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wordsfordreamers

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Month

September 2016

Confrontations

I’ve decided today to share an excerpt from a play I am writing. This feels like poetry to me, although it’s not; it’s stark reality, somewhat harsh, somewhat judgmental.

It is a conversation between two sisters, on a rainy night. One is a dreamer while the other readily gives in to cynicism. As they talk, the living room gradually grows dark, until the girls (women, if you must) seem to be enveloped in a yellow glow, as if their words come from a distant memory.

Their names, at this stage, are not important, but for practical purposes, we’ll call them Liz and Emma. 

Emma: I would like to travel far away one day.
Liz: Where to?
Emma: Indonesia sounds dreamy.
Liz: So, you’d go there to daydream?
Emma (as if already in a distant land): Or Tanzania.
Liz: One doesn’t need to travel to go far, you know.
Emma (whimsical): “One need not be a chamber to be haunted.” Yes, I realise that more and more. But sometimes I feel that I get lost in my head. Like there is no space for more thoughts. Travelling would help me ease up.
Liz (matter-of-factly): Or bottle everything up.
Emma: If only our sorrows could be like messages rolled up and hidden away in bottles… and we would let them sail away at sea.
Liz (with a sigh): I have heard you utter weirder sentences in a day…
Emma (dramatic): Aren’t we allowed to feel the poetry of our days? (Pause. Then, inquisitive) What do you dream of, then?
Liz (playfully): Certainly not Indonesia.
Emma: Don’t you ever feel like sharing?
Liz (in a serious undertone): I dream I’m getting pushed off a cliff.
Emma: What?
Liz: I need to charge my phone.
Emma (puzzled): I heard you about the cliff!
Liz: My phone is not charging.
Emma: That’s what happens when lights go out, love. (She smiles) No electricity.
Liz (frustrated): What on earth am I supposed to do now?
Emma (back to her usual self): Breathe. We could pretend we are in another era. One where we cannot hear the buzz of computers and phones.
Liz: I’m listening.
Emma: There is just too much noise here. I wish sometimes it could be quiet. No horns blaring, no loudspeakers, no music…
Liz: Not even music?

Jazz can be heard faintly in the background, and the following scene is enacted to the music, almost like a coordinated dance. The girls seem more tangible than ever, although they retain a doll-like fragility. The music grows more distinct, yet is not part of the decor. The girls are the only ones who matter.

Emma: Not even. Let’s play ‘Questions’.
Liz: Wait, you don’t even want music…
Emma (interrupting her sister): 1-0.
Liz (indignant): Hey, we haven’t started playing yet!
Emma (now mischievous): 2-0.
Liz (impatient): Fine… (Thinking) What’s 4 * 2?
Emma (raising an eyebrow): Is that your idea of a great start?
Liz: Rhetoric! What is your idea of the universe?
Emma: How many ideas do we have in a day?
Liz: Are there more possibilities to who we can be?
Emma: Will you go on a world tour with me?
Liz (chuckling): When did you last explore our garden?
Emma: Can you say the alphabet backwards?
Liz: Why did you choose Indonesia?
Emma: Why aren’t you asking about Tanzania?
Liz: When will you stop being so childish?
Emma (suddenly vindictive): When will you stop chasing your shadow?
Liz: When…
Emma (interrupting her): When will you stop crying every night? (Pause. Guilty.) Too personal.
Liz (giving up): We will never find the error in our ways.
Emma: We will, when you stop treating me like a child.
Liz (tired of the frivolity): Game over.
Emma: Nobody wins. (Pause) Nobody ever does.

 

 

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Fireworks

This is a selfish post. It’s about me. If you have traipsed in here hoping to find yourself, then maybe you will, in my idiosyncrasies. Or maybe you’ll scoff at my foolish words. Maybe. One of my favourite words. Regardless, this is a beautiful selfish post, if I say so myself.

I have been practising the art of letting go. “The art of losing isn’t hard to master,” I’m told. Not quite the same thing, yet not quite dissimilar. So, I went ahead and lost toxicity. I walked away from ugly relationships that couldn’t be mended. I walked away from unhappy places, from candles that would no longer burn. Things we do to preserve our (in)sanity…

In the process, I realised I had unknowingly, subconsciously foregone my compulsion. I, the list-maker, had not drawn up a satisfactory list in a long while. I, the aspiring writer, had not written as if my life depended on that pen scratching across the paper while I secretly admired my eccentric handwriting. I, the compulsive reader, had not read for pleasure, and was irrationally lashing out in angst at the fictional characters who felt more miserable than me.

My universe has become colourless.
I need the fireworks back.

Being compulsive makes my madness feel explosive, it makes me feel alive and out of breath. It makes me a knower of things. It makes me roll around in the sand and splash in the water.

Today, I choose to go back to who I was.
I choose to love trees with wide-eyed wonder,
To read with happy thoughts,
I choose to discover something new,
To never let go of the madness that drives me.

 

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