I’m heading to my house-sitting gig. It occurs to me, it has much in common with all the other jobs I’ve done: writing, acting/directing, teaching. All of these involve occupying, understanding and caring for the spaces of others. As a writer or an actor/director, it is required that one go inside the heads, hearts, and souls of the characters one is creating and, too, to have some understanding of the bigger picture; what came before, how things work in the world one is taking part in creating. As a teacher (and director) one needs also to have some awareness of the way the minds of one’s students/actors operate and how their psyches process thought and emotion, how to best communicate the things one is trying to impart.
I have, it seems, spent a life walking into the homes of other people and temporarily tending to them, trying to make certain that when I go, they are at least as well-cared for as they were when I arrived, and, when possible, improved.
Maybe what I’ve done all my life should be called “soul-sitting.” Maybe, it’s what we all do. We travel on this journey into and out of each other at varying levels to varied degrees for various periods, all of these being unpredictable and frighteningly random.
I’ve been, throughout my life, far too consumed with the “why” of it all. I attribute this to having begun studying acting technique when I was ten, when given Bolesavsky’s “Acting; The First Six Lessons.” Then, too, the writing. Acting and writing both required knowing the why of every word, every thought, to have an in depth – even, metaphysical – understanding of the intent and purpose and motivation behind every letter, every breath, every sound, and every silence.
Last night, I found myself one more time having a conversation with a best friend along the lines of, “Why? How did this happen?” I’ve asked that of myself for so long about so much. Socrates would be proud of me, I have examined until I’ve nearly gone blind, or, completely senseless with the searching for meaning and intention and motivation and REASON in the “big picture.”
Where I’ve ended, now, here, going, is at this conclusion that there is no “why” – not really. There is no plan. The problem is – as always – in trying to FIT anything into a size small enough to be labeled. Reason would require that there be a beginning, middle and end – and finally, there are no such things. Time is another illusion of trying to shape things into manageable size, to give reality a shape we can conceive.
There’s the trouble; we can’t. It’s all too connected. It’s all too infinite. If we think it makes sense, if we think we “get it” – we are fooling ourselves.
I have, often, been just such a fool. I have thought I knew or understood situations or people. But, no. Not really. Any understanding is temporary, a brief stay in a place that will change and that can never really be home. All we are ever doing, even with ourselves, is soul-sitting. And what I hope for now is to leave without having done any damage, and, perhaps, even brought a little light and love to the place.
So, time to pack. I’m off again.