A last food hurrah before 5 weeks of training, Mary Anne’s letters to her children, and Shut Up And Write successJanuary 25, 2013 – 5:00 pm
Immediately after I write something like “I’m not preparing for a performance right now so I’m not pulling out all the stops… I’m not being uber-hardcore about my physical body at the moment…” I get a cast and a rehearsal date and a month to get a dance together (and hopefully be cast in one myself).
So I am going to drive to Glenview and have one last blowout weekend with the cousins featuring Skyline Chili and spaghetti and cheese and yogurt and beer and I think Sunday night is going to be a night out at the Irish Pub with all the fish and chips and potatoes and Guinness I can handle. Because 5 weeks of performance prep begin on Monday. Strict paleo eating, daily stretching/bodywork, and a rigorous sleep/gym schedule. I know both how hard this will be to stick to, and how awesome I will feel and move at the end of it. I like knowing these things about my body.
My travel and speaking for this semester is pretty much set, except for a trip out to CMU I want to make sometime to see some college friends before I graduate; otherwise, I know my schedule until mid-June, and just need to book the necessary plane tickets, fill out the necessary forms, and prepare all my talks. This also feels good. Oddly enough, this time the travel doesn’t make me feel any less at home in Indiana — I still feel like I’m with the people here, growing roots here… I think the shift was far more mental than logistical. Interesting.
I wanted to note these beautiful letters Mary Anne Mohanraj wrote to her children for when they are old enough to read and understand. I read them and was touched, because the narratives that people actually live are so different from the ones that are usually written. I cannot sympathize with stories of “we always wanted to have children!” or “all of the sacrifices were worth it in the end because our kids are the best thing in our lives RAINBOW BUTTERFLY UNICORN end of story.” Hearing these actually makes me think I will never have kids, because I certainly don’t have RAINBOW BUTTERFLY UNICORN flitting around my head at the thought of being a mom someday; I don’t want that to be the only Life Pinnacle I aspire to. I mean, yeah; being a good parent is an amazing accomplishment, but writing a book, building a house, starting a school — there are many other noble goals and acts and deeds, and you’re never any less amazing a person for being an evolutionary dead end.
I’m sure it is wonderful and worth it and a miracle and everything and maybe I’ll be privileged enough to have that miracle in my own life someday. But the path there? And the murkiness of the choices you make, and the anguish that sometimes comes along the way, and there is no fairy tale ending and no right/wrong moral here and… I don’t know. The bluntness and the honesty of these letters struck me. The messiness and the love. The realness. It’s the sort of thing I could see my older self, in some future universes, writing. And so it’s these sorts of things that make me stop and think “okay, maybe that does fit into a future I would have; maybe my lack of RAINBOW BUTTERFLY UNICORN does not mean I am missing some crucial element that all good parents have — maybe people like me, who do things I want to do and become grown-ups I want to become… maybe they have families sometimes, too.”
Shut Up And Write! was a success today — so much that we’re going to do it again next week, and presumably every Friday for the forseeable future. Working with other people in short sprints is very, very effective for distractomel. We meet and work from a coffee shop, so I’ll need to figure out something to do about being on paleo the next few weeks; I think I’ll be ordering lots and lots of tea.
But now I will enjoy my weekend of gluttony. Let me see if the cousins are up for a chili festival. If so, I’m going to hit the road.