Flickers of light
THIS WEEK, I’ve been thinking about connectedness.
A world elsewhere
Resonant for me, at the moment, are these words to be considered from American physician Dean Ornish.
"The need for connection and community is primal, as fundamental as the need for air, water, and food."
On one hand, these words do a nice job describing why I love coaching, and working with actors, and making theatre.
They also have me retracing the steps of a decision I took earlier this week, when I went through the follower list of my Instagram profile, and purged all the entities I could find that seemed to be either 'bots', 'ghosts', or services too irrelevant for my life and work to form any sincere connection with...
My numbers obviously plummeted, which feels counter-intuitive... But what I enjoy about my experience on social media isn't about building up metrics, it's about building connection, building community, and building up people.
The international ripples of social media empower me to daydream about community. I don't know about you, but it's really exciting, for me, to get to know people who're actors, playwrights, or other theatre makers far away in countries I know too little about.
I find I actually want to know who the people following me are. What you're working on, what you're daydreaming about, and how I can help... Is that odd?
Perhaps I'm being optimistic. Perhaps my perspective doesn't fit into this machine. But then, I've never fit comfortably into machines before, either.
Community over competition
I began my day today with these words to be considered from American boxer, poet and icon, Muhammad Ali.
"Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth."
How do these words strike you? How do you, personally, define that word, 'service'? When you hear the word 'service', what is the first image that flashes in your mind?
Do you imagine volunteers helping grow a community garden, or handing out bowls of soup? Do you imagine philanthropists making charitable gifts? Do you imagine nurses, or doctors, or fire fighters? Do you imagine presidents? Do you imagine artists?
If you wanted to help lift someone up today, or help nourish a cause, what would you do? Where would you begin?
Slowly, slowly, slowly, it feels like I am tiptoeing back toward the things that once felt 'normal' before all the pandemic business began.
Last week, I ventured out for a comforting pub dinner in N.E. Portland, at T.C. O’Leary’s, followed by a beautiful walkabout looking at those glorious old Craftsman houses around Alberta street. Last week, I also visited Portland’s Japanese Garden, and Portland’s Rose Garden.
I’m beginning to see fewer people masked, and I’m beginning to see more community happenings be programmed. Slowly, I’m beginning to see flickers of light suggesting that people may be becoming less afraid. Isn’t that a glorious thought?
It feels like light at the end of the tunnel.
I feel lighter for it, anyway.
Could it be time to take an overdue deep breath?
Do you find yourself tiptoeing back to anything? And if not, what are you most looking forward to?
I know that in some ways I'm rather late to the party. Others started leaping back to 'life as normal' long before me. Many others will begin later. It's one of those things you have to do at your own pace. Only you know what feels right to you.
Now to make more theatre! It was so glorious being back in a theatre in the flesh again, directing "This Random World" over the spring.
Slowly, slowly, slowwwly and cautiously, yes... but, I am so looking forward to working again!
Happy Saturday, humans! I’m hoping your weekend is whatever you need it to be. And, as always, wherever you are in the journey of your projects, what-if’s, or goals, don’t be afraid to let me know how I can help.
Until next time,