Tuesday, March 3, 2009

on jesus, my work is important! now what do i do?

so. i'm slowly accruing cancer objects. slowly. but each one i get, i feel the gravity of my project deepen more and more.

i received the narrative of one object today. i will be receiving the object itself soon. it came from a person i knew a decade ago. i didn't even know she had cancer. but her 4-page story caught me up. her narrative was so thorough, so precise, so real. as i read it, i felt deeply honored that she took the time to share her experience with her. and that she will impart such a loaded object onto me.

it's a strange process. i've now structured "una corda" in a way that i need participation from others. to get this participation, i need to talk about my piece as significant. but i realize i only partly comprehend how significant it is. because every time a new person contributes to the piece, i think, "wow. my opera is so important. i can't believe i'm doing it."

of course, this gives me anxiety. how can i take this friend's story and objects and respect her contribution while ultimately using my own voice (quite literally)? how do i balance my innate earnestness with my conditioned critical eye and my somewhat wry humor?

then again, this anxiety is necessary. this discomfort. as tennessee williams said, struggle is part of being an artist. he was mainly talking about financial struggle (which, hey, i got that, too!), but i think most inspiring art is fueled by struggle. at least, the art that inspires me.

sometimes, though. it's like hugging a hedgehog.

No comments: