Ever had a dream and dared to dream it out loud?
Maria Kliavkoff my soothsayer and one of my mentors, was right! Oh those accountability Skype calls were worth it. Every week I had to tell her how much or how little I had accomplished in my writing. Maria reminded me to speak my dreams out loud and be aware of vibrations. She told me that the story would lead me. It did and guess what? Bam! Thanks to the amazing Karen Jeffery, Artistic Director at Sunset Theatre and grant miracle worker, my exploration project has been approved AND I have been recently connected to Kathleen Flaherty, Dramaturge extraordinaire from Playwrights Theatre Centre in Vancouver. This was my dream of dreams!!!! Kathleen Flaherty has dared to venture with me as my dramaturge for my “Queen Bee” play. Lordy! I mean we are talking about a forty-year wish that I would one day create with this woman! Now, I am working with TWO amazing women with a THIRD in the wings getting my flight pattern in order! I mean WOW, people. It is happening!
Warning: Exclamation marks will continue! I can’t help myself!
In the next few weeks I will be using my blog as a stepping-stone for the play. So get ready for bee metaphors and my meanderings that will go from pillar to post and back again all with great permission from the wise drama guru Kathleen Flaherty who is making me type, type, type! Yeah right, “making me”!
Since my story is based on my mother’s influence on how I survived a hornet’s nest as a kid, metaphorical of course, I was told to ponder some of the key phrases in my outline. My transition from small town Saskatchewan to Calgary as a child was one of the biggest life lessons I have ever experienced. I decided it was time to share it.
This week I am examining, “Stand up straight.”
Mom was always telling me, “Stand up straight. Look them in the eye and don’t let them see you cry.”
What we don’t say in words, the body speaks for us. The lightness of a step when we’re happy, the slow relaxed saunter on a day’s off or the heavier stomp that comes from the burdening slog of routine mirrors our emotional state. So much is said just by watching how we walk.
“Lana, stand up straight!”
Did I listen to my mother? Of course not! There were times in Junior High when I was carrying so many textbooks that I looked more like a Sherpa than a student. It didn’t make me any smarter or get the assignments done any faster but I needed them near me somehow.
When the backpack was no longer necessary and I graduated to a High School locker I maintained the gait. The weight was emotional. Nose out, shoulders hunched, I was driven to find something and my body manifested it.
“Stand up straight or you’ll grow that way!”
There was something rewarding about being hunched over. It was protective in a way, my own personal cocoon. I felt safer.
We all have a clown inside us. Mine is self deprecating. Most clowns are, don’t you think? My clown state is butt to the sky as I bend over in curiosity losing my balance often as I fall through an unsuspecting rabbit hole. My impulsive nature leads me to some very funny situations. Many times I can’t see the forest for the trees until I am slam dunk flat out on my back looking upward after wiping out! So many of my mistakes have been gifts in disguise.
One day I tried it. I stood up straight. A strange self-assuredness came through. It was uncomfortable. My worldview lifted just by keeping my head up. I was calm! What?
No, I did not run into things.
No, I didn’t even trip which I do constantly as I drag my feet through the day.
I moved with ease.
Is that what my mother wanted for me?
I had to laugh. That only took 60 years.
With my head held high the clown faded. It was very satisfying, powerful. The clown still has her place but if I can have both states of being, even better.
Nonverbal communication is everything. People make judgment on you before you open your mouth. It’s all in the way you enter a room. I wonder what I really presented when I entered the school in Calgary that day in 1968? Pixie cut and reworked clothes handed down from my cousin. I had bright eyes and was secretly desperate to be accepted. I had no idea how to conform.
When I look at an old class picture I see something so clearly now. Who else would wear a polka dotted blouse with a striped jumper and just before the camera clicked face away from the class instead of toward them? I remember my teacher saying gently, “Lana did someone tell you to do that?” “No,” I replied proudly. “I just heard a person looks better if they turn to the side.”
My body was telling me from a very early age, “You’re on your own path.”
What a buzz I caused. Hahaha, my lame bee reference. They will get better.
This kid was an original.
“Stand up straight” sounded like a call to battle.
Maybe that’s how my mom saw life, one battle after another. I wonder why I fought that for so long? I wasn’t a fighter. Conflict made me sick.
The music started at church and I danced. My sister maintains I did the twist and then threw my dress over my head! I was fearless, untamed. I sang solos before I even went to grade school. In those moments I was much more reverent. That’s when I really stood tall……hmmmmm….I stood tall when I was performing.
It was there all along but I couldn’t see it.