Friday, April 3, 2009

Caffeine has always been my muse.

Today is one of those days where I feel like I wish to feel all the time. It's strange because my most creative self is a little on the depressed side, but not to the point where all of life feels like a movie and I can hear the soundtrack blaring as I walk down the sidewalk in the rain and my heart feels like an empty shell in the middle of a prison and I'm surrounded by thick fog and my senses are dulled to nothingness... No. This depression is just the edges - the twinkling of the twilight, the fading of the sun giving way to the stars, the pink at the top of the silhouetted mountain...

I feel this way in the spring pretty much all of the time. There are days when I sink lower, let the fog surround me and pull me under until I'm struggling to the surface, gasping for breath, and then I let myself swallow the water and sink slowly, sullenly to the bottom, but today was not one of those days.

Today was a creative self day. Today poetry poured from my fingers like Greek columns and cappuccino steam and ebony braids down the back of an Asian beauty. Today my mind was my writer's mind, my photographer's mind, my actor, my painter - I saw muses all around me and my heart was full and overflowing with love for beauty and God's creation.

The morning was chilly and raining. My favorite sort of weather. I dream of moving to Seattle sometimes so that I can have rain most every day, covering the grass and flowers, turning everything a more radiant shade of green. Thunder rumbled over the normalcy of jet planes and military helicopters. The sun of the afternoon cast a brief shadow on my day just before I headed to rehearsal. Yes. Read-through. Read-through for that play: Butterfly.

I confess that when I admittedly skimmed it after downloading it and printing it on the government's tab I found myself disappointed. I had expected the characters to leap off of the page and perform for me right there in my kitchen. When they merely sat and looked at me and didn't dance I was dismayed. Was I putting myself on the line for nothing? Doing this piece that my parents would surely dismiss as rubbish on a whim? Were they right?

But then at read-through...

It was in the library. One of my favorite places on the planet. The smell of books, the steam of coffee, the ticking of eager brains hunched ravenous over papers, notes, blackberries, and books... pure human energy and beauty. It's almost as good as the art museum in Philly - I would move there if I could - but I digress.

After logistics discussions, we read the play.

This time they danced. A magnificent ballet of colors and light. At the end everyone was crying but Trish (the writer) and me. I looked up expecting actors who were now finished reading and saw human beings with tears streaming down their faces. I thought I'd missed something and then realized that my character was dead and couldn't feel anything. Senses dulled. Eyes closed. The end of him.

The play was previously performed in San Francisco. Trish has had plays performed Off-Off Broadway in New York. I wish if she moved back she would take me with her. Maybe that's where we should move, after all.

After rehearsal I was supposed to take Jonah to a movie.

We went, but the sound was so loud he began to cry. He's highly gifted and hightly sensitive to auditory stimulation. I don't say that to brag. I say it to state a simple fact of my family's young life. He cried. We left.

I took him to the coffee house in San Souci. We had tea and vanilla chai and a bag of Utz plain potato chips and discussed the making and growing of coffee beans, the fashion sense of the college females at the table before us, and why they would hang mirrors on the walls too high for anyone to see their reflection.

Now I am home. It felt good to walk here in the cool wind, to feel it on my scalp: a new sensation. To hear my son tell me he wanted to go back to the coffeehouse again, "Mommy, I like coffeehouses."

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