2001-06-29 - 10:14 a.m.
walking around with my guts hanging out
a couple of months ago jo3 and i went to a party. it was the most unusual, amazing party i've ever been to. see SaysMan, who works with jo3 has this friend (whose name i have now forgotten) and she decided to quit her job and become a full-time artist. SaysMan asked her who he should to invite to the party to celebrate. she said:
"invite a bunch of creative, incredible strangers."
so there we were. there were of course a bunch of people who knew eachother, and then there were a bunch of people who were strangers. but everyone was a creative, amazing, artist-in-training, or artist-wannabee, or just plain artist.
when jo3 and i walked in there was a poetry reading going on in the kitchen. and the poetry was good, too. not the kind of dreck i remember from the other poetry readings i've been to. it was really good.
in the garage there was a dj laying down some tunes, and people were painting on the walls (and eachother).
jo3 had written a new song for the occassion, with a bunch of techno-styled backgrounds. we set up both our amps and his digital recorder to serve as the portable band. he played his song, and it rocked. then the both of us did "all tomorrow's parties" to some techno-styled backing that i'd put together that morning.
then a woman played harp, and some other people played and sang. there was this one guy with an amazing gravelly blues voice. jo3 and i jumped in on some of the blues songs. then there was a huge sing-along.
at some point i played "dear samantha".
at some point, i read a poem. see, there was this guy who brought four poems he'd written, one for each of the elements. i picked one up, and our host said "read it". if you know me, you should know that it takes no convincing at all to get me to read poetry out loud. so i read it. and there was a word in there that we didn't know, so we went and found the poet, and asked him.
then someone said to me, "read it again". so i did.
i can't describe the guys reaction. i really can't. he was bowled over. he told me that he was too nervous to ever read his work for others, and that it meant a lot to him to hear it out loud. he thanked me for "giving his work voice and body". it was one of those amazing moments, and i shared it with a guy i'd just met.
you see that's really what made this party so amazing. everyone there was creative in some way. and as such, they all knew intimately the fear and excitement and pathological urge of sharing something you've created with others. they knew how nerve-wracking it can be to turn to strangers and say "i made this, and it's worth your time to experience it."
and they were the most supportive people i've met in a long time.
they would rather have heard an original song that was sheer crap, than sing along to a song they all knew by heart. it was all about creation and mutual support.
you see, at that party, we were all walking around with our guts hanging out. we didn't go through the normal meeting eachother and learning all the little trivial details about where you work, and what was your first pet's name, and did you vote for nader, and blah, blah, blah. normally when you meet someone knew you see the image of themselves they want to project. you see the mask when it's on the tightest. and it takes a while of getting to know them to get through that, for them to trust you enough to drop the mask.
but when you share something you've created, you're showing people a chunk of your innards, something that comes from your core.
i met a bunch of creative strangers and we showed eachother our insides, and there was not a mask in sight.
to me, that is what diaryland is all about.
we're all here, showing our innards to the world, putting our masks aside for a while and being ourselves.
and it is my hope that since we're all engaged in the same endeavour that we'll be supportive and forgiving of eachother.
someone signed my guest book today, and included the phrase "I hope it's alright I read this".
of course it is.
that's the whole point.
i've been keeping dead-tree journals for years, and if i didn't want anyone to see this, i'd write it there.
SaysMan told me that creating something and keeping it to yourself, not sharing it, is like pissing in a wetsuit -- it makes you feel warm, but nobody else can tell.
the point of it, the reason i write here, is to try to recreate the feeling i had at that amazing party.
i want to walk around with my guts hanging out, and see everyone else's guts. i want a feeling of community and sharing and support.