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on missing

Things I miss, in no particular order:

Moderately crowded marketplaces at Christmas and farmer’s markets on sunny weekend mornings

Sipping a very good beer in a full bar with warm lighting nestled into a booth with friends

Sitting in the audience of an extremely good play

House parties where everyone can wander from room to room with presence and possibility

Dressing up with the delicious intention of being seen

Live music I can dance to - hard and sweaty

Live music I can sit in with reverence with the rest of the crowd as it reverberates off the walls and washes over me

A rehearsal in which the people rehearsing discover an artistic choice that clicks in so perfectly, I can’t believe I get to be the person that presents it to a group of other people - a secret I cannot WAIT to tell

Being tipsy outside in the busy part of a city on a weekend night

Being able to follow impulses throughout the day, maybe I decide to wander through a thrift shop, maybe I stop at the store to get a bunch of much craved snacks or ingredients to make an ambitious dessert, maybe then a friend texts me and I decide to have them over, and then I run into my other friend on the way home and invite them and their household over, we spend the evening watching a movie and talking and drinking and laughing, and end up going out to dinner and then drinks, and come back for more merriment

Innocently and sincerely flirting with people

The intimacy and power of hearing a full audience react to something I’ve done as an actor on stage

Kinesthetically responding to someone’s touch or movement in perfect harmony in a studio space, barefoot

Going to a play I had a lot of thoughts about and then out with other people to talk about it

Going to see a scary movie in a theatre with a large group

Meeting someone I barely know for coffee with the intention of getting to know them or their work better

Meeting someone I know incredibly well for coffee

Sitting alone in a crowded coffee shop with my book or laptop, happily people watching

The first rehearsal or meeting of a new project

Opening night jitters

Having a space that belongs to and is fully curated by me

The celebratory treat after an audition I fucking killed

The consolatory treat after an audition I fucking bombed

The electricity that runs in my body when I know that the sacred messages of the universe are speaking through the art I am performing at that very second

Speaking aloud very good dialogue

Teaching or facilitating or leading a physical space that feels useful and empowering to the people in it

The PNW

Helping other people achieve safe but very intimate work with their bodies onstage

Airports and the anticipation of travel

Travel, in its entirety

Newness

My dog, who has recently and suddenly passed away

Theatre that makes me laugh, cry, gasp, etc.

Grocery shopping leisurely

Big much anticipated events

Many tight hugs in a row

Sharing a joint

Letting creativity flow freely instead of having to drag it out of my head

An alive sense of the future and a wide spectrum of possibility for that future


I can’t have any of these things right now. And while that is fine and necessary for the safety and survival of myself and everyone around me, I am in a perpetual state of grieving the ordinary. I don’t go see virtual theatre, and I think it’s because it reminds me that it isn’t the theatre I love to be a part of and go to, so it only makes the pain a little worse, like looking at a photo of someone you’ve recently lost. It’s a reminder that it is a placeholder for the thing you wish it was. Sometimes zooming with people is that way too. We do our best and laugh and talk intimately, and it does make me feel less alone, but sometimes I tear up longingly looking at the screen, at my dear ones, alone in a room with my computer. It makes me hold my partner and immediate family more tightly, especially knowing some people are enduring this pandemic without their partners or families.


One of the only things that doesn't feel like a temporarily replacement for the real thing is nature. I feel safe in nature, and connected, and it helps me remember that we are all animals living in collaboration with the earth, and that we have lived through worse and will again. I’m reminded that resilience is natural and present in my belly. I breathe with the wind and stand with the trees and in the midst of so much anxiety, I am calmed.


I write this entry not really with anything grand to say, but to remind you (and myself) that we will have all our ordinary joys again, perhaps with a critical eye on our ordinary challenges that will change us for the better. If you are having difficulty believing in the future and the light at the end of this tunnel, so am I. It is difficult. But I promise you it’s there. And every so slowly, it is getting brighter and closer. And one day, probably sooner than we can wrap our heads around right now, we’ll step into the sun.


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