During August 2008 while on a spiritual retreat at Monastere de Recluses Missionaires in Quebec, Canada I self-identified as a playwright. I lived with a convent of nuns who were spiritually devoted to prayer and meditation. During the stillness of my life at the convent the playwriting began. Over time I came to realize that my professional career as a speech and language pathologist had prepared me to write conversation. My daily professional life was about communication. It was also about suffering, perseverance, and triumph.
Professional experiences together with those while being a companion, mother, sister, friend, acquaintance and colleague, encouraged me to ignore conventional boundaries and focus on truth. When writing drama for the stage I attempt to release the inner life of a character so the truth of whom he or she is can be unobstructed. Essentially I strive to be receptive to the truth of the characters placed in my care and not get in the way of their story. The unexpressed words that create their actions as individuals are usually the most important. I attempt to expose it all in moments.
One of the many benefits of my practice of meditation is a cultivated appreciation for moments. A moment, in plays, whether listened to, read or experienced through the interpretation of directors and actors offers a priceless opportunity for people to rehearse life and practice being human. We can view life and its often tumultuous ride literally without the personal real time drama. The view can be insightful and entertaining when at its best. That’s what this is all about, “best”. In a 2004 during a lecture on creativity, Buddhist monk Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh shared that his goal, when writing his poetry is to, “Do my best”. As he advised, I do my best when I write striving to allow my work to embody my insight and compassion as I walk this path called “living”. So here it is. As I walk my path I write.
Many thanks to Frank Silvera’s Writer’s Workshop, Woodie King Jr.’s New Federal Theatre, Harlem Arts Alliance, African Voices magazine, Dardo Galletto Studios, Jewish Women’s Theatre, Artistic New Directions, Urban Stages, Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York, University of Toronto Creative Writing Program, family, friends and many supporters. Please accept my appreciation and gratitude.
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© 2015 CECELIA DAVIDSON
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