The Week of Oct 28-Nov 1, 2013

Ellen Lauren's picture

Perhaps it was Isabel’s ability to dissect the situation in Cuba with such compassion and laser-like vision, giving perspective to the artistic situation there, as well as her own state of being…

Or perhaps it was my quiet few moments with Jaako in the studio at lunch one afternoon, just he and I, and the room, which became a sanctuary despite the energy still trilling the air from classes…

Or it might have been the constant sound of the door to the blue room opening and shutting all through the week, constant activity, which in our small space, denotes constant changing of roles…

Or was it being in the audience for the four compositions on Wednesday, transported to four different landscapes, physically, emotionally, astonished by the breadth of imagination and talent…

Or the seeing of Midsummer in Brooklyn that night and rendered speechless in relief to the afternoon, how much money can account for so little…

Or recognition of what Leon is juggling and pulling off…

Or was it comforting a weeping artist, face buried in a cushion, and realizing how I am there too…

Or… the abundance of Halloween candy around, the cheezy pumpkin lights strung up reminding us all of how fast the wheel if turning really…

Or the whiz of the new Internet connection that flows through the office veins now…

Or the boxes awaiting the upcoming Café Variations tour obstructing the hall, god there isn’t room enough, how will we manage in the months to come, how do we rehearse but we do, and there’s GM ready to go and Barney teaching him and so the oldest ritual is enacted, the exchange of form between artists…

 Or the board meeting where we envision the future, stare at numbers that represent the story of the future…

 Or Sophie’s vibrating spirit as wide as her eyes…

 Or Emily’s wisdom and shine and beauty…

 Or Clara’s brain ticking away that you can hear ten feet away…

 Or Broderick’s waxed mustache curled with evil in his composition, and then later as Isabel spoke, his urging us to find some glimmer of goodness in the history books…

 Or Alanna’s curiosity and self-reliance built on pure goodness …

 Or Elle’s raucous energy and fierce intelligence …

 Or the Thriller enactment on Halloween morning, and then me having to teach, and so I was nervous…

 Or the Flow and Grid reimagined by Barney like a small gift to us all that day…

 Or Andrea’s passion and perseverance (despite her bike’s flat tire)…

 Or Shin Rock and Tina facing off in a scene from La Dispute bringing surging memories of Kelly and I so many years ago at A.R.T….and I never thought there could ever be a competitor to Kelly’s humor and fierce skill, but then here were these two women- and they will have the same explosive experience presenting functioning women presenting dysfunctional women…

 Or Daiva’s ability to age 50 years in 20 minutes by putting a scarf on her head, but it happened in her heart…

 Or Wan Ching’s slyness and power and ability to show her engine is always ON

 Or Leigh’s delicate persona and physical strength colliding together and so we both sit bewildered how to weather this…

 Or Vanessa balancing 100 plates on 100 sticks while riding a bike on a tight rope with a couple of monkeys cackling in her path and still she has time for a goof, for a laugh…

 Or Skye’s kindness, vulnerability, wild child corralling itself to become what she knows she can become…

 Or Violeta’s husky laugh when we All need it most, and then her instant ability to become visible and invisible at the same time onstage…

Or watching Oedipus and Jocasta’s marriage unravel in front of us, with horror, all the while toasting their 7th anniversary channeled by Daniel and Anita’s brilliant turn…

 Or Janouke’s arrangement and teaching us to sing Simple Gifts and under her guidance a sound coming forth we couldn’t make alone but have to be together for, or her sleek dancing, her seemingly boundless energy, and when does she do all this?, and then seeing for just a moment the cost…

 Or Ali’s maturity and innovation to deal with injury, her big rooted sound leading the way for us all…

 Or GM and Maggie seeing their boy who is almost arrived in the ghost of resonant pictures…

 Or the fact that Anne and Barney and Bondo and Brian are north in our summer home of Saratoga working on Steel Hammer this weekend and so I think there isn’t a weekend when SITI hasn’t been running on all engines…

 Or Megan Carter’s graceful, sly presence behind the wheel as she pushes us into these antique texts…

 Or how Megan Hanley looked in black sequins and there isn’t anything you can’t ask her…

 Or Kelly’s ability to create circumstances where a new kind of work, a new kind of art can be made, and we all have to look into this…

 Or the rest of the staff bursting into the blue room flushed with excitement over Akiko’s class…

 Or the meeting with Megan, and her lingering, just a moment, on Friday before leaving as Akiko and I sat conferring together on the couch, as if there was something she wanted to say, and I was reminded of the years and crisis we have weathered together and it clutched at my heart…

 

Or the blown circuits when the microwave and the coffee maker are plugged in, so Brokerick rearranges again, ‘we can Fix this’, is his steady countenance…

 

Or late nights home or the too early to rises…

 

Or missing J.Ed from this home, from the program, and clocking his innovations on the West Coast…

 

Or the cocktail party coming up to fight back the winter’s approach and celebrate   that we’ve made it This Far…

 

…perhaps it was one of these things, or all of these things, so many other things, that made this week last a lifetime, made it fall apart and then resume, made it different, made it impossible to classify, made it painful, exhausting, uncertain, …

 Making the last week of October feel like a beginning.

I’ve been reading that even under the best practices of everyday living, we don’t have much time to meditate on its meaning.  So what we can do is notice our opinions and what stays on the heart. It is, as is said, an exercise in bringing out our intelligence, and to see what we are really thinking. So then everything that occurs is usable, is actually the teacher. We can use everything that occurs. There’s the chaos, and then there’s the chance to lighten up. Everything is there to notice and sit with, to help cultivate a sense of pain and sense of humor and a balanced perception of them both.