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It's been a few weeks since I've sent a message to you all. 'Tis the season... for kid performances, lots of speaking engagements, and a good bit of writing... and I also managed to fit in a half marathon too. But I've missed our twice-monthly dispatches, and will be getting back to a regular schedule this spring and summer.
Work has been ramping up on my next book, Improvising with God, with a September due date for the manuscript. Yikes! But it's been a blast to write, and is some of the most energizing work I've done so far.
It's also really hard work. As much as I'm intrigued by improvisation, especially as a way of approaching life, it doesn't come easily to me. I like having a script and a plan. The improv classes I'm taking are tiring for this borderline introvert. Every Monday morning I have to steel myself to go. I'm in level 2, which means I'm still a beginner, but just experienced enough to know what I don't know. That's a painful place to be, full of missteps and embarrassing silences in which my mind feels like it's gone completely blank.
But the other side is this: I feel energized in class (though gangly as all get out!) and I never regret going. I always learn something about myself and this improvisation we call life. In improv, we don't talk about mistakes, but rather opportunities: opportunities to learn, opportunities to turn a scene around through saying "Yes-And."
In other words, I'm right here:
Here are a few things that have been inspiring me lately... all of which have an eye toward improv:
A Much Better View of the Moon (song) This is a song I've loved for years, and I was reminded of it while working on a chapter of the book today. Sit tight through the goofy intro. Lovely lyrics and sweet harmonies from George Wurzbach and the rest of Modern Man.
Improv your life: How freeform comedy makes you a better person (article) People think improvisation is about being clever or funny, but it's really about paying attention. And couldn't we use more listening in our world?
A Lovely Spring Day (poem)
Here, Steve Garnaas-Holmes of Unfolding Light shares a poem about spring, and about a world of infinite possibility:
...Life is this, not something else. Pay attention. Even God does not yet know what’s in store before unfolding in it.
Tightrope image is from OakOak, a public artist who uses urban landscapes to create whimsical images. A great example of Yes-And.