I don’t like this game. This game is nothing new. This game is old old old. This game has no end.
So, do I succumb to The Despair or do I suck it up, breathe through the distress, the disappointment, to come through with renewed resolve, with brighter eyes, with refreshed bite…
I don’t know.
Ok, so here’s what happened. This should be my second or third post from Chicago; from a workshop in Bouffon with ‘Le Maitre’ himself, Philippe Gaulier. It was going to be awesome – the impulse last minute applied to end of my summer workshop that would bring all the skills and disciplines I’d explored this summer together in one perfect, grotesque explosion of awesomeness.
I said goodbye to the cottage where I’d gamboled for almost four weeks, ideas and experiences percolating into my deeper consciousness then layering them with sun, gin and ‘pompelmo’, whizzing around in boats, friends… I had my last swim, I was resolved, I had four days to return the bags and bags of dearly forgotten possessions back into my apartment that, apparently despite the multitude of tenants, has been repossessed by Evil Mold Monster and The Noisy Mice. But it’s okay, I got an agenda, I got my list of things to do I got my timetable, I’m going to Chicago and, when I’m back, I’m right into teaching. No time for wasting around, no time for vicious apathetic habits just languishing around my feet waiting to be slid into.
Productive Shopping, a common nemesis of mine, was no match for my determined and positive spirit. Doctor’s appointments made and attended in timely fashion – a referral to Sport & Spine for my back and an agreement with the guy that shrinks my apparently swollen head that this trip was an excellent thing for me and, when I returned in two weeks, we would begin to do an unheard of thing in my swollen head history: start looking at the long term, because it seems there could very likely be a long term.
And then the email comes through my phone:
Dear Chicago Bouffons,
I could have cried. I may have felt the air in my body evac for a fraction of a second. In the grand scheme of things it’s nothing tragic. Two weeks ago I knew nothing about this. I was going to be in a room with people pretending to be missing limbs with blacked out teeth – paying to be in a room to do this. There are worse things.
So, okay, I’m extremely disappointed. So, okay, I’m not broken, I’m not hungry, I’m nothing bad really, just a lost opportunity. There even was an immediate lining, I could now go be at the cottage for the long weekend with my family and we hadn’t been together like this in a while. So, okay, gratitude. I could start teaching a little earlier, maybe in fact make rent this month which I was worried about. So, okay, positive.
Then. Then. I lose my phone. I lose my phone and it’s the end of the world. I’ve been in withdrawal all weekend. I remember the signs from the ciggie cessation weekend, almost three years ago now. Irritation, unnecessary tears, complete lack of logical reaction to anything, alcohol. Okay, not as bad as quitting smoking, but withdrawal nonetheless. And Chicago is near forgotten. A stupid little device that couldn’t even stay in my back pocket obliterates the chance to work with a living master.
This game, this game of the life I lead, the life I dream of leading towards in this newly being discovered ‘long term’. It’s a doozy ain’t it.
I find myself struggling to process this summer – I still have a promised SITI write up to do, something more than the various drafts floating around there – I find myself struggling to realise what these past several months mean to me artistically: I want to act again, I want to be making pieces, I want to be in a room with a small but dedicated group of like-minded artists more interested in the training, exploration and experimentation of our bodies voices and minds coming together to make stories happen. I’m told I won’t find it here. Toronto here. Canada here? I don’t know that I believe it; I don’t know that I’m not worried it’s not true. But where to go.
These most recent disappointments, back in the place I know to be where my worst moments have happened, my biggest trials, put my new discoveries to the test. Can I move forward. Can I handle not having a phone, getting a new phone (good grief, I flipping hope so!) Can I remember all the amazing discoveries of this summer and use them to keep challenging and inspiring myself to push for what I know to be possible.
Well, yes I can. So that’s the challenge isn’t it. Make it reality.
It’s all a game. Fine. But really, if you can’t change the game then you can at least make the Sisyphean leap of recognizing it as such and, hell, you can maybe even enjoy yourself from time to time in whatever version of the game you happen to be in.
Starting this post I hoped I’d come to some sort of conclusion, a resolution, a bright shining message… Hasn’t happened but, doesn’t always need to, does it? It’s not always about the neat and tidy summation but the fact that things happen and we learn to respond and sometimes we learn to explore other possible responses and, occasionally, adapt.