Monday, November 16, 2015

Three Beautiful Things 11/15/15: Home at St. Mary's, Into Thin Air, Hop Valley Goodness

1. Last December, during my visit to Eugene, I worshiped at St. Mary's Episcopal Church where I'd been doing things for about thirty years. Father Bingham told me to let him know if/when I was coming back and invited me to read the Old Testament lesson if that happened.  I let him know back in August that I would be in church on November 15th and, I'm very happy to report that he invited me to read.  So, this morning I was back in church at St. Mary's -- I saw many friends, had many excellent conversations, and got to read the opening story of the first book of Samuel. I loved getting to read. Even more, I loved being a visitor in the church that is, in so many ways, my home.

2. And then it was done. The Shakespeare Showcase was over. It melted into air, into thin air, as if it had been a dream. That's the way it is with live theater. The show ends and it's gone. Knowing that live theater melts into thin air keeps me focused on and deeply involved in each moment as whatever I'm watching (or participating in) unfolds. My mind and my feelings are completely absorbed by what is happening in the present. Then it's gone.  I remember loving last year's Showcase, but I can't remember what scenes were performed or who did them -- and soon it will be this way the 2015 Showcase. I'll remember loving it, but if I ever get to be in one again and if I'm asked, "Was this year's show as good as last year's?", I'll have to say I don't know and I don't remember. It'll be gone. Here's what I love about experiencing theater (and movies) this way: things are new to me, even if I've seen them many, many times.  In each scene this weekend, I experienced Shylock, Romeo, Juliet, Goneril, Portia, and the others as if I'd never seen them before. Yes, their words were familiar, but unsaddled by making comparisons, each of the characters were new -- I see all of them in different ways than I ever had before. I experienced a new Shylock this weekend, two new Macbeths, a new Lady Macbeth, a new Angelo, and so on. I heard their words in new ways, understood aspects of their characters in fresh ways.  And then it was done. All these characters disappeared. The costumes came off, the props got put away, the stage was struck.  I felt deeply enriched. I love the Shakespeare Showcase.

3. After some Hammerhead Ale and cold cuts and crackers at Rita's with Fran and Linda, I headed back to Eugene and the Troxstar and I headed down to Hop Valley in Eugene for some beers and food with Carolyn, Rick, and Bingham.   It was an evening full of good cheer and good will, good conversation and all around goodness. The half a pint night cap at 16 Tons with the Troxstar topped off the evening perfectly.

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