Sunny. Side. Up.
Date: March 5, 2014
Days Spent on Project: 381
Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC
Person I would have sent it to: Nick A.
Nick was a directing student at the Yale School of Drama. He was in the year ahead of mine, and all directors were scheduled to take classes with the design students in the year below them, so he was present for my much of my first year.
I designed a class “production” of Othello for him in our set design class. He was there in lighting. He sat through our costume design class that year as well.
At the beginning of my second year, I was happy to be assigned to design a playwright’s thesis. He was the director.
It was a modern show, seemingly easy and straightforward, but it involved several things that made it challenging… low to no budget, “believable/passable” drag, wigs, several looks and many cast members. I would like to say I did a great job going from sketch to the stage; in many ways I did, but I didn’t succeed in all of that.
He’s since gone out west… I think he’s now at Oregon Shakespeare or in LA. I was set to do a show with him in 2008 in Denver, but then the economy imploded and the show pulled back money to house and pay an out of town designer.
Music I listened to while sewing: I found a playlist for the music from Spike Jonze’s recent movie, “Her,” on Spotify this morning. It’s perfect.
Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: Maybe it’s not about having a belief that you’re awesome and amazing. Perhaps it’s best to understand the fact that your simply being here is good enough. That you exist makes your worth.
That cells reacted on a chance meeting and happened to connect in a chance moment, that a reaction started and then those two cells, becoming one, divided, divided and kept multiplying for months until a You was ready to enter the world… perhaps that act- chemical and molecular at a level- perhaps that simple act means that you have value.
That we’ve all, all of us from any country or time period or way of life or religion or income level or outward appearance… we’re all connected by that act.
And from that act, regardless of what happens to us or we happen to do, we’re at the present moment HERE. And we all struggle with whatever thoughts or worries plague us; I’m sure that we all have our private hurdles that we try to jump over daily.
But we’re still here. On the subway going to work. Getting coffee to wake up in the morning. Sitting at a desk behind a computer. Hiding in an apartment.
We’re all on a private journey. We aren’t told or even asked to bring people along for our ride, but we do. We make a connection, attract fellow passengers that make the trip easier or more exciting or less lonely or more difficult or somewhat overwhelming, but it doesn’t seem possible to go on this journey without intersecting someone else’s at some point. We land between journeys in kinds of interpersonal airports, wandering through terminals for times and making or missing connecting flights. We manage to get on board when we’re able to, when we’re personally ready to head towards our next destination, whatever we think or want that to be. And we look around, and we see we’re stuck in between people on similar journeys.
Maybe they’re starting their own new journey. Maybe they’re heading home. Maybe they’ve been saving up for a vacation. Perhaps they have a meeting across the distance that they have a need to be involved in. But, it’s hard, not impossible, to see yourself alone on a journey, such as it is.
And perhaps that’s the reason I’m making and dedicating Cranes.
Perhaps I’m acknowledging the passengers who’ve sat near me by fate or random assignation or desire. They might have not known they’ve left an impression. Perhaps they didn’t pay attention to me or maybe they paid too much attention to me. Perhaps their presence impeded on me. Maybe their presence made the journey more interesting. But they, for whatever reason, were next to me on my journey for a time.
And I’m still here. And I’m moving forward, as best I can, day to day, no more than that.
And perhaps that simple movement- forward, continually struggling day to day- is what gives me worth.
Not my appearance or my clothes or my bank account or how late I stay up or what parties I go to or the work I’m asked to do.. perhaps it’s just that I choose to stay here and keep moving forward that gives me value.
Our journeys will end when they do. But, to move towards that end- bravely? confidently? assuredly?- and owning your own journey and acknowledging those of others, in the meantime, perhaps that’s the best thing we can do.