I know, I know I should blog about Thursday’s sell-out show at Live Theatre, but I think I may still be processing it! There’s nothing quite like the intense fear that arrives just before performing to a packed room. I was afraid of – forgetting the words, getting blinded by the spotlight and falling off my stool and/or walking off the edge of the stage, people not being able to see me in the bits where I crouch down, people not being able to hear me because fear shrinks my voice, my mouth going dry, some people I know seeing me perform for the first time…
It went fine 🙂 (Thanks to my director talking me through my warm-up with the calm, patient air of a man who has seen divas in meltdown a thousand times before)
But I did want to share one of the erasure-and-response poems that came out of the workshop I ran prior to the show, because it seemed to pluck a truth out of thin air and say something that could be applied to me, why I came back, why I wrote the show…I am using this picture of the back of the Taj Mahal, because I walked the length of it heel-to-toe, barefoot, as a meditation just before I took this shot. I can remember very vividly how that felt, and something about the following poem reminds me of that moment.
tomorrow / everyone / will return / dipping in and out
probably nothing / can imagine / the hand of God
What will have changed about them? It is sometimes not obvious. But this day is always sacred. Always tense. We prepare in silence – conversations peter out, into the length of their journey, their time distant. But this is why they come back – to measure themselves against our reactions. But not only this – they return because it is impossible to always be somewhere else.
My thanks to Alex Lockwood for letting me reproduce this, and for writing it out for me on a print-out boarding pass to Chicago – very appropriate!