—From EF—

I am a week behind in writing a blog, but I am busy forgiving myself.

It has been an unusual week. I have been massively involved in doing a collection of tasks related to preserving the value of our house, given that at our collective age it’s time to take more care of resale value. I have the unusual advantage of collaborating with a person whose trade skills embrace a wide range, including those of storytelling: we are entertaining ourselves as we go. We have attacked a number of weird needs around the old homestead, including my primary focus of designing and building a front screen-porch addition that will function as a cat air-lock. Age is not improving our ability to keep the escape artists confined to the house, thus evading their destiny as road-kill. With this porch addition, we will have the ability to catch them if they sneak through our major front door.

Given that this is a significant modification, it needs to be something that looks intentional and comely, and I have seized this portion of the various projects as my own. Design is something that comes to me stepwise, and it takes a while. I am finally in the end-game and am pleased with how it will look. The rains make building and painting sketchy and episodic, but the finish line is now in view. I have greatly enjoyed re-entering the realm of sawing, fitting, and screwing

Other energy bursts? Well, I turned eighty-four this week, and I think that’s a powerful number. I rejoiced in the cascade of FB birthday wishes. The Occidental Arts Center scheduled our Frankenstein on their regular play-reading series and we were there to appreciate a very powerful rendition; given that Covid had put an end to our lifetime of having our work shared with audiences, this was a gorgeous reanimation.

And then there was Rite of Spring. This was my birthday gift to myself. The epic score by Stravinsky—so powerful that the Paris premiere audience tore up the seats and rioted—was choreographed by the audacious Pina Bausch into a powerful ballet in 1975. What I just saw was a recreation of her choreography by a company of 38 dancers from 14 African countries, and it pummeled me. I was in tears and shaking.

Her question to her company: How would you dance if you knew you were going to die? This is an enactment of a an ancient fertility ritual to ensure the crops. The entire community gathers to select the maiden who will dance herself to death, a sacrifice for the survival of the whole. In our time, Navalny just surrendered his life, and left a message:

“If they decide to kill me, it means that we are incredibly strong.”

Watching this young dancer push through the desperate fear of death to give her life for the community, I could not help making this comparison. Life commands dedication to the energy of existence. I give thanks.



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