Another blog for day two - Light House

Tom Nelis's picture

It’s easy to understand, sitting by Stephen’s pond, taking in the rolling hill of his every so verdant and expansive back yard, feeling the surprising force of the wind this early morning, and listening to the the great symphony of natural sounds, the birds, frogs, insects, rippling water and rustling leaves, the hidden creek somewhere close at hand, and watching the dance of the trees the constant movement of the water, the birds diving suddenly from one perch to the next and a hawk soaring at a great distance, and just now a very gentle rain falling like pin pricks on the water, it’s easy to understand the interior sensibilities of Woolfe’s Lighthouse.  Oh, that’s why we’re here.  Stolen time, as Ellen put it yesterday, time stolen away from the city, and also a generous amount of time to be alone together. The tone of the novel is not unlike this experience. The Ramsey’s at their summer house by the sea, from which they can see the distant lighthouse, hear the waves breaking, and walk for a whole day with nothing but a biscuit should they care to.  In such a place ones thoughts become a meditation on one’s life. We come to know the Ramsey’s and their circle through these meditations.

After the low brow - high brow experience of making The Tempest in Vegas/Cambridge these past four months it’s a blessing to reconnect with my mates and experience the warm generosity of West Fulton, which is really in it’s glory just now.  For our second day Ann Hamilton and Ellen have arranged the empty barn into a welcoming space.  Both sliding doors are open to the mountains and lawns beyond them, sheets hang on a line just outside and as a gentle breeze animates them they reveal a white chair facing the horizon.  At the far end of the barn is an intimate setting of two chairs facing one another across a small table. The great expanse of the barn is unadorned until at the other end there is a comfortable arrangement of chairs and benches. We sit in the gathering of chairs and respect the distant table for now.  It seems to belong to the world of the Ramseys.  A lot of lateral thinking.  Chris is taking as many notes as is humanly possible.  What was yesterday’s experience like, listening to various of us reading the novel?  I suppose we are responding as an audience might.  What engaged me and why? And how did I listen or not to the reader?  We circle around and around a thing which we would discover.  What would constitute this event?  We talk a lot about The Event of a Thread, using it as a touch stone at first and later regarding it with something like suspicion.  This is not The Event of a Thread. As a theater co SITI relates to text like a diviner uses their rod to guide us through the experience.  Ann Hamilton and SITI are museing together about what our Light House might be.

We read to one another for another two hours and this time it was difficult for me, difficult to listen, to concentrate, to care or be interested, and interestingly difficult to be inspired by the world around me as well.  What happened?

We will read first tomorrow.  We will continue to circle and then we will have a pot luck diner at long tables in the barn at that will be a circling as well.

Tom