Sunday, April 19, 2009

Horses At The Window/Orpheus And Eurydice/Way Out West, The Sea Whispered Me, Part I

Working from the inevitability and universal nature of chaos and the acknowledgment that, as fun as chaos can be, there is none without order, there are two methods of creating sense from non. The first is a minimizing approach: collecting the chaos and placing it into a display case, towering above it, magnifying glass within arm's reach should the desire to revisit on rare occasion strike. This is an approach that allows for forgetfulness by means of a dusty closet. Chaos is something to be tucked away, an act perpetrated, the urge of which can be easily explained in behavioral terms. Chaos as incident(al).

The second approach maximizes. By delving into chaos, adopting a Fantastic Voyage approach and releasing oneself and one's world into the wilderness of disorder, a point is reached at which the chaos becomes too great to be visible. This approach encourages forgetfulness by means of high rise. Attempting to view something larger than your scope of vision has a similar effect as wearing blinders. One sees what is possible to see and writes off the rest. Chaos as ubiquity.

The first approach is delusional, the second escapist. We can no more contain disorder in some ill-fitted petri dish than we could unknot that which we are able to rein in. Yet it does us little more good to construct our maze of glass and continue to wander, content as long as we can see our intended destination. Somewhere between lie Wilder's saints and poets. Sitting outside of Ghirardelli with my banana split Saturday evening after seeing Compagnie Marie Chouinard's Orpheus And Eurydice, I had a saints and points moment.

It's no wonder the sky, especially the night sky, remains such an artistic anchor. There's a relief of refuge in constancy when wading in reality. As I watched the young Hispanic mother, the skater thugs, the Kansan family back to visit mom's alma mater, and the homeless man asleep on the curb; the man in the Caddy blasting '60s soul and the group of bikers blasting the Stones; the white hats in town for the Cubs game and the couple waiting for a horse and carriage to return on the first beautiful night of the season; these and hundreds of others and myself bouncing around as so many atoms, clinging to a sense of direction, hoping to do right by the world, and working to even maintain right by ourselves, it was a semi-regular moment of ease to look up. Because up looked the same. To all of us, all night long, up -- regardless of the reality of the situation -- looked the same.

And maybe that's part of the answer. I like chaos, I do. More than most, I've discovered. But it's good to know that I can immerse myself in the pinball world and at the same time, while knowing better, convince myself that the pockets of certainty I find can be so. And it's even better to know that, after that brief respite, I can face forward and step on, headfirst into not knowing and not needing to, confident grin splayed across my face.

What a lovely fucking nonsense we live.


It was a weekend of Think Theatre. (And all due respect to Remy Bumppo, but they've got a serious case of false advertising using that slogan in a city with this much of adventurous no-wires intelligence in the below radar scene.) Trap Door, Compagnie Marie Chouinard, and Cupola Bobber have tangled a mess of a web in my head that I will try to unweave this week with hopefully another couple of posts. I'm no longer able to discern which thoughts are coming from which show, so I'm throwing it all in one pot. The next post (more a reminder for my own future self) will mostly likely deal with the line between saying and wanting to say.

Marie Chouinard
has already skipped town, so you're out of luck on that one, but you have one more weekend to see both Trap Door's Horses At The Window and Cupola Bobber's Way Out West, The Sea Whispered Me. If you can only make one, go for Horses. As I said to a friend afterwards, the love and war and love in war paradoxical conclusion is the happiest and the saddest I have ever been at the same time. But Cupola Bobber's got something akin to the new American realism up at Links Hall -- like (and entirely unlike) 500 Clown, these are real people really doing unreal things. Hyper-intelligent but grounded in simplicity, Way Out West also comes highly recommended. If you were looking for plans, you just found 'em.

Edit: Out of all the obscure and half-formed phrasing I use on this blog on a day to day basis, I rarely feel the need to elaborate for ease of use. But I just know that the words "new American realism" are going to be read differently than intended far too much. The key word in that grouping is 'new'. This is not your mother's realism, your kitchen sink realism; this is your Paul Rekk realism -- the kind that lives in the same lovely fucking nonsense as I, where real doesn't mean something I understand, it just means real.


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