Friday, July 20, 2007

"One Can't Perhaps, But Two Surely Can."

I saw Lookingglass Alice on Tuesday night. After the show, I walked into the lobby with my roommate, put my head on his shoulder and wept. Now, I don't pretend to be the manliest of manly men or even that I don't tend to tear up from time to time at the movies or the theatre, because I do. But I am the typical emotionally crippled masculine persona that tends to hide his feelings (especially the sad ones) from the public. And I openly sobbed in the lobby of Lookingglass' Water Tower space, because what I had just seen had so perfectly encompassed everything that I had once felt about life but had forgotten, everything I tried to strive towards with my work but tended to get sidetracked from, everything I want to see in mankind but so often dismiss (or get dismissed) as starry-eyed idealism. It was my 'fairies are real' moment, and it came exactly when I needed it.

One of my mentors through high school and college (still a good friend) idolized the story of Peter Pan. She sees herself as a grown version of Peter (and honestly, she's got somewhat of a solid claim there). I tried to follow suit. Everytime she made a reference to what would be my eventual turn as Wendy, I protested and protested that there was no way. Growing old? What a waste of time! But I did change, and am still doing so. I may not have 'grown up' in the traditional become an accountant with a wife and 2.5 kids manner, but I've lost some of the naivete that ran rampant through my high school self. I now know why. I've been trying to conform myself to someone else's life for years now. I'm not Peter Pan. I can't stay the same while others around me grow old and discover new diversions -- I want to change, I want to evolve, but at the same time, I want to hold on to that child-like vision of the world.

No, I am Alice. My eyes are on the prize, sometimes to the point of foolishness. I can become so obsessed with where I am going that I forget where I am. And I'm stubborn to be sure, but not so much so that I can't wean a moral from the chaos of life from time to time. I am growing old. I'm not very far on the path yet, but it is happening whether I like it or not. But that's ok, because I do like it, and because I am constantly bowled over by the profundities of life and of love and of death and of myself. But I am lucky enough to live in a world (be it America, Chicago, the theatre world, or my own head) that I can constantly be reminded of how thin the barrier is between complexity and simplicity and how whimsical and delightful life is if I only allow myself to break that barrier. To enjoy what is happening at this moment for the mere fact that it is happening at this moment. To worry less and less about whys and hows. To believe impossible things -- as many as six before breakfast.

Even at this moment, I'm hesitating posting this. My constant struggle with blogging is my need to impress. It feels like everything I post here should be utterly original or at least a profound take on something old. Not this time: a good, old-fashioned sappy-ass gush over the world and how much it kicks ass. That's it.

That's what I'm feeling at this moment.


1 comment:

GreyZelda said...

I loved this post, Paul.

To be quite honest, sometimes I think the philosophical debates in the blogosphere, though they mean well, are really good at weighing down what brings us to our artform in the first place and 9 times out of 10, I want to stop reading, enclose myself in a circle of things that simply make me explode with joy and happiness and take the power I get from the enclosure and turn that into the theatre I want to make. Talk to any artist creating art and they would probably say that very thing.

As any teacher would tell an actor ... "Get out of your head, please." The pure discovery and joy is addictive and it sounds like Lookingglass Alice is dead on.

"To enjoy what is happening at this moment for the mere fact that it is happening at this moment. To not worry less and less about whys and hows. To believe impossible things -- as many as six before breakfast."

Exactly. That's the wonder. And these bloggers can go on and on debating as to what "It" is and how they can create "It" following some formula ... and they'll keep on going around in circles because they'll never get their hands on "It" for they've never experienced "It's" magick. Those who create know what this is, but those who just keep on talking and trying to create some sort of scientific hypotheses for art ... they make me want to grab their shoulders and yell, "Enough talking already! Do something! And, if you can't do it and just want to sit around wondering how it's done, shut up!!!!" I mean, I appreciate the thought that goes into the debates, but sheesh ... enough already.

"It" is lightning in a bottle and sometimes "It" stops by and touches an artist and sometimes "It" doesn't, but ... in the end ... "It" is always a miracle when it all comes together.

Faeries do exist, Paul. I'm so glad you had that experience!!!!