Monday, February 4, 2008

finding inspiration on the verge of a panic attack

i finally break free of the congested 110 freeway for what feels like a stolen escape off the 5 freeway.
temple street.
i find myself on the correct street on the first try for the first time in downtown la and i slip into the parking structure. 
usually i would scoff at this notion of high priced parking when the street is a perfectly good rest stop, but time is ticking, and i convince myself that this $8 is my fee for attending a free reading.
i make it into the annex, and i begin to shake.
i don't know anyone, but everyone else seems to know everyone else.
just as i take my seat, the trembling gets worse and i quickly whisk away to a restroom.
by the time i reach the stall, my hands are shaking so bad i can barely lock the stall.  
in an effort to hang my purse and coat, i drop them both and my breathing becomes shortened.
"calm down, girl." i tell myself.  i have always liked talking to myself as if i was the only friend that really understood. listening to your own voice detach and command your body gives you a perspective on yourself that always makes for good comedy.
i slow down. i take a breath. i take a moment.
i collect myself. i re-enter the rehearsal hall and i take a seat.
as i look around the filling room it strikes me why i am so unnerved. this room is my fear.
i am looking at the life that i want and something about that is liberating and thrilling and terrifying.
like i'm too scared to fall completely in love with it so when i let myself down, the fall will be easier.
and then it comes.
"you are uncomfortable. you are exactly where you are supposed to be."
define clarity.
i feel alive. i feel the same electric pulse like i do every time i step into a theatre or a room with a designated stage. it is my blank canvas, my art piece, my song. 
the play begins, my breathing calms, and i am at ease.
i am home. 

i call him on the way home and i spill my heart out on this fascinating evening where it seemed that all my emotions and worries collided and created something that shook me.
define inspiration.
i tell him that i don't want to get derailed again.
he says it in a way that says, "i won't let you."
he says it in a way that says, "i promise."
"that's so cool," i fumble with a real thank you.
"that's what love is," and time freezes. 
i am home again.

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