Balance is key

Book Smarts

As I sit at my relatively new wooden desk, I look up at the poster framed directly in front of my vision. I think about the text that is printed on the artwork inside the glass frame. I can feel all the emotions of past experiences, past readings, past concerts, past hobbies, and everything else that has come together to form and shape the way my mind is constructed and the way I examine and think about any certain subject in the world. Embossed on the faded tie-dye pink, yellow, and green flyer are the words, “NEW YEAR’S EVE: GRATEFUL DEAD… Breakfast Served At Dawn” (Dead Poster 1). I realize that this is a part of me. The things I see, read, and hear create the person that I am today. I am an ever-changing being, surrounded by books, pillows, clothes; my room, a mess.
I look over the list of books, textbooks, syllabi, magazines, blogs, ingredients, and poems that have consumed within the past week. Writing down each thing I read became confusing, because I read so many different phrases per day. Whether it is an advertisement or an actual novel, each piece of literature in my room represents a part of my inner-self. It just so happens three of my favorite things are New Year’s Eve, The Grateful Dead, and breakfast. This week my reading patterns spiked a bit more than usual. Due to the start of school and, of course, this assignment, I have been trying to cram as many words as I can into my memory. It makes me excited to learn. It makes me excited to restart my hobby of reading novels and poetry often.
I can be characterized as a lazy person with much on my mind. Most of my time is consumed by errands and tasks mixed with fun. When I say fun, this also includes writing. Writing is my outlet for feelings. To be a better writer I must read more. In hopes of broadening my talent range and general vocabulary, I look for books that make me question my reality and realize the moments I take for granted. Luckily, I have been assigned to read a book named, Freeing The Natural Voice: Imagery And Art in The Practice of Voice And Language, by Kristin Linklater. This is the textbook for my most exciting theater class this semester, Introduction to Movement and Voice. I read to learn, so I do not particularly differentiate school texts versus ‘choice’ texts. In fact, many of the books that gracefully sit on my shelf are guides. A guide can vary from a textbook for school to a biography to a long verse poetry book. I learn about the world through what the authors have to say, and in return, I learn more about myself as well.

The most exciting text that I am reading right now is the book mentioned previously, Freeing The Natural Voice. It interests me in the way that the author approaches method acting. The author starts at the basics. This includes breathing, stretching, and relaxation. Eventually, this will help me break down the barriers that I hold between my insecurities and the outside world. I will learn to understand “The wisdom of the body and the fundamental intelligence of [one’s] emotions” (Voice 3). As an actor and a writer, my voice is crucial to understanding the reason for my desired or undesired feelings.

The most important text that I have read within this last summer month has been Song of Myself by Walt Whitman. This whole poem in its entirety has helped me understand my surroundings and how they impact and push and pull on the threads of my existence. Walt Whitman says it best as he describes himself as a being that feels, as we all do:

“People I meet… the effect upon me of my early life… of the ward and city I live in… of the nation, the latest news… discoveries, inventions, societies… authors old and new, my dinner, dress, associates, looks, business, compliments, dues, the real or fancied indifference of some man or woman I love, the sickness of one of my folks–or of myself… or ill-doing… or loss or lack of money… or depressions or exaltations, they come to me days and nights and from me again, but they are not the Me myself” (Whitman 6).

This and one other passage I hold most dear to me. As my other favorite author, Chuck Palahniuk, would say, “Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of effort of everybody I’ve ever known” (Invisible Monsters).Image

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