I just spent 45 minutes working on today’s blog and thanks to WordPress having update issues, it disappeared. Lost in the ether. Sadness. And from the loss and sadness, change. Because what I was going to write about – had – in fact, written – is crowded out by my musings about loss and its requisite sadness and the changes that occur.
Last night I went to a delightful updating of a Commedia dell’arte performed by a talented group of high school performers as directed by a dear friend, L. My heart was warmed by the energy, the effort, and, most of all, that my dear L. manages still to have a heart of such abundant Love and Light and Joy that she can continue to teach and make art, and blaze trails for youth who need trails blazed. She is a treasure. She makes the world a better place and she grows better, more thoughtful and insightful and contributing citizens by providing these outlets and exposing her students to wider ways of thinking and seeing the world. We are blessed to have her. I am blessed to call her my friend.
I thought about this as I sat in the very small crowd, many of whom I knew from my long history in theatre in this town. Attending theatre here (anywhere, really) anymore is bittersweet for me. I loved making theatre. I loved blazing trails. I believed in the good I did. Unfortunately, the cost to my soul and self, the compromises I had to make in order to make theatre, these outweighed the rewards and made me increasingly ineffective as creator and mentor. That was a loss for me and in many ways sorrowful, but I knew that I had to change my life.
Sometimes loss and sadness lead to change. Sometimes change leads to loss and sadness. In my case, it was a storm of both, a storm that tossed and turned my world, my reality, and for which the cleaning up of the after effects continues. But last night, in that audience, I sat and stood and walked and interacted with some who knew me before the after, and on the other hand, wasn’t talked to by some for whom the after was too much. The Commedia dell’arte masks in which they have cast me, make me the villain.
So be it. I long since stopped explaining myself. Everyone is entitled to their own reality and I realized – quite painfully and only after long bouts of weeping and wailing and “why”-ing – that once someone has made the decision to see you as a villain, once they have needed you to be the bad guy in the story, if that is where they go and how they spin it, then why in the world would you want to win their love or affection again?
As a dear, cherished loved one said to me recently; “Charlie, face it, most of your family and friends are somewhat insane, and you are expecting rational behavior from people who are not well-balanced or grounded in reality.”
Sort of true, with the caveat, I don’t much believe there is a baseline “sanity” or “reality” – we all have our own for whatever the journey we are on, and sometimes, you (I) just have to accept that only a very few people can see you behind and without the mask, and for all the rest, you (I) must realize – it’s a scripted farce. Don’t take it personally because you are (I am) not a person to them – you are a mask of a character they need in their drama.