I was just winging it.
Have you ever used that phrase, convinced you got away with something because you really hadn’t prepared for it? And yet, it went well!
Let’s say you were asked to give a talk on a topic with which you have some expertise. You wrote down relevant points, but suddenly had an undeniable urge to clean your kitchen. Part of you was convinced you would make a fool of yourself if you didn’t spend every spare moment writing and re-writing your speech. Another part of you, this sudden clean freak, kept scrubbing ~ finding and purging your kitchen of stains that could barely be seen by the human eye.
When speech night arrived, you were nervous and self deprecating. Why didn’t you prepare better? However, once you started to talk, you decided you might as well speak from the heart. It turned out that your particular audience wanted just that. They responded warmly, and you felt as gratified as you did relieved.
Is it luck that made your speech go well? Or did your intuition urge you to avoid over-thinking and over-writing a topic that you could speak of with great passion, if only you got out of your own way?
Sometimes winging it is really allowing yourself to fly above your own self imposed limitations.
I ask myself if I really want to judge language that wants to be spoken or a character who wants to show up. I understand that I am both the director and the follower of my art. I am well aware that the story or poem is wiser than I am and that I must manage to get out of my own way for it to come out of sacred hiding or to open wide enough on the page to allow a reader entry.
…………..~ Parthenia Hicks (Los Gatos Poet Laureate 2010- 2012), Artist’s Statement