PICTURE TAKEN BY HEATHER CARLETON GRECO
Simple beauty is difficult to create. It means you have to hit it perfectly without hiding behind tricks. It's the sort of art I love. Simple, authentic, true to its form. Simpleness and clarity are often pieces that come in the midst of tragedy. When someone dies you think about what is important and what you really want. It was a friends death that gave me the courage to pursue acting. The reminder that the complicated mess of fears and what ifs and shoulds get washed away when we see the shortness of life.
I often wrestle in the complex. My life is filled with the complexity and tensions of different life experiences, family, friends, work, etc. And I believe the wrestling and complexity is important but it drives me to the root of things as well.
The week that Lara and I performed Shakespeare's Women my community experienced some tragic events. Death was heavy upon us. Death so often makes me feel helpless. What can or should we do for those who are left behind? We ache to do the big thing that will make it whole or better. Yet, I find it is the ordinary,simple and small that so often comes through in these moments. A touch, a hug, a smile, tears shed together, a meal. Death leaves with it complexity but it also highlights the simple and ordinary.
I think we all want our lives to be meaningful. I know that I desire that. And I look to people who have changed the world in large and radical ways and it feels impossible to measure up.
As we got ready to perform our piece I kept praying that we could bring laughter. That in some small way we could be a part of healing. A place to laugh and see beauty and stop. And I wanted to share the beauty of how we are connected. That no matter where we come from or our backgrounds, that as people, as humans, we share joys, sorrows, love, loss, and laughter. Shakespeare is complex. It is a wrestling. And I love that each time I come to his work I learn something new. But what keeps me coming back is the simple and ordinary stripping away he does to show people, humans just like me. People who mourn and laugh and play.
It is hard to see the power of the ordinary or the need for the ordinary. I'm often in search of the amazing performance moments. But I find that those come only through the practiced daily pursuit of creating. That it is only through the ordinary simple practices that we get those mountain top moments. And death reminds me that there is such joy in the ordinary simple moments. And that it is the slow build of many ordinary moments that pave the way for the moments that are beautiful and breathtaking. But it is also the ordinary and simple moments that can be so powerful and full that create life when all around feels broken.