6 May 2010, 3:40pm
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stuff & things

i feel like i’ve got a lot to catch up on, but i’m not sure where to start. this week (and last week, and next week), i am really busy with The Show That Ate My Life In One Big Gulp–hand2mouth theatre’s uncanny valley, which they asked me to stage manage about a week and a half ago. they’re prepping for a one-weekend in-progress showing, so i came on at less than three weeks to opening and jumped in(to its gaping maw). i thought i was biting off about as much as i could chew, but i got it backwards. don’t get me wrong–i am mostly enjoying it (and observing rehearsals is a ton of fun)–but i’m glad i’m already halfway through!

hand2mouth have this cool and sorta crazy production process in which we start load-in on monday and the script is sort of still being written. so i am taking copious notes at every rehearsal (a few days ago i sent out a 20-page rehearsal report) and sort of trying to integrate those notes into a script document, which can then be fine-tuned and finessed by the dramaturg and director. which means i’m spending a lot of time outside of rehearsal organizing notes. which means: The Show That Ate My Life. which means: while this show is definitely reminding me that Yes, I Do Love Theatre, it’s also reinforcing my realization that nope, i do not particularly want to be a stage manager.

i can’t get internet on my computer at home (a.’s picks up a network, so i check my email and stuff on his) so i’ve been doing a lot of work for this show at my newest favorite neighborhood coffeeshop, the rocking frog at 25th and belmont. there are shelves full of books, the baristas are friendly, the music is groovy, the loose-leaf tea selection is good, the food is fresh and tasty, and the internet is reliable. hand2mouth are paying me just enough that despite all this tea (& cookies), i just might break even.

the show is gonna be great, i think. explorers exploring the real final frontier: their own memories (and each other’s). here’s the info:

hand2mouth presents:
uncanny valley

may 14-16th, 2010
friday-sunday at 7:30pm, plus 4pm on sunday
talkbacks after sat night and sun matinee

at the reed college theatre mainstage! (gonna be fun to work there again!)
on campus at se 28th & botsford dr

$8 general admission
i think there’s gonna be some awesome deal for current reed students, too.

on saturday night, while we watched dancers play with fire, my ex-boyfriend landon, who let us all believe until he showed up on campus on friday that he was still in korea, where he spent a year teaching english to small children, turned to me and asked, “so how are you really?” i said that i’m well, that i enjoy my life, and that i am feeling anxious about money.

for the purposes of that particular conversation, money was the framework around which i wrapped the past few years of my life. i know that it’s mostly false to say “this and that changed my life,” that life is a series of many large and small life-changing events (like so), but when i thought about it in terms of money i thought about how i was broke, and then i sold my car, and then eventually i was pretty broke again, and then i got hit by a car while riding my bike and ended up with a big chunk of settlement money. i don’t know–even putting questions of causation aside, both of those things are easy to point at as dividing lines between “here’s the way i was before” and “here’s the way i was after.” so i’ve got all these plans for things i want to do in the next year or so, and i’m worried that i will run out of money–and at the same time, i sort of believe it will all work out ok, but i’m thinking to myself a little apprehensively, “oh boy, what’s it gonna be this time” that makes it all “ok”?

money notwithstanding,

selling my car:
* got me on my bike!
* slowed me down
* and taught me patience.
* made me healthier.
* showed me my own physical power.
* put me in better touch with my environment
* and with my body.
* changed my dreams.

getting hit by a car:
* forced me to learn how to heal myself
* and that healing spread to other areas of my life.
* sort of indirectly sent me to hawaii
* and my month in puna is an experience for which i feel so much gratitude.

and i didn’t really say it, but thinkin’ about how those two events changed my life got me thinkin’ about how, you know what?, i am ok with having been hit by a car.

i remember reading or hearing somewhere this fact about happiness: everyone would, if given the choice between winning the lottery and becoming a paraplegic, choose to win the lottery. but! when polled about their happiness some number of years after winning the lottery or becoming paralyzed, paraplegics are happier than lotto winners. happier than they used to be, if i remember right, while lotto winners are less happy.

i sure am glad that i wasn’t paralyzed, but i really do believe that trauma is an opportunity. being physically and emotionally traumatized forced me to figure out how to heal that trauma, which forced me to figure out how to heal, period. i think i am a better, healthier person than i was two years ago, pre-trauma. i have learned a lot about my priorities and values (communication! respect! adventure!) and about how to live with intention, how to observe and make use of the resources and joys in my life, how to pick and choose and shape and write my own personal mythology.

maybe this is all a part of growing up and Figuring It Out, and would have happened eventually anyway, but if framing it this way means i can look at that trauma and feel grateful, if it means i can carry my misshapen bone like a talisman i can rub in times of worry, then damnit that is what i’m going to do.

anyway, being a little anxious about money is probably good for me, too. i have just about stopped buying stupid shit i don’t need. except fancy food and tea (see above). still working on that one.

these are my exciting plans & possibilities:

in less than two months, at the end of june, a. and i are leaving portland on our bikes. destination: atlantic ocean! a. will probably only be with me through colorado or so, and then he’s gotta head back to the west coast–to berkeley, where he’s starting a phd program in ethnomusicology. he is quite understandably super excited about that. our relationship* is serious these days (and dang, i am learning so much from it! so grateful), but i am not sure how i feel about moving to berkeley to be with him. we’re gonna follow our separate dreams for a little while and see how things go.

i am planning on following roughly this route, with some deviations, maybe. i might like to visit dancing rabbit and earthaven ecovillages, if i can.

when i get to the east coast (landing in virginia), i will either turn north and bike up the coast, or, if i can’t stand the sight of my bike or the weather is not great or any number of other things, i’ll pack up my bike and my bike stuff and ship it home, have my folks send me my pre-packed backpack full of non-bikey clothes, and bus and train my way north. i have friends and family in new york, massachusetts, and maine who i’d love to see. then i’ll head west again to chicago (more friends there) and ride the train all the way home to portland.

after that? i want to go back to hawaii. i feel like i left before pele was finished with me. there is a happily irrational part of me that worries that she’ll be angry that i left. in any case, i want to go back and stay until she’s done with me. if she’ll have me. hoping to find (ideally) a permaculture farm to work on, to get some practical experience and test out that lifestyle–plus give what i can and take what is given. i would love to find someplace i can live with no costs (save health insurance) in exchange for work. i am doing initial research now, and it might be a little harder in hawaii than it would be elsewhere (’cause who doesn’t want to wwoof in hawaii!?), but i hope i have enough to offer (permaculture design experience and so on) that i will be able to find a good situation. or several good situations–no reason i need to stay in one place once i get there.

before i come back to the mainland, i also hope to hike the kalalau trail and stay in kalalau valley.

and after that? who knows! theatre? education? food or farming? gardening? bikes? all of the above? portland? berkeley? travel? for now, i feel ok about those question marks. it’s spring in portland and life is pretty beautiful.




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