A few weeks ago, I hosted a show whose director is a colleague of John Patrick Shanley. He came to the show, and the next day accepted my friend invite on Facebook. I’m so glad he did that. His posts are often short, and always speak to my heart. This is what he wrote today – “Walk away. Leave it all. Leave your name, your body, your voice. Become the horizon.”
I know he doesn’t write these things for me, but they echo my current situation so perfectly they feel as if they were written with me in mind. I am ready to do exactly as he suggests – and will be doing it next summer when I close my theater in Manhattan.
It’s possible that a few small theater companies will band together to take over my lease – that would be the most gratifying situation. I would certainly prefer to give or sell my equipment to some other theater makers, to leave the hang and the lighting console, to keep the stage as is. This space is full of beautiful mojo, and bequeathing it to someone else would be an ideal next step.
But it’s not my call. I have to do as Shanley suggests – walk away. Leave it all.
The second part of his statement – Leave your name, your body, your voice – also calls to me. I plan to spend some quality time in my beloved New Mexico, sitting on top of a mesa, listening to the wind blow, hearkening back to the part of me that is pre-name, pre-body, pre-voice. I want my elemental self – so long tethered to my management duties – to be free of those constraints. I want to shed the shackles of to-do lists, to even escape for a while my collection of creative urges. I have a strong desire to sit and rest and notice things, with my pre-verbal seeing self.
I have attained the status of senior and am welcoming it. It grants me a permanent pass to the amazing National Parks of the US. I plan to take myself to Chaco Canyon, in northwestern New Mexico, where I will allow myself to breathe in the wind, to contemplate the cerulean sky, and give myself the space to expand.
That’s when I’ll follow the final part of his dictum – I will become the horizon.
Thank you, John P.