I have many thoughts. Mostly repetitive rumblings and mutterings. Nothing coherent or profound as I prepare for the final days before The Heart of Shahrazad.
Next week marks the end of a marathon. A year of working towards a new performance. A year of ups and downs. Of excitement and disappointments.
We had a rehearsal on July 29th, that we invited a few of our panel members to come to. (They will be joining our August 13th performance and sharing the work they do to help end violence towards women.) In our discussion following the rehearsal, one of the members discussed the important of a witness to a story. I keep coming back to this idea.
The Heart of Sharhazad is about stories. The power of stories. The power of art to help us heal. It's also a piece that leaves a lot of questions. A piece that wrestles with hard topics and themes - betrayal, violence, justice, healing, forgiveness. Nothing that can be solved in an hour. And perhaps things we may struggle with for a life time.
But part of healing can be the process of bearing witness. To share our stories and have someone listen can be the first step towards healing. And I know that so many artists have stories to tell and the hope is that we can find someone to listen - to hear and bear witness to the stories we create. For in telling our stories and in hearing stories we remember that we are not alone.
Telling our stories is hard. And not everyone is safe to share with. And there are some stories we may never tell. But there are also the stories that when told, to a safe person or audience, can be a start of healing. For artists and communities alike.
There is much that is broken in the world. There is much that is dark.
This is a messy story we are telling. And the process of putting it together has had its share of messy and hard.
But it is also a story about Beauty. And in the midst of the struggle to tell a story we have also discovered beauty that can only be found in the face of death and darkness.
Here's to telling stories. Here's to the end of a marathon. Here's to giving our messy hearts and learning to choose forgiveness and love.
Here's to the hope that beauty and healing will pour from this piece into our cities and homes.
"If we don't share our stories, we will all be strangers forever." The Heart of Shaharazad
The Heart of Shahrazad - http://www.amiche.org/shahrazad/ Coming to Pittsburgh August 13, 14, and 15th