In one week, life can alter, redefine itself and stay the course all at the same time. You can never really know when these sorts of weeks will emerge; they almost always seem to come from nowhere, unexpectedly. And yet, if you are present to receive it, it is purposeful in its telling of where you go from here.
In one week, a job opportunity appeared…no…potentially two opportunities appeared when those desires were no longer yearned for.
In that same week, a dear loved one, someone who doesn’t even know of my continued affection, came to my attention, quite haphazardly, as to be afflicted with a life threatening, debilitating disease.
In that same week, like the crème filling of an Oreo sandwich, I sat, at a threshold of life, and shared in the celebration of a new marriage of a former student to her true love.
I love graduations and weddings…all possibilities are primed for fulfillment, all things start anew, all things can lead to happiness. Sometimes I wonder, “Why can’t life be like this always?” “Why does it have to be transfixed in expectations which get in the way of possibilities?” However, when I am saying names at graduation or watching a bride walk down the aisle, all these trepidations evaporate in my sheer thrill of possibilities.
In one week, possibility came directly to my door, in that same week, I toasted it in others’ journeys and at the end of that week, I wept unabated for the loss of possibilities for another. How is it we can go for weeks of task-mastering and feel sated and out of the blue, a new week can shake you to your core?
Eight years ago, I left the safety of my theatre classroom in an effort to find more balance in my life. In that leap of faith to a gifted classroom, I took the Throughlines Approach with me. I didn’t know it would be my tether of truth, I just knew I had to test the work of our field in my own, non-theatre classroom. “Were we posers,” I thought…this would be the only way to know for sure. We said this approach could facilitate classrooms in the most authentic of ways…but up until that year, I had never had a “traditional” classroom to really know…it felt right in all of those workshops…but could I pull it off away from the fold?
While at the wedding this week, as I watched my former student take her vows, I remembered her clearly in tableau, move shape move, and devising pieces of expression so divine, I was moved to tears as she left the room some days. How quickly we forget, the magic of the day to day expectations, how they can actually serve the knowing of ourselves?
The last thing she said to me as she left our table at the reception was… “Oh keep writing that work, keep doing that work…that blog…that Throughlines thing…it is amazing.”
“Huh”…I thought…I didn’t even know she followed our blog, let alone remembered the work. And then I realized, this process works directly from the “actor,” the “whoever” is doing the work. Because it comes from their core, it demands honesty of their understanding. And when we work from this place, in any facet of our lives, we are served. We ask questions, we make understandings, and we reflect how they impact us. And that stays with us.
I didn’t move shape move my interview, but I did use the tenants of our work. I expressed our profound appreciation of human potential as gained by improvisational structures and performance of understandings…how fostering this in others is all I have ever known to be my sincere calling in this world.
And almost in the moment the job was mine, the news came of profound loss for someone who I cherish. Sadly, I couldn’t move my sadness, I couldn’t build anything from the shock, I could only sit in the corner of a dark reference room and weep. My grief was taken over by anger, followed by exhaustion, fueling a resolve.
My resolve is this…possibilities must be honored; they must be revered, savored and never taken for granted. We are only masters of our fate to a certain limit, and then we must release it to the universe, but we can always be open for possibilities.
I found my resolve in this work. That is what the Throughlines Approach continues to teach me, in even these blinding, yet dark, hours. When we enter our day with questions and move though them, and use that knowledge to ask new questions, we set ourselves up for new entry points…possibilities. Some people never get to have the vantage point of this gift…they task master with honor, but they miss possibilities. Life’s thresholds are rarely in our hands, but how we move through them is a whole different story.
Thank you Alison, Patrick, Alan, thank you for a lifetime of gifts, of learning about myself in ways years ago, that can only serve me now, in this one week. Blessings to all of you facing fascinating journeys and strength to all of you who feel challenged beyond comprehension. Life is never tidy, but it is always telling. In this one week, I have accepted new challenges, celebrated life and mourned loss, without the strength drawn from years of doing this work; it might have been a very different week.