15 February

I think I am a theatre director because I am a good listener. I love a good story. If you want to tell me a long story let me know. I’m all yours. I will sit with you all day and drink in your words, conjuring visions in my mind. I love rehearsals because I get to live in stories, and make them come true for people to see and hear in performance.

Even when I was little, I loved to hear grown-ups tell stories. I think I liked to listen to stories more than I liked to make my own stories.

I would rather listen to someone tell a story than to share a story myself. I can’t tell a joke. I fail with words. I hear them, I feel them, I see them, but I can’t remember them.

The fact that I am daring to speak any Kiswahili aloud is a minor miracle; I struggle with retaining language, and I need things repeated again and again and again before they are slightly retained. I have cultivated a new daring and joy in attempting to communicate in Kiswahili, and I am having a blast.

After I see a film I can never remember a line of dialogue. I’m not one of those people who can quote films 20 years later. Or even 5 minutes later. But I could tell you minute details about what I saw, about the placement of a hand, or a look, or the way an action made me feel, but I will paraphrase and be inaccurate if I try to capture exact words.

I am a visual learner and thinker. I remember details visually, I learn visually, and as a theatre director I love making work that speaks visually. I have a good sense of direction. If I go somewhere once I can return to that place for the rest of my life after one visit. I drink in visual information. I feel what I see.

In the rehearsal room I would rather say ‘show me what you mean’ than ‘tell me what you mean.’ I understand what I see. I am observant. I listen with my eyes.

Writing an observation, or discovery, or lesson, or memory every day for the past 42 days without fail has been a great exercise in using language, in trying to say what I see, to share through words. It has been a great assignment, as I have not written publicly before.

Thank you for reading my words. I hope they help you see what I see, and feel what I feel, while I am in miraculous Kenya. I am grateful that you are a part of my journey, that you are listening and seeing. Thank you very much. Asante sana.


This entry was published on February 15, 2014 at 7:13 am. It’s filed under Culture, People, Teaching and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

8 thoughts on “I SEE YOU

  1. 15 years after I graduated and still I learn from you. Thanks.

  2. njonjokiroga on said:

    You have been a huge influence in my career – my life – already and you have only been here 42 days. Shukran na Baraka tele (thank you and bless you).

  3. Tina Evans on said:

    Loving every post! I’m so happy when I see a new one sitting in my inbox. I feel like this is one of the best vicarious cultural experiences I’ve had in a long time. Thanks for sharing what you see…

  4. marge hilliard on said:

    My friend, we are with you, on every word, every experience, every image, every sight…you have our heart with every word…

  5. Beverly Croskery on said:

    You are a true Visual-Spatial learner. Obviously, when a person tells you a story, you see it in your mind’s eye. My mother was a great story tellert and I love to tell stories, too. Thanks you for sharing your deep and meaningful insights. Blessings always, Bev

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