I was watching the So You Think You Can Dance auditions yesterday, and a girl auditioned whose father had recently taken his own life. Obviously, she was heartbroken, but the affects weren’t apparent. She said she could state the facts – mainly, that it had all happened, but beyond she couldn’t really talk about it. However, she could dance about it. And it’s strange – from the smooth pirouettes to the jerky head bobs, her pain was completely palpable in each step she took.
She was brilliant.
They say when you’re feeling pain, you should turn it into art. They say pain makes for best kind of art. Or something.
I guess I fancy myself an artist. But the awful pain I’ve been feeling has completely stifled my art. My writing. I feel that my fingertips are friends with neither my thoughts nor my keyboard. They’re not even friends with my pens. In fact, they cut off all the terrifically terrible thoughts that circulate through my head every single night before I sleep and every single morning before I wake. I want to write it all down, but my finger say no. They break the story – stop it before it can make it to the page.
So what’s a writer to do?
Because now I’m just stuck with the pain in my head and my heart and my stomach... and anywhere else one can feel anything. The pain's got nowhere to go but in. Like it's being driven in deeper by a knife wielded by an eager and angry hand.
So perhaps what they mean when they say turn pain into art is to escape that mean hand and let yourself bleed all over the page. Maybe that’s the aim of my So You Can Think You Can Dance friend, who will open herself up on a stage in front of millions.
But what does that mean for me? I can cry and cry, but those are just tears. Not blood. I know I can’t bleed here, on my blog. I’m somehow guarded here, you know? Maybe my next step is to go ahead and let my words splatter out that deep wound, soaking a larger canvas.
An article? A short story? I’m not sure. But I know that pretending my hurt doesn’t hurt won’t work for too much longer. Something’s gotta give. Artistically, of course.