己的一部份..................................................

 
At 4:10 AM, Blogger  said...

你怎麼能經過一片海,而忘記它的藍?......................................................................

 
At 9:35 PM, Blogger 阮艳 said...

你的部落格不錯哦,我來享受一下~~..................................................................

 
At 3:23 PM, Blogger 承王蓁 said...

生存乃是不斷地在內心與靈魂交戰;寫作是坐著審判自己。..................................................

 
At 2:10 AM, Blogger 陳嘉容 said...

很精彩的部落格 期待你的繼續加油..................................................

 
At 1:14 AM, Blogger 彬彬哲宇 said...

初次拜訪,祝你人氣一百分

 
At 4:06 PM, Blogger 王雅俊 said...

心平氣和~祝你也快樂~~..................................................

 
At 6:48 AM, Blogger 張王雅竹欣虹 said...

要繼續發好文喔^^加油!...............................................

 

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