Tonight I saw Ann Randolph do her wonderful solo show Squeezebox at the Marsh as part of the “Marsh Rising” series. She was vintage Ann: bawdy, brave, vulnerable, smart, wickedly funny and insightful. It felt so good to be watching someone I like and admire pour their heart into their work. A little sad I must admit since it was not that long ago that I was doing a “Marsh Rising” myself and had hopes of a run. I had fallen just before the show ( no doubt from the ALS) and was performing severely injured. It was the last full evening of the show. My swan song.
I will keep working, keep creating and I will always know that I had a great show that should have had a longer life and that will be enough for me, just to know it for myself. (Who am I kidding? It's not enough.)
In the meantime, Mac had a terrifying experience at his school yesterday – a man with a gun on campus – the whole school in “lockdown” – lights out, doors locked and students huddled in the corner. He told me he was probably more concerned because the other kids haven’t realized yet that “bad things don’t just happen to other people.” Amazing how the theme of the fragility of life keeps getting hammered into my head. I get it, okay, I get it. We sat on the sofa that night, he and I, two war vets, silently commiserating as we watched a video.
So I was reading this Rumi poem and it ended with the line you see on the fancy greeting cards “Whatever you love, you are.” I've read it before but this time for some reason it hit me with this enormous force – a sawed off shotgun blast to the chest, ripping a round gaping hole right into the center of my heart. I started to weep. But then golden light started to enter the hole and with it incredible joy, which didn’t push the pain out, but just spread itself around and through the pain and I looked at Rumi’s words again. Whatever you love you are.
I am a solo play. I am a song. I am laughter. I am a practical joke. I am all of you. I am Maclen.
I am a poem.