Ugly Reality Mirrors

26 Oct

All of us need and require accurate Believing Mirrors [to] reflect us as large and competent creatively. They mirror possibility, not improbability. These mirrors are held by people large enough and expansive enough spiritually not to be threatened by the size and grandeur of another artist shaking out his sizable wings. – Julia Cameron, Walking in This World

Today I experienced the unexpected anger of a fellow Chick being criticized. After our brave and fun vocal recording session last Sunday, during which all 4 Chicks faced fears and insecurities in various degrees of singing publicly, we all felt energized by having done something we had never thought we would or even could.

We did what we came to do: have some fun and conquer some fears!

I thought I’d be blogging about how exciting it was to let go of my past insecurities in the area of music to just play, while hearing a song in my head take fuller form. However, when a no-doubt “well-meaning” and “good-humored” friend of one of the Chicks chimed in repeatedly to poke fun at one of the Chick’s past singing inability, for some reason I felt this as a powerful blow, far more than this Chick herself.

Why my hurt reaction? Perhaps I’m defensive of this Chick because I’m more objective than she. If it was I who had been verbally “teased” this way, I would have likely excused my own Dis-Believing Mirror for reflecting back the ugly reality. We listen to those Ugly Reality Mirrors more, don’t we? Maybe it’s because those are the negative things we often tell ourselves and find easier to believe. Hence, the fears Chicks and Chucks the world over are trying to face and dispel.

This guy can REALLY sing! An orthodontist by day, David Lowe gave a chilling performance as Cervantes/Don Quixote.

I recently had the pleasure of seeing a friend, David Lowe, give a truly exceptional performance as Cervantes/Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha at the Osceola Center for the Arts. In this poignant musical, those closest to Don Quixote try to break him of his creative dreams “for his own good” (song: I’m only thinking of him). They eventually do so with frightening broken mirrors that reflect harsh “reality” back to him. Needless to say, I was crying at this point realizing how universal and timeless this message is for artists/creative free-thinkers/risk-takers throughout the ages.

I’ve been a soldier and a slave. I’ve seen my comrades fall in battle or die more slowly under the lash in Africa. I’ve held them in my arms at the final moment. These were men who saw life as it is, yet they died despairing. No glory, no brave last words, only their eyes, filled with confusion, questioning “Why?” I don’t think they were wondering why they were dying, but why they had ever lived. When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? To surrender dreams – -this may be madness; to seek treasure where there is only trash. Too much sanity may be madness! But maddest of all – -to see life as it is and not as it should be. ~ Man of La Mancha

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5 Responses to “Ugly Reality Mirrors”

  1. pursuingthemuse October 26, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

    Great post, Tracey! Humor is tricky – people often don’t intend to or realize that they are tearing someone down. That’s why we need our Chicks and other believing mirrors to lift us up 🙂 Love the note about David’s day job – he’s a great example that you do not have to pick the creative life OR the “non” creative life. We all have the capacity for both.

    • charmingthemuse October 26, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

      All true!

  2. Christy Coal (@christycoal) October 26, 2011 at 6:27 pm #

    I really love this post. So thoughtful and well said. When we take risks we are so vulnerable and its important at those time to hear the positive messages coming through. I agree its so important to always be moving forward, growing and challenging ourselves to live our dreams. Thanks again for sharing.

    • charmingthemuse October 26, 2011 at 7:59 pm #

      Thanks for your words of positive solidarity, Christy. Sounds like you’ve a great attitude. Would love to hear your Chick Story of struggle and growth!

  3. followingthemuse October 30, 2011 at 7:31 am #

    Life as it should be! I’ve always loved living in a mini-fantasy world…very often, it becomes my reality.

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