As I wrote the other day, I am currently in a five week-long physical theatre intensive, including clown and commedia.
One week in, and I am joyfully astonished (and exhausted.) My face and sides ache from laughing. My mind has been blown repeatedly by the beauty of the other souls that daily become more and more alive as the class progresses. My heart has expanded and feels raw and tender and open in new ways. Many tears have fallen, from joy and wonder, from deep wells of sadness that come as old rusty parts of my soul are freed from their societal binds.
You see, clown is about exploring the four year-old inside. The little one you were before socialization caused you to “grow up” and be serious.
Before the body forgets to play and becomes blocked by The Block of Cool (as in, gotta be cool, man — gotta suppress this or that to be one of the cool kids.) The Block of Nice (Gotta be a good girl/boy if you want anyone to like you.) The Block of Polite (Gotta be polite to fit in and be a part of society.) The Block of Being Appropriate (Gotta do what everyone else is doing no matter what or you’ll stand out and the bullies will see you or you will be humiliated.)
So as we’ve been playing this week, we’ve been getting up underneath our adult skin suits and back into the wonder, the joy, the big, messy fun of acting with enthusiasm, leading with our hope, and the desire to have fun and make others laugh with us, at us.
It is an honor – a gift – to see someone’s unadulterated humanness. To really see who each person is underneath all the tricks we’ve learned to protect ourselves.
I am blown away by the exquisite beauty and brilliance of each person in the class.
Down the street, one of the buildings has some flowers blooming on part of it’s front wall. There’s a beautiful cascade of what looks like lilac that I was drawn to the first day during lunch break. What I did not notice then is that alongside the lilac are morning glories. (They were not blooming that first day.)
But the second day of class, I walked by the storefront again, and there they were, in all their, well, glory!
I was floored and just stopped and stared in wonder.
Then the next day, they were gone! (Upon closer inspection, they were there, but had withdrawn back into their tightly wrapped buds.)
The next day, half were out again, the others were in different states of the bloom process.
The flowers’ journey seems to mirror our class. We are all at our own different states of “bloom” in our work of rediscovering our unsocialized selves. We all have started the class in different places, and we will end in different places. But along the way, we are all blooming at different times. And sometimes, we are each beginning to show ourselves out in full bloom. It is astonishing to witness.
I cannot wait to see what will bloom next week.