The Beginnings and the Endings

The Beginnings and the Endings
Sunday morning musings over a big mug of coffee...

After a storm,  I think what I enjoy the most is the stillness.  Nobody seems to be in a huge rush.  There is no need really.

I was thinking about the anticipation of new projects and then the closing of the show.  Both are major events in our lives as performers and artists. 

We prepare incredibly (or should be!) for a new project.  There is a wind-up process that we create - physically, emotionally, mentally - how we prepare and take on that project.

So often,  we are not prepared to take on the ending with the same understanding.

Post-show blues is very common for us.  In fact,  I don't know ANY performer who doesn't feel some melancholy when a gig is over, or a show closes.  We can feel it on all levels on consciousness - physically, psychologically, emotionally, spiritually.

Is there something wrong?  No.  It's part of releasing that creative energy.  Allowing oneself to feel and sense that fatigue/blues/sadness/emptiness is an important step to understanding the full process of the arc of a project and your part in that.

A project and/or gig can be like a perfect storm.  And then,  after the storm,  the stillness.  Often we, as performers,  want to fill that stillness with more stuff - to keep busy, to keep pushing, to keep doing...

Perhaps the idea of being still is how our psyches allow for ending well.  Perhaps being still gives us that reflective time,  that time to feel melancholy,  to see the arc from the other side,  to give time to discover "closure" before we move past it.

Perhaps feeling blue isn't a bad thing at all.  It allows for so much of who we are and what we do to settle,  re-focus and become a part of what we take to the next.  The ending fills and fulfills the action of the doing.  It needs time and stillness to permeate.  It needs reflection.  It needs rest.

As I have learned in so many ways over the last couple of years,  the body and the soul will always let you know what they need.  You simply have to be aware or they will slam you with it if you aren't paying attention.

The arc of an artist's project  reveals his/her process and it has a beginning,  middle and end.  That ending must be acknowledged in order for you to step back and see the larger picture.

So at this time of year,  when storms are inevitable for those of us who live in the north - and if we look to the celebration of the Winter Solstice  and any religious or spiritual celebration  - it is a time of year to be still.  To wonder.  To reflect.  To allow us to feel,  to hibernate,  to recognize,  and simply give ourselves permission to not run and jump to the next, but rather to focus and assess and be where we are.

The beginning is exciting - full of possibilities.  The ending is melancholy perhaps,  but it is satisfaction,  gratefulness,  contentment.  Allowing oneself to take in the ending,  is as important as choosing a beginning.

Happy stillness.

Susan Eichhorn Young covers all things voice—strong and sophisticated singing and speaking. 

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