A year ago I went on a run at night with my friend Joanna Caplan. It was my last day at Double Edge after spending 4 months there. After spending this time when everything I did revolved around art and doing what was required to sustain the environment that could support it. A time when I was surrounded by people who were just as hungry and passionate as I was. It was also right after we had finished our work with Rena Mirecka.
It wasn’t a very long run, just around Ashfield Lake, but as we ran we soon realized we were running into pitch blackness…down the dirt road around the lake, we were running into nothingness. And never had I felt so clear, mentally and physically. There was nothing in my body that felt heavy or painful, nothing in my mind that was fighting against my physical efforts or weighing me down, and in the darkness there was no future destination to anticipate. I was just freely running into the unknown, with only the present moment to experience. If anything, what lied ahead was whatever my mind’s eye could create. At points I felt I was running faster than I ever had. It was a combination of everything experienced and learned in the previous four months, and it was also a moment of embodying presence. In the midst of this physical engagement, I felt like a prism.
I try to remember what that feeling was like, and how I can find it again. Maybe anticipating and setting my sights on obtaining that feeling defeats the principle of it. But for a year I have looked for recognition of this feeling, and asked myself about it, in the midst of a completely different environment, life circumstances, and obligations. Initiating my own theatre work, creating a work environment, teaching and leading others in a methodology that was foreign to them, and continuing a dialogue and relationship within this process that allows our work to propel forward…all despite a busier life and the stress, frustration, anger, and just plain tiredness that comes along with that, all of which I have been feeling.
In 10 days I will be returning to Double Edge and stay for a month and a half. On July 14 I am going to Poland. Originally my trip was planned from July 14-August 2. However I am now extending my trip to August 20. I’m searching for an organic farm to work at for two weeks (not only do I think I’d enjoy it, but it’s definitely better for my budget…), and then after that, I will be working with Rena again, this time at the Grotowski Institute. A few years ago I don’t know if I would have believed I’d actually be doing anything like that/working at the Grotowski Institute…it’s really something I’ve wanted to do for the past several years and it is blowing my mind. Yes it does mean I’ll miss the Double Edge summer spectacle performance, after presumably working on it in a large capacity. But maybe I’ll catch a dress rehearsal before I leave.
I have many questions for this summer, both about my theatre work and my life in general (though the two overlap in several areas). I hope to live in the search rather than expect to reach/fixate on an answer or goal. I will be thinking about how to balance my art and work in a way that is really sustainable for me when I get back to Boston after the summer. But I also hope most importantly to recognize moments of embodying presence. How can I refind it this summer, and how can I find it again and again when I am back in Boston, when I will be working on my play in a greater capacity than I am now? How can I continue to work with freedom instead of judgment? Last summer in Boston I felt a lot of joy and lightness…despite working a crazy schedule, I was discovering and sharing new things and at the beginnings of working to create something potentially great. Now I’ve sort of slouched into a work pattern that is unnecessarily stressful and anger inducing, to me, and though I still train and rehearse somewhat regularly, I can’t wait to rediscover a renewed sense of search and vitality for myself.
"The past will never happen again, the future is unknown."
In addition, I can’t wait to see Joanna’s show Total Verruckt! at the Charlestown Working Theatre, which runs Friday May 24 and Sat May 25. Completely devised solo show created at Double Edge. I’ll be going on the 24th. Hope to see you there.