Thursday, January 30, 2014

In Spirit

it's been a long while since i popped by here to dear diary across satellites.

there's a show i've been writing for years. borne of love, it's been a hardship and a joy. the inspiration is a greater tragedy than most of us would dare try to imagine. it used to be called Quilchena. it's newer, fuller, and more appropriate title is In Spirit.

i have the humility to know that this play won't erase the pain that so many profoundly violent and awful abductions have caused. i do have the spirit - naivety? - to hope we can eradicate them in future. our obstinacy has kept us alive. it can definitely unite us in this. our stubborn will to exist can spark a fire that will force us to create community from ashes. surely.

the truth about every missing and murdered woman and girl is that nobody except the girl or woman and the attacker know what happened. this is an injustice that can never be balanced out, no matter who is caught and punished. emotion is a gift. when we share it with anyone, we are laid bare. in the final, premature moments of life, under extreme duress, we must ignite with emotion never previously felt or seen. that broken, wretched human who is killing has the holy privilege of knowing the dying person's emotions at this time. it is so unfair there are no words for it.

only careful breaths and impossibly strained hopes. hopes cloaked in despair.

i have learned lately - in living, not in theory - that another aspect of these tragedies is that the names of these women and girls become known to us BECAUSE they fell to a neglectful and all-too-passive and aggressive world. all of their lives were rich with details and daily deeds long before, and leading up to the moment they were taken from us. we don't know those. unspeakably unfair.

there are cliches in the tellings of the stories of people who die prematurely. "everybody liked him." "she was so quick to laugh." "he was such a good guy." the good along with the tragic dehumanize them, in spite of best intentions.

the play In Spirit was written to do what very little i could to remind every fucking person willing to hear and feel and see that our missing and murdered belong to everyone. we must remember their lives. their complex and extremely real lives.

this play is a fiction, as far as plays can be. i have also come to believe that all stories are true. somewhere, somehow, they have all happened.
this play offers one possible perspective that none of us are privy to. this is told from the perspective of one girl who is taken. i didn't know her. she isn't a "real" person. the impetus for the writing began with the knowledge of the disappearance of one person. the writing moved very far away from that story, as known to me. the blessing of this is that i won't feel so shitty about not inspiring some silent witness to miraculously come forth and proclaim a known but hidden fact that will solve the case.
the sadness is having to admit - truly admit - the same. i wish the telling of a story could save a life. actually, i believe it can.
i guess what i really wish is that the telling of a story could restore a life. -tb (designer Andy Moro hard at work/art.)