taking stock


Since January 2015, not counting the work in my town or two brief vacations, I’ve travelled 25 times (12 since January 2016) in nine states (multiple cities) and two countries. I’ve had productions, workshops, readings, fellowships, scholarships, funded-research trips, conferences, and residencies.

I’ve worked on a dozen plays (some completed, some in rewrites, some being wrought) in many genres including composing as well as wrighting, can’t count the number of plays I’ve seen or plays I’ve read, colleagues I’ve met, friends I’ve made. One thing I am able to count is new MOT. In the midst of these gifts, the greatest of all is colleagues and audience who ‘get’ me, ‘get’ my work, don’t need explanations of what I’m doing or, worse, need to refute that I know what I’m doing because they don’t. This year in particular has been one of discovering that out in the world, I routinely earn respect. Gratitude for having been in those right places at those right times with those right people – the vast majority of folks I’ve met and interacted with – ‘gratitude’ doesn’t begin to describe the combination of jubilation and relief I’ve experienced almost nonstop, tho it does describe my behavior on a daily basis.

Just prior to the last, 6-week journey, I took guitar and clarinet back up. Full confession, when I picked up the clarinet I put the mouthpiece on backwards – and still made sound – sorry, neighbors. I’ve been back from that trip for two weeks and am having a bit of respite now, which would be even more relaxing were this town not at a steady 80% humidity, but even that is a blessing. I figure I’m sweating out whatever harmful elements have accrued in me, down to the bone.

To achieve this feat of taking stock – made more interesting in that I was without a working phone for a month, recently, and am on my sixth functional computer since last August – I reconstructed my activities from old and others’ calendars. My guess is that I’ve left some somethings out, but also I guess I’m not missing anything, I’m more than replete, I’m supersaturated, a complex syrup awaiting crystallization. In the two weeks since my return I’ve wrought a little, made a former storage-room functional (I’m writing this in it now), had my first guests in my “new” apartment (moved in 14 months ago) and showed it to two other friends, cooked (in the heat, but when ya gotta), cleaned (ditto), and tried to sleep. To remember my dreams.

On the last stop of my long series of sojourns – a series which also included selling a house and suffering through the deaths and memorials of two not-old beloveds to cancer – my Tarot was read by a woman who calls that endeavour her ‘pro bono to the Universe.’ Amidst the tales she told, borne of the cards and little else (I kept very mum) was impending bad news from home about someone close from my distant past. I returned to discover that my best friend’s mother had died that week, my best friend who had succumbed to AIDS in 1994. The Tarot reader spoke about a man who would be opening doors both imminently – the next day, my mentor at that conference paved the way for my one-ever troublesome play to come into its own – and in future. She painted glorious experiences throughout the next year in which I believe a bit more because of the two already-proven predictions. She also said that soon I would be having a rest.

That didn’t seem to be the case upon my return home, as I found myself cleaning and laundering and rearranging and hauling in 90°+ heat. But the wrighting I achieved was rough and slim, not my usual habit, and I began to wonder if she was right about my resting as well. Since I had that thought, I’ve played more device-games than I can count, both card and physics, sweated, dozed through old TV shows, showered up to four times a day. I’ve had meals with friends, met an out-of-town visitor at a local museum, taken a few walks, danced a bit, drunk less coffee. I’ve been reading a classic book which has nothing to do with any research – tho its philosophy probably underlies everything I do – and tried/failed to read fiction.

Today? A nap, I think, a few thousand more games, a little dancing, another nap. Until it decides it’s time for me to get back to work. I’ve done enough, for a little while, to permit, to welcome, a bit of rest.








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