Tuesday, September 02, 2008

C's first day back at school after an intensely intimate summer during which the most important things were small and private, some too private even to be blogged about...a conversation, love-making, song, wailing, work, fighting, playing, dancing in the kitchen...I called my first book, The Largest Possible Life, because that's what I wanted, to live big, not to be confined to the domestic, the trivial and the unimportant.

This year I have pulled way back precisely in order to focus on the domestic and the private. Hopefully what I sacrifice in breadth is gained in depth. On good days I feel it so, as subtle flavors of joy come to visit. On bad days I feel cramped, passive, and addicted. On still other days I feel torn between the communities and activities which have fed and stimulated me and my desire to be home with C, cooking us a great meal, or listening to music together. (He has ordered a bunch of Kai Eckhardt's CDs and is listening to them now.)

I told Carla I would prefer to do only two things a day and do them well, but that is not actually what ends up happening. Sunday I went to an Interplay workshop in the morning, left early but was late to pick up my Little Sister and spent a cuple of hours playing with her, and then ended up going out with C to get two copies of Hamlet because we are starting to read it aloud to each other. We've almost gotten through the whole first act. He lets me take the long speeches. Bliss...

Last Saturday we caught my teacher Liz Duffy Adams' play The Listener at the Ashby Stage. Great set: "Junk City," with plastic bottles, plastic bags, a curtain made from broken CDs, an old Coke machine, numerous crushed cans, a beat-up red wagon, etc. In these trash heaps squat a group of scavengers, the Finders, who find stuff, the Jimmies who make it work, the Namer, kind of a high priest character, and the Listener, who attempts to contact other survivers of the early 21st Century Apocalypse by means of an elaborately if dubiously rigged-up radio.

I loved the two Finders, who were like Shakespearian clowns, complete with their own rough language. And, having taken Liz' class, I understood how she had arrived at that and could appreciate it even more. The plot concerns an inhabitant from "Nearth" -- New Earth--who has journeyed back in his space vehicle from the colony on the moon where most earthling survivors emigrated as the world bacame uninhabitable. I won't give any more of it away. It was fascinating, disturbing. C was bothered by the ineaxactness of the science and what he perceived of as plot holes--I am untroubled by scientific knowledge myself, so I could accept them. I just ate up the language.

Then Monday i went over to carla's and hung out for awhile, helped her with her stretching exercises. We talked about John Patrick Shanley, a playwright I just discovered. He wrote Doubt which won the Pulitzer this year. I bought his book, "13 Plays," and am savoring it. He's not afraid to give his characters second chances, love, redemption. I feel safe in his hands, like he won't smash my consciousness against the harsh realities of life too violently.

We are getting ready for Elizabeth's and my show In Remembrance Of...which opens this weekend at St. Gregory of Nyssa Church, 500 DeHaro St. SF, 8:00 p.m. Go to www.mendana.org for more information.

Meanwhile, after too much teeth-gnashing and obsessing to retell here, I am going to meet with Phil (along with a Jewish facilitator ally) in order to discuss the spiritual imbalance in Interplay and see how we could diversify it more. I really want the highest outcome--not just to have my own neuroses pacified, but to have it recognized that yes, the whole community would benefit from having more Jews around. Phil asked, "What if we invited a Jewish person into Wing It! and you didn't like them?" and I answered, "Very possible." There are many Jewish people whom I might find annoying, but the fact remains that a group isn't spiritually diverse if it's composed of 97% practising Christians.

Our meeting is tomorrow. I'm going to go swim.

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