If I was having coffee with you, you’d probably give me a killer side eye and call me Judas for abandoning you for so long. I’d sit down hurriedly and greet you with a beaming smile.
“Heya! I haven’t seen you in while but I’m back now. For the time being. Before life gets hella hectic, and my heart goes back to the arctic lets have our coffee.”
I would tell you as you drink your coffee that every once in a while I get plagued by angst and anxiety and have panic attacks.
At this you’d probably look at me in wonder and say, “You? Anxiety? Panic attacks? no way!” Yes way!
I would explain that I haven’t always been a social butterfly or a top grade public orator if anything I’m an unfortunate wall flower forced to be an extrovert by my interests.
If you asked anyone that was at school with me they might express surprise that I do what I do (maybe). I was always a reader but when it came to reading things in front of the class fear would paralyze me. My hands would shake like crazy and my voice would crack.
As you sipped your coffee, slightly taken aback I would tell you how I actually started gracing the stage and reciting poetry. Knowing that I was who I was; a nervous wreck every time I had any public speaking to I spent I’m sure the better part of my second year at university refusing to get on the Bittersweet stage. (Thanks for the patience Mwape!) To be completely honest though, I’m very glad I did. After all what’s the use of writing if I’m the only one who will see it.
And so I started a little at a time getting used to going on stage and telling my stories; to unraveling my heart and telling the tales of my beguiled audience. It soon became a game, a challenge of sorts; I would ask myself how far could I push my story and illustration of reality.
As we had coffee I would tell that there is something very satisfying about getting on a stage and spilling your guts out.
For long after the shakes have dissipated and your voice has cracked, the audience will remember. With luck they will remember you words and at the very least they will remember how you made them feel.
art by Amanda Cass – My Heart is Unravelling