Friday, April 15, 2011

Love it

We're heading east in an hour or so...whenever the troops get here.  By troops I mean, Beve, E and J.  SK's senior project is this weekend, her last great hurrah, so to speak.  She'll take to the stage with two of her best theater buddies and they'll strut their stuff, so to speak before profs, friends and family, as a culmination what they've learned in their four years in college.  She's been in a major panic about this in the last couple of weeks.  A PANIC, I should say, not wanting to let down any of us.  Not those who love her, those who will evaluate her, those who act beside--and depend upon her acting well--her, and especially herself.  

Now I had a senior project when I graduated from the University of Oregon English Department.  Mine was--wait for it--"A study of the Pastoral  in the Elegiac Mode of Edmund Spenser's The Faery Queen".  Are you suitably impressed?  Or just bored to tears?  Falling asleep in your coffee?  It was scholarly and self-important, and I'm almost sure I would barely understand (let alone care about) a word of it, were I to read it today.  But I did it. Got a reasonable grade on it--must have, or I wouldn't be sitting here today, with a college degree and all.  But the only good thing about it was the only those profs who graded it and I, who had researched within an inch of my life in that most horrible last term of college (and it really was--trying to survive a broken engagement, still be in the town with the man, go to school, see him our friends, simply survive so I could get the dang degree), and wrote it, actually read the thing.  

What I'm saying is that this is a whole lot different--across the Grand Canyon divide--from doing a theatrical production as a senior project.  Yes, in some ways what I did was harder.  All that stinkin', back in the stacks, rare book room and research library research.  And, I'll remind you--this was in the dinosaur days of no computers, let alone no internet. The world wasn't at my fingertips in those days, all U of O had to offer was all I could offer my profs, for better or worse.  However, I was hidden in the end.  I didn't have to stand there, warts and all, hoping I really knew all my lines, grasped well all the characters, got all the costume changes down quickly enough not to interrrupt the flow of the play.  I may have had only one shot at it, but only when I came in to sit with my prof (a rather slight man with a diffident way of speaking that didn't intimidate anyone, which may have been why I chose that  period to study, rather than something I had more interest in), it was to a cluttered office and an offered cup of tea I came, and a cozy, easy conversation that didn't scare even the birds in the trees beyond Old Main where he'd been teaching a million years.

So I get SK's fear.  But I know this about my daughter.  When the seats are filled and the lights dim, whatever she's worried about in the moments before disappear, and she's suddenly present in that/those characters she inhabits for the course of the play.  From when she was the littlest apple seed "Johnny Appleseed", to one of the step-sisters in "Cinderella" (a role people STILL rave about, though it was 7 years ago), and all the others, she's always right there.  Inside that role, inside those people/creatures in whom she dwells for those moments on the stage.  I don't know whether this will be the last time we'll see her act, but it might be.  She's choosing a different path now, costume design.  But I've enjoyed loved every minute of it.  Large roles and little ones, I've loved watching her act, loved watching her love acting.  So, if I could say just a couple of words to her this morning it would be these:  Love it this weekend.  Pour your love into it exactly the way you always have.  Let go of your worries and simply relish that you get to do this one more time.  That's what I'll be doing.  With all the love in my heart.

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