I don’t know where tragedy comes from.
And, I don’t know why it stays.
Vivid recaps, harsh memory, “trauma”, right, those things that make us shiver when we wake up in the middle of the night, check our phones and wonder if anyone can hear us not breathing. In those seconds of not breathing, a sweaty cage of However Nice This Could Be It Isn’t That Nice, in the deep in the deep deep deep wrestles a person we see, we don’t know and we won’t know, our torturer, just hinting at the things we will never accomplish and flashing lights around their titles. YOU WILL FAIL YOU HAVE FAILED THIS IS FAILURE, roll over, roll over again, drink water, stand up, get dizzy, text nobody because you keep deleting your established fear but, without impulse towards understanding, you’ll never really know what it is.
I have no time to write this. I am getting dressed for work in a new place with people I don’t know and temptation towards insecurity. But, I’ve done this job so many times. This is the exact job I have already had somewhere else and there’s no reason, there can’t be a reason for demolished comfort.
At the end of Doubt, the John Patrick Shanley play, and I don’t have my copy with me, but I remember the play vividly from that time I saw it on Broadway starring Cherry Jones, my parents beside me, at the end of the show, thrilled that I would one day write a play of the same quality, I emailed the writer and let him know that I was going to study at Syracuse University Drama and I’m really excited to make things like him one day. A burst of pride and confidence and certainty, sure, ironic, since it came from a play called Doubt but, if you haven’t read that play, you should. What a tight massive exploration of ego and achieved perspective it is. The message, clear: Perceived complexity endows us with doubt. Nothing is simple. If it were, we’d all be moving a lot further towards achievement.
I doubt you’re going to be able to really picture what I’m about to tell you, but I’m writing it anyways with the creative trust that a lot of people who are reading this are stunned into believing that they are a little “crazy”. I’m not a fan of the word. Crazy. But, it’s a pejorative used often so why not use it in a blog about Transformation where I can at least try to convince you that we can change who we are, if only to change ourselves away from the use of a word that is crassly unfair to the majority of people with complex histories and unique thoughts.
Two years ago, after a prolonged struggle with hyper-anxious psychosomatic, pain after a deep dip into routine meditation (which changed and saved my life), I went to bed and had a vision. It wasn’t a “holy vision” but it was real.
I was falling asleep. From within the darkness of securely closed eyes, a Black Woman (descriptive chosen carefully because I have no other information about her and she is mostly just a symbol of historical anguish so why not label generally, if that’s all I have). Surrendered to a bodily twist, she pleaded with her eyes for renewal.
If you don’t believe in past lives or soul cycles or sentimentalized dreams, I understand. But, I had been in a significant amount of bodily pain for years: Hands cramped, stiff, arthritic, as were all the joints in my body, shooting pains, ruined nerves, a pelvis felt so repeatedly stabbed that I couldn’t sit down, I couldn’t function. I thought I was ill. I was.
I see this woman with my eyes closed and I know her whole history, I take her in, the entire prism of her: Pain and aftermath and fatigue and a complete loss of self. I understand, without judgement, that she is somehow a part of me. And she needs to be let go. I let her go. I tell a close friend. We are mesmerized with the significance of renewal.
Was it a dream? Likely. Are dreams fortuitous in their ability to charm us into psychedelic thought despite absolute grounding and “knowing better” or are they memories, buried, arriving only when we’re most worried about them but we don’t have time to grant them freedom? Ask Freud. I don’t know. I don’t care.
I’m quickly assessing a new day and hoping to ignite a free experience. This is not a shackled life. I remember that woman and wonder if that was her only message to me. A vision of GO GO GO. Life unravels in the absence of her. A small piece of me dropped. New things have happened. But, only because I cried through a dream, woke up and understood forward movement a little better.
New job, same job, new place, new people.
New night, new date, same place, new guy.
New weekend, same family dinner plans, different day, whole new story.
Tomorrow I shoot the very first episode of Kara’s web series. I’m very frightened. I don’t perform anymore. I don’t know if I can do it. If I think about it too much, I’m tortured with creative regret. Hey listen hey listen, there’s no such thing:
Creation is a momentum.
My grandfather built himself and his company up, despite memories of surviving concentration camps in Europe, tortured and ruined, his family a haze of memories to him, tragedy and consequence and fear and injustice, he came to Canada and, with his brother and his father, he invented. Something really big.
I remember him telling me what it meant to him to have his company. To work every day.
“You have to go go go go go, Rachie. You never quit.”
I hear him.
I don’t dream of tortured women anymore. Sometimes it’s tempting to sit back and hope for more tortured dreams. But, I’m not being tortured.
So, we renew.
So, we make coffee.
So, we rehearse.
And, in the event of a Great Outcome: We just cherish the woman inside who pushed movement through a sweaty dream.
Tomorrow I’ll be Kara all day. I’ll learn a new carefree version of a full day. I’ll embody free materialism and catered joy. To believe that there really are beautiful things allowed to me and dismiss the myth of stasis.