Friday, February 4, 2011

The Play

So I am IN IT with the play right now and I kind of want to tell you this but I kind of don't: I am really happy doing this, I feel so much joy. I am the recipient of some gift, my writing seems to have improved exponentially and every spare minute is going into the crafting. I didn't want to tell you in case you are having a shitty time right now. Who wants to read about other people's happiness? Yech.

Now I am seeing the ten years that preceded this play as preparation and for one sweet moment, life is balanced and good.

I am writing about a party I threw when I was fifteen. I was caught, spectacularly and unforgettably, by my parents who had no idea of my manifold wicked ways. In the context of being an adolescent girl in an Evangelical Christian household in a small town in New York in 1983, it was an unparalleled formative experience.

My whole life the memory of that party had filled me with shame and the fact that people in Corning were still interested in talking about it 27 years later annoyed me massively, really, really bothered me. I went to one high school friend's wedding in Eastern Europe a while back and her father cornered me at the reception and just asked me all these questions about it. It was so uncomfortable and awful.

Now that I am older and wiser, though, I know that enlightenment requires you to look precisely at the things that seem uncomfortable and awful to you in order to figure them out. Trying to see it all as a play with characters and themes and plot and a historical and cultural context, well, it is cathartic and amazing.

The wind is strong today, it's unseasonably warm and the gusts are so strong that bike traffic is getting blown to the curb. In my upbringing I learned that the Greek word for Spirit was the same as the Greek word for wind. That always made the wind so magical to me. The wind is blowing away all the pointless shame, and brings the words to the page. It's all magic. It's good.


It is simply marvelous how far we have come since those times. The play is Precious meets Happy Days, a sort of Brighton Beach Memoirs meets The Exorcist.

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