Last night I checked another item off my bucket list by going to the Grand Slam with some friends. I’d sort of intended to go to the Grand Slam every year, and since this is my last year at WashU I had to make it happen last night. I’ve seen slam poetry performances before, but not on this scale.
I must admit, I’m a little skeptical of putting emotion on display like slam poetry tends to. Perhaps because I prefer to keep my own feelings private or between close friends, I have a hard time accepting emotion so freely expressed. Or I feel like I need to earn confidences, and am taken aback by the revelations I haven’t asked for.
But that reaction makes it all about me staying comfortable. The students who performed their poetry last night are to be respected all the more for laying out their vulnerabilities and struggles and obsessions for all to hear, even those like me who may be skeptical or unwilling to be made uneasy. That’s part of the purpose, right? To disturb the audience from the complacency of life’s routine, to make us think about the things we push aside because we think we need to in order to keep going with normality.
It’s good to remember that normality is a mask, to lift it up and look at the human face behind it.
Thank you to the poets last night who reminded me.
Wondering what might be next? Check out the full bucket list.