Saturday, October 30, 2010

Heart pounding

Darkness fell over Paris as Notre Dame beamed brightly with floodlights. The library upstairs was crowded. By half eight the place was packed. The usually tranquil room with tall stacks of old books suddenly sparked with life, with onlookers and live performances of poetry, prose, and music.

I was scared merde-less. My trembling voice jittery with “what am I doing up here” fear, pushing past the black mic towards the 30 plus sets of eyes focused on my collection of words about the loose connection between Washington state's apple harvest and an illicit drug trade. It was the piece I selected to read for Shakespeare and Co's "open mic night".

It was a night of anonymous inspiration. Watching a small group of artists, some known, some known only by their mothers, huddled in the stairwell, pounding hearts before they preform their prized works in front of a live audience. A shared desire to express that song or that poem or that story which moved them so strongly they couldn't help but put feeling to paper. And then take that paper and present it to perfect strangers.

After the last performance, everyone gathered for wine, sharing laughs in the library about who wrote that really funny poem or how unique was his voice, or how could she RING the bell, I wasn't finished my apple story.

The world that surrounds Shakespeare and Co is something like a living novel. An infinite network of moving parts, enduring protagonists, heartless villains, and all the passion of a great paperback. Every day that burning sun shines over the south towers of Notre Dame I awake, feeling like I just flipped a page. The real beauty of this story is in not knowing what chapter you're on in a novel that surrounds you.


Pat Bognar said...

Bruce asks: who rung the bell? how could she???? what a story! what prose! I want to read your apple story!

Tenshi Rising said...

You gonna share that apple story? I'm so happy to hear that you grew some balls for a night and did what I know from experience, can sometimes feel like running around on stage naked. ha. I'm sure you inspired lives by doing so. Someone gave me amazing advice the other day. He said, "Megan, you need to stop trying to be profound and just write." I finally understood why I've had writer's block and haven't written about the things that matter most to me - because I feel like it has to be perfect and if it's not, then I just won't write it...which is just dumb. :) When I only write when I'm profound, I write significantly less and rob the world of insight. Write everyday, my friend. And share.

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