When you were a newborn baby did you know how to talk?
This is a question that I ask my students when I teach theatre classes. There are always a few blinks and a few heads turning to see what someone else might say until finally someone confesses that, no, she did not know how to talk because she was, after all, just born.
Exactly, I tend to agree with the confessor, you had to learn how to talk, and it took a while to learn, right? And then everyone nods.
Theatre is no different. When you walk into a theatre class you don’t immediately know your lines, your cues, or how to act without looking like you’re acting.
It’s an evolution. And evolution takes a while.
I ask that question because I want kids to take a deep breath and understand that they don’t have to be perfect. They are allowed mistakes. Lots of them. Honing a skill takes time, practice, and the strength to let go of the external pressures, judgements, and insecurities that can so easily hold us back from our own evolution.
For her interpretation of “The Latest Fad, Cynde Randall explores that bumpy evolutionary road through detailed visual vignettes and the following thoughtful insights.
“Michelle Meyer’s poem “The Latest Fad” provided me with an opportunity to meditate on a mysterious paradox of human experience, which is that the seemingly ‘real’ external, physical world is completely fleeting; while the internal (and completely invisible) realms of soul essence and love, endures. This is not to say that life is not challenging. And if we look for it, the physical world will provide plenty of evidence to justify our suffering.
The protagonist in Meyer’s poem has a bad day—The Worst Day of Her Life. She chooses to attach to her suffering (her sadness) and then—seeing the world through this lens—manifests a sequence of things in a reactive way. She becomes wildly successful (in conventional, capitalist terms) and then something mysterious happens to release her. She lets go of her sadness and is free. The world does not appear to notice which, I conclude, does not matter at all.
My illustration of Meyer’s text depicts a sequence of cloud-like windows that begin in the lower right-hand corner and move clockwise around the composition. Eight vignettes lay out the narrative—from the initial shrine to The Worst Day, through the additions made to the shrine, to the full-flown monument to sadness, to an audience of fans, to loads of money, to being a star at conferences—ending with a swan sitting in a beautiful new shrine. These perimeter images give way to the central square composition. Here a beautiful Luna Moth floats in an ancient, moon-lit landscape illuminating both the timeless flow of nature and the grace involved with letting go.”