You know the feeling.
Your heart races. Sweaty-palmed and kitten-brained, focusing on the new episode of True Detective proves a challenge. You lose sleep, you don’t sleep. Food seems unimportant, even tacos bore you. Hormones rage. Just can’t…stop… thinking… about that one, glorious thing.
GUYS, IT’S SPRING. (Squuueeeeeeeeaaaaaal.)
Okay. Minor caveat: I know there are still flurry warnings and you haven’t packed away the parka. But it IS upon us—I swear—and not a moment too soon, either. Even this prairie-girl will say it’s been one long, cold winter… and I’m more than happy to ditch my salt-stained boots, flip off the streetcar, and switch focus from stouts to deliciously parkworthy lagers. But even more exciting is this particular je ne sais quoi running amok in the city these days… have you felt it? And also did you see what I did there with the French? Duolingo, guys… it’s a lifesaver. But I digress—this feeling. It’s more than spring fever. It’s the shared awareness of a massive, more collective Change. And that, has been a long time coming.
Let me explain. I don’t think I’m alone in saying that this last year (maybe longer) has been a bit of a doozy. It seems that so many loved ones have undergone massive transitions: moves, job hunts, break-ups and shakedowns. Hopelessness, despair, loneliness, depression (stay with me, I won’t wax maudlin long) all seemed to hover a little too close for comfort, and isolation seems to be the only viable option. I’m really good at this. During this last year I lost my grandmother, went through a job transition, got real broke, and got real sad. During those times Facebook seemed overwhelming, never mind going out on a Friday night. But time and time again, I saw people reach out to dust each other off, help each other up, and collectively talk about what was happening to create something—some movement—in their lives. Dear ones Hands & Teeth created an album aptly named “Before the Light” that got me thinking about all this, and that gorgeous moment before something gives. Blame it on the cosmos, maybe. But now here we are yet again, and I’m feeling a collective breath. And push forward.
In acting (yes I know… we’re everywhere in this city) there’s a lot of discussion surrounding the moment before and moment after your scene. Acting 101, for the small percentile of you that aren’t in the biz: “Where are you coming from?” and “Where are you going?” are important questions because they inform everything that’s happening in the present scene. What you bring into the room emotionally (ex. you’ve just cheated on your lover) and where you’re trying to get (say, a chocolate-chip cookie dough ice cream cone) relate directly to how you’ll communicate with your scene partner now.
You follow my metaphor. To think the whole goal, the catharsis reached, occurs when you see someone completely in the moment, yet to have so much credence put on these bookends of time. It’s no wonder I’ve got a complex around living presently. But this moment before is just so damn beautiful, if you can be there. There’s something just a little bit broken about it, and from that brokenness springs forth a whole bunch of awesome; a reinvention of self you’d never have been able to foresee in a script breakdown.
So as we spring forward, what do we take with us? All those moments. The broken ones, the beautiful ones. The nasty ones. Beautiful, awful, tear-and-coffee-stained, poor and triumphant. I’ve decided that my personal method of pursuit lies in a two-part action plan:
1. Get goofy. Like, when did I become so concerned with looking cool, anyway? I’m really not cool.
2. Not that it’s anything revolutionary, but I’ve got to start putting the phone down and choosing real-life moments over insta-ones. I saw on the news last week that there’s a whole new neck-crease (you heard me) people are developing, directly related to smartphone usage. Unless we want to devolve to a pack of ground-focused knuckle-draggers, we’ve got to look up and start participating in real life again.
As we move forward, moments and all, implicit in this change is a letting go. And implicit in this letting go is a willingness to do it. A desire even, a readiness. I found a quote scribbled in a book from a few years back, and can’t figure out where it came from. Maybe a friend, maybe a teacher, maybe a book or an article… if you recognize it, please let me know:
“Be bold, be bold, be bold. The world is made of clay.”
Implied in THAT, my friend, is a new world you’ve gotta grab. It’s changeable. It’s mouldable. And it’s whatever you goddamn want it to be.
So be bold. And happy spring.