Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Get On With It

Tragedy is a tool for the living to gain wisdom, not a guide by which to live.

Robert Kennedy
I don't know why I keep going, except that there's a sign at the entrance to my brain which reads "Never Give Up."

I have lost so much of myself: my health, my career, my friends, my family. I live in a town where no one knows me and no one seems to want to. I stagger when I walk and I have to walk because I have no car. I don't get enough to eat, I can only eat what I don't have to chew, and that's not much. I don't feel fear these days, just discouragement and futility.

I did a major role in "A Delicate Balance" by Edward Albee. The director noted that at the of the play the night was over, the morning sun promised a new day, a cleansing of fears and a beginning. The leading actor in the play disagreed and said that it was only a reaffirmation of all things that were wrong, another day to face the same old troubles over again. I can't tell you how much I disagreed with that actor. He went on to become the director of that theatre and two years later it closed.

I wish I had a comfortable chair. I used to have one, a big soft easy chair, but when I moved up to the third floor it didn't fit through either of the doors so I had to give it up. I have two chairs of the fold out, aluminum, plastic lawn and beach variety. I have to prop them up with hard pillows and towels to reach the keyboard. It's very uncomfortable. I have a bed which I bought from the Salvation Army for $10. If I need to rest I sit on that.

Edward Albee was in many ways a product of the ancient Greek playwrights. The Greek dramas were almost exclusively tragedies, but they were not pessimistic. The Greeks taught us catharsis, a cleansing, the painful effects of revenge and the healing of it, purification. Friedrich Nietzsche wrote about: "how the Greeks put pessimism behind them, - how they overcame it...Tragedy in particular proves that the Greeks were not pessimists." It was that Dionysian spirit of forward looking, forward living that I came to believe was what my work as an actor was providing.

I wish I had a bath tub. I had one in New York. It wasn't big but it was sufficient to be a blessing for me. I haven't had one since I moved here.

I wish I could afford a nice big bottle of Motts apple juice.

That actor was wrong. Why go on the stage and portray negativism? Why throw fog in the face of the morning sun? The nihilist sees mud, the biologist sees life developing and growing.

I mailed the rent check today. It's a long, painful walk because the post office took away the mail boxes that were near me. Then I went to the market. I avoided buying the eggs and the beans, They can wait until Wednesday.

Like a good landscape painter, my director friend always knew where the light source was coming from, in every scene of every play. Without the light source there are no shadows. That actor only wanted to play in the fog and the mud.

I wish I had a good Ring, a Solti, Levine or Furtwangler Ring. But such as thing would cost hundreds. Maybe some day.

One good thing about living alone is that whenever I come home every one here is glad to see me. I have no audience now except the grinning moon to watch me. So I grin back, take my solo bow in the dark and silent night and wait for the morning sun so I can get on with life.

DB - The Vagabond
(This is not a contest.)

In your opinion what is the most amazing thing that could happen during this decade? Make it as outrageous as you want but keep it within the realm of what you consider a possibility.

Only 7 responses so far.

Answers will be published the first day of Summer.


Thank you.

DB - The Vagabond


Indigo said...

Your in my thoughts Dana, wish I could ease your burdens. Just know I think you're an incredible human being. (Hugs)Indigo

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

I know there are organizations out there that can help fill the gaps. Sometimes the hardest part is asking.

Rose~* said...

Thinking about you, DB. If I lived close enough to you I would easily give you one of my "gas-lift" computer chairs that are quite comfy as I have one too many, now that the oldest daughter has moved out. Your hallways must be very narrow indeed. A lawn chair is definitely not the best place to sit while at the computer. Hang in there!