okay, first of all. in the aftermath of Orlando and so much else going down in the world lately, I've been reminded of words I saw floating around Facebook a few months ago and wanted to share them with you. sadly, I couldn't remember which terrible event had spurred them; so I did a bunch of scrolling and, along the way, recalled that wow, yes, a serious concentration of terrible tragedies have happened in the past year. it's been a lot. we've all been absorbing, processing, grieving a lot.
the words I was trying to find turned out to have come in response to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman’s decision not to charge the police officers involved in last fall’s shooting death of Jamar Clark, here in Minneapolis. the post is from March 30, 2016 and was shared by Ashley R. Oliver, a person I've never met but whose instructions have traveled in my pocket ever since:
Do not shame people for not marching.
Do not shame people for not protesting.
Do not shame people FOR marching.
Do not shame people FOR protesting.
Do not shame people who are weeping.
Do not shame people who are silent.
Do not shame people who are removing themselves from the pain.
Do not shame people who are reblogging every thing they can get their hands on.
Self-care takes different forms.
Help each other heal.
these words will never stop being relevant. give yourself permission to take care. help each other heal.
for me, it helps to hold onto the fact that there also have been so many hopeful events and steps of progress in the past year. conversations are changing for the better. and today I swear I feel the Earth shaking from the words of John Lewis. (if you haven't watched this speech yet, I highly recommend doing it right now. less than 6 minutes long.)
I'm also helped by grounding in artistic process, doing the work, and sharing that work with you. and therefore the segue: I'm happy to share with you a new post about the play I'm writing for Red Eye Theater on our project blog.
"Six Video Snippets and Five Short Updates"
It's exactly what it sounds like - six videos and five updates offering a window into my latest workshops with Red Eye (Steve Busa and Miriam Must) plus guest artists Crystal Myslajek (who you might recognize as one of the two dreamy musicians from my reading of ENCYCLOPEDIA at The Playwrights' Center in January), Vie Boheme, Billy Mullaney, Kristin Van Loon, Charles Campbell, and Dolo McComb. We're deeply grateful to The Playwrights' Center for making this round of development possible - and I'm deeply grateful to YOU for making my reflection and further mulling (this nebulous yet oh so critical aspect of the process) a little more sustainable.
to whet your appetite, there's one video snippet above; check out the post for more. consider taking a few minutes away from the news, social media, your to-do list, whatever it might be, to breathe in this otherworldly space with us for awhile.
Sending love to you through summer rain -
P.S. I'm making this "piece" release public, rather than patron only, partly because the Red Eye piece is public anyway, but mostly because I think Ashley R. Oliver's words are too important not to share. That said, if you're reading and you're not already in my circle of Patronauts, please consider signing up! You can support and access everything I make (with some sweet perks plus freebies from collaborators along the way) for as little as $1 month - and believe me when I say, that $1 does way more than you might think. Sign up here.