When It’s Over, It’s Over


The good thing about making things public is that it becomes very hard to change your mind.

All day today I felt kind of shitty.  Of course, the fact I stayed up finishing the theatre version of Saint John the Divine in Iowa until 2am, and then got up before 8 didn’t help.  But the truth is, I’ve been seeing I have mini meltdowns whenever there are endings.  I didn’t quite catch this one–the lovely Marc Ewart had to listen to me rant for 5 minutes (or ten, because when I’m ranting I don’t exactly count).  But, 5 minutes, 10, poor Marc, but it’s forgiveable.  I mean, I’m ending 8 years of my life.  It’s…well, terrifying.

And this slam, my 28th (not counting the franchises…if you count them, then over 35), was the best one I’ve ever done.  It was a terrible amount of work, and I have some bonusing to do–again, the lovely Marc Ewart–but all the business decisions were sound and they worked, so it was the best artistically and it was also the most lucrative.

And I hate the administration.  I hate creating and printing the scorer sheets, ordering and picking up programs, doing budgets, checking reservations over and over again, marketing, posting, press release writing, making the calendar and organizational structure.  The sad thing is that I kept thinking it would be worth it some day–not just worth it politically, or to create opportunities, or to make socially relevant art–but worth it to me, to my own growth as a spiritual being on this planet.

I’m not meant to be an administrator.  It stymies what is best in me.  Administration is about containment, and I am at my best when I am setting things free.  Creating the slam concept, figuring out how to make it work–that was the good part.  Picking plays, promoting actors, teaching them, mentoring, directing, writing parts for my students–that’s part of setting free.  But the day-to-day business of the company put me in a cage of my own making, and mostly I just chafed against the bars, trying to get free.

Which is all to say that I am very sad.  I miss my friend Don.  I want him to be here, I want to be talking to him about directing Saint John the Divine in Iowa, I want to be worrying if he’s ready for it, if he’s too new to directing, I want to be tempting him back into theatre, I want to be tempted myself by how much I trust him, I want to see if he’ll succumb again, I want to see if he’ll finally say no.

I am so scared about my next.  Buddhism is about accepting what is, and in this case it’s accepting that being a producer, an administrator, is not me.  And it does not give me the power to create the art I want to create.  It keeps me from doing it.

Today I left the gym, got in my car, and started crying.  I cried all the way home.

In this culture, I’m supposed to be okay.  Already.  Not even a month later.  I’m not supposed to be in this place of spinning, and when everything stops–which it does, sometimes–the way I MISS HIM.  I miss trusting him.  More than anything, I miss that.  I miss the safety.  I miss his good heart.  I miss the sense of easy welcome, I miss knowing when I call, I’ll hear gladness in his voice.  I miss listening to him–he talked too much, and he told me the same very personal stories over and over again, but I loved him, so I didn’t mention my photographic memory, I just listened, and because I listened, I got to hear the one or two small things that were new, and inevitably very important to have heard.  Sometimes I think that was my best gift to him–not the artistic collaboration or opportunities, but just listening when I knew most of what he was going to say.  I didn’t resent it.  Isn’t that a miracle?

Can I walk into my life knowing I am a creature that is meant to set things free?  Can I be the very one I am, because I might wink out like that, that unexpectedly, so unfinished?  Can I love better?

I am sad about not doing slams any more.  Even though it really was always kind of bad for me.  No.  It was bad for me.  It was a great thing, but not so great for me.  It didn’t feed my soul, and I was very confused by that, because slams are great, really great, they are a good thing on the planet, and I made them.

Can I walk into my life, drawn more fully into the selfish, into the thing that sets me free?

I wrote the character of Jesus into my play these last couple days and I realized that the most important relationship for the minister character is that one, the one she has with her own spirit, with the Jesus who comes to her, whose pain she comes to understand.

I am obsessed with the passion of Christ.  I am obsessed with the idea of forgiving people in the very moment that they are hurting you.  Because I am not that person.  Mostly.  I am not.  But I can imagine it, and how it goes against our very biology, the very structure of our brains, and yet our spirit has this capacity to cut loose from its moorings and become something so big, so full of light…it’s happened to me.  It was terrible.  Wonderful.  The awful freedom of unending expansion into being everything, which is the end of the self, and the beginning of something I don’t understand.

And then I return.  To this moment.

In which I am sleep deprived.

I hate endings.  I know they need to be marked, and some people marked this for me, because I forgot to.  I think they must care about me to do so.  I don’t really think about that.  What other people feel about me.  I am a John Sarno recruit because what I think about is whether I’m doing enough or not.  Whether I’m being good enough for people, whether I’m for them.  Tonight there were some people who were for me.

In the ending of everything, there is that.

All the people around Don’s bed, holding onto his warm hands, his small feet, silent, witnessing, for him.

We should not be alone in the things that end.  There should be someone there who is for us, who knows the very one we are.

I think that happened, unexpectedly.  A Snoopy toy and some flowers.  That simple.

May I keep falling in love until I die.  With the very same list of people.  With the daily detritus of life.  With unending expansion and tiny details.  Not metta.  The passion of existence.  When the life inside is so big, you can’t say it.

May you feel that life in me, streaming toward you, Don.  May you feel it, all of you who I have ever loved, and will love again.

An ending.

And a long blog to deal with it.

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