Nantucket Flight, Acting, Mind/Body, and the Rocking Acting Class…the day before 9/11/11


I will say this about the mind/body stuff:  I am, at this moment, procrastinating about writing about rage.  It is still morning, right?  At 11:37am.  I have 15 minutes to put in this morning.  Or soon.  And I will do it, because guess what?  I have not worn the sacroiliac belt since my appointment with the lovely and kind Dr. Martinez.  I have slept on my side for the first time in two or three years, which meant I actually slept well.  I have had very little pain.  I am a skeptic, so I keep saying, really?  I’ve had two days break from it before.  BUT, usually just turning on my side is enough to ruin it, and I slept on my side all night for two nights.  So, one day at a time, I have a perfectly healthy back, hip and sacroiliac joint.  I also, it seems, have a lot of unconscious rage, getting conscious, have to figure out what to do with it, but it is, according to John Sarno, completely normal.  The evolution of the human race and its collective brain has not yet reached a point in which we’re not all packing rage into the amygdala or whatever.  Unless maybe you’re the Buddha, and he was tortured by Mara even after he awakened.

Sometimes I get the feeling I’m waking up, again and again.  Not that I’m enlightened, because I still love to swear.  Only maybe not quite as much.  I may even be giving up my attachment to being a person who loves swearing and who believes she is REACTIVE.  That would mean I am learning no self.

I left a space there for no self to happen.  Just in case.



But, I digress.

SO, I FLEW TO NANTUCKET YESTERDAY.  Lest you think I am so enlightened that I grew wings, I must mention that the pilot and co-pilot of the single engine plane that took me (and my partner) to Nantucket were really fun to hang out with.  I love small planes.  I love hovering above the earth, looking at how bodies of water honeycomb the coast of Massachusetts.  I love the city stars shining out of buildings, the snaking of cars up 93 at night, the press of headphones, the microphone in front of my lips, the way the plane leans and dips, the instrument panel.  I love the company.

And, I’ve had a handful of auditions in the last couple weeks and I approached them differently.  Usually I prepare and prepare.  I do yoga, I warm up my voice, I do sense memory work or I listen to music that makes me cry, I get all available to myself and the work.  But this year (September really does feel like the start of the year to me) I decided that if I was going to step down as Artistic Director and just be an actor, I had to make auditions no big deal.  As in, memorize enough, do 10 minutes of yoga, 10 minutes of meditation, and go do it.  And you know what?  I had fun.  Acting…I might mention that I LOVE ACTING.  I mean, LOVELOVELOVELOVELOVELOVELOVELOVELOVE.  I have sort of kind of maybe I don’t know given up my attachment to acting–like, I can be happy if I don’t act, and I don’t have to be a star or anything, but really, life is improved immensely by more acting with really talented and kind people.  So, auditions can just be…normal.  So I can do a lot more of them.

On top of this, my fall class in the Meisner technique looks to be AMAZING.  I haven’t taught the full training for a couple years, partly because I know how intense it is for me (not to mention the actors, who have to have a level of emotional stamina and commitment).  Yesterday’s class rocked my world.  I was happy all day.  Everyone in the class took a huge step forward in their ability to embody the Meisner connected- uninhibited-present-moment-reality.  I got so excited about their scenes I decided them in class 2!  I can’t wait to teach the next class.

So, as I enter this day, this anniversary of terror, I have with me these very simple things–a healthy body, a feeling of flight, and the freedom of acting and watching other people enter the liberating creativity I love.

Always, the paradox.  We love, knowing we will die.  We feel joy, even while remembering the smell of jet fuel, the clouds of gray dust hanging over Ground Zero the Saturday after the event.

I saw those clouds from the roof of an apartment building in the Village, while I did the Meisner repetition exercise with my partner Carl.

September 11 is also my brother’s birthday, as if he didn’t have a hard enough road to walk.

Lovingkindness for all of us, always.  As we erupt, as we remember the need for peace.  As we extend our hearts to each other.

New York Requiem

By Lyralen Kaye

For Jonathan


Papers flew in the air like birds,

he said, and it looked so


a sea of drifting papyrus

drifting remnants of trees.


Of course, the soot came later

raining ash and char.  And later still,


to clean away the airplane fuel.


I found a man’s business card

in the grass, he said.  One

of the papers.  One of the burials.

I wish I didn’t have to go to

services any more.


But they looked like wings.

You could imagine them falling

for other reasons, you could imagine


dropping feathers

of hope, you could imagine

dancers riding the airwaves

you could imagine another


another world, another life.



Urban Legend 9/11/01

By Lyralen Kaye

They said

a fireman

found the



balanced on it

like a


like an angel,


that one

right sliver of


through the



into the


and walked

away clean.


we wanted

to believe

in him

as we stood

in the



the dust





toward heaven,

how we

wanted to

hear his


in the Times


where the music


cacophony of


had died,

where no cars


where no


changed color,


we wanted

to see him


the windows

of Carnegie

Hall beside

the tiny


how we


to raise

our voices

to say

he was

coming, he

was coming

after all.

Whispering to Each Other in the Darkness by Lyralen Kaye


I turn off the car radio and sit

with my brother in the darkness

of a Pennsylvania winter.  He is crying

and I am looking at the moon.  He asks


me to stay, he begs to come with me.

Across the stiff grass is a tin shed

that protects him from sudden beatings.

I have been the one to find him, his knees


tucked beneath his chin, dark hair swept

over his forehead, legs that won’t stop

shaking.  I have led him inside, my arms

hung around his shoulders like a shawl.


Now, we sit without speaking, and I

am thinking of the warmth of milk

tested against my wrist, the brushes

he pulled through my hair, dolls caps


I placed on his head.  “You are my real

mother,” he says.  Fingers of streetlight

briefly touch our wet faces,

shadows clasped tight in our arms.