Tomorrow is July 4th, 2020. Opening Night at Two Planks and a Passion Theatre. The Opening Night that was.
This year it will be eerily quiet at the Ross Creek Centre. Day camp staff will have gone home for the weekend. The wild residents of Ross Creek have been reclaiming some territory this year, and there will be more coyotes than people at our outdoor stages on opening night. The porcupines are very happy. The rabbits are, I believe, oblivious.
Instead of doing the many things I have become accustomed to doing at this time every year- the frantic to-do list of errands, speeches, opening night letters and last-minute ticket requests interspersed with hitting “refresh” on the hourly weather forecast- I am thinking.
I’m thinking about the void that haunts this place right now. I still turn a corner and expect to see my theatre colleagues, every day. I cannot acclimatize myself to their absence. Everywhere I look, I see the after-image of their presence.
I’m thinking about how this reality is being repeated in hundreds and thousands of places around the world. Ghost light after ghost light, burning in the quiet, and the collective grief that every one of them represents.
I’m thinking about how inspired I am by my colleagues who are working to make sure that the world we come back to isn’t the same fundamentally broken one that we brought into this crisis.
I’m thinking about how “We are all in this together” has never been true, isn’t true now, and what my role must be in changing that in the future.
I’m thinking about how art has comforted many people in this crisis- and about how important it is for art to do the opposite thing right now, and how both actions are valid and necessary.
I’m thinking about how valuable trust is, in everything.
I’m thinking that the birds seem louder than they used to be.
I’m thinking about the gift of sitting around a fire with my friends.
I’m thinking about what being a friend means.
I’m thinking about how hard it is to miss so many people and things at the same time.
I’m thinking that the sky has never looked so blue.