It goes without saying that other than the weekend that the shit hit the fan, the past week has been one of the most emotionally challenging that I’ve had in years. I moved into a new place, had the kids overnight for the first time since late May and returned to work where 97% of the people I work with have no idea what has been going on, including my own team. It’s been a lot of reading people in to the new situation that I’m living with and today it was all of the fine arts people in one space and lots of energy.
Last night when I got home, I was so emotionally burned out that I cried pretty much until I went to sleep and then started again when I got up. Erica was kind enough to pick me up to make it PD for the day and I was constantly being surprised with emotional outbursts that I couldn’t control. I was almost to the point where I was going to call my counselor and schedule and emergency session when we had an inservice workshop that had a major impact on my mental well being.
Our director brought in the intimacy coordinator working at the Dallas Theatre Center to talk to us about working with moments of intimacy in our work, something that is newly important and should have always been a part of the work that we do as theatre artists. She was going through the 5 pillars that she uses when working with a new script and the two that really stood out were Consent and Closure. Consent is something vaguely defined as an “enthusiastic yes” and Closure is really about making sure that everyone is ok at the end of an action.
I need enthusiastic yes in my life. I was talking to my dear friend yesterday about living with intention and this concept of consent really resonated with me. Closure was the final pillar and it really caught me by surprise. The clinician was talking about a certain scene where the characters were involved in a scene of sexual violence. They were on a pool table and the scene was blocked to allow for the lights to fade as the male actor was leaving the stage. There was a moment the audience didn’t see choreographed into the sequence where the actors squeezed hands as the lights faded as a way to say “I’m still here, we did this and we are ok.” It was a simple moment and it took a couple of hours for it to really sink in but when it did, I felt this immense weight lift off my shoulders.
I can choose how things are moving forward, I can choose to be at peace and live with intention and allow for those moments of closure to be exactly what they are. We went through some awful shit but at the end of the day there is a moment of peace and stillness when things come to their end and we are left at that end with what we choose to carry. I choose honesty and enthusiasm and experience and forward momentum and peace.