Late night after the show
I am in my kitchen with a planned splurge of food: two glasses of red wine and a lean cuisine. Oh! My life is so exciting. Actually, it makes me a little scared how excited I am for this and how I planned it so carefully.
I have been so high (I guess of adrenaline, as I gather from my reading) after the shows -- not because it went so well or something, even though, I have to say the show did go pretty well -- but because after any show, good or bad, I am just jacked up so high I cannot sleep for hours afterwards and I have been spending this excited time EATING. Which is not good because, because that is not healthy and not good. So I am trying to plan for how I'm going to feel after a show and what I will do and what I will eat. So, here I am with a very expensive bottle of pinot noir and a Lean Cuisine and frankly, I couldn't be happier.
It's weird to be an actress like the kind that I am, doing these monologues. I now have been through this three times and now I kind of know the drill. How spectacularly thrilling and exciting it is, and how completely lonely it is. I kept thinking I might go out with people after the show, but I am so wound up from the show I can't really concentrate on all that much except the show. And that means I am glazed over on any subjects that are not about MY SHOW. And that is a spectacularly ego-filled maniacal state to be in, one I'm sure that is not condusive to regular conversation. So to be polite, I make sure I am alone. But being alone means being with myself with all this energy! When I did God Said Ha! I thought I never knew such depths of aloneness and high off performing-ness. But then, back then, oh those eight years ago -- before all the travels and the big break up and the adopting of Mulan and all that changed, back then it was kind of romantic, this whole life I led -- so alone and so connected. But now, it's begining to feel routine. And that feels good, and not-so-good at the same time. I'm older. It's not so starkly beautiful now, and I don't have a God in my life to make me feel good or bad or anything about it. It's just what...is.
So here I am. Eating a Lean Cuisine and having a glass of pinot noir. And this is what I'm thinking about: I am reading this amazing book: "Don't Think Of An Elephant." by George Lakoff. It's a lot about how progressives need to deal with conservatives in our country. And to accomplish this, he describes the world view of many conservatives and I feel so enlightened. And I understand so much better now! And I'm not sure what I'm going to do with all this information, what I can do, but it's very fertile stuff. In any case, he talks a lot about how conservatives view the world in a frame of family (as do progressives, by the way) and the frame that conservatives use is the strict father frame of viewing the world. Their brand of Christianity is the strict father type and the progressive view is of the nurturing parent brand.
Well, first of all, if you haven't read this book, it means that you must read it immediately. Conservative or progressive, you must read it. It's really amazing.
But it has caused an explosion in my mind of re-examining who this God was in my life that I have now let go of. And I realize that the God I believed in was a compassionate god, a friendly god, a loving god -- not at all the strict father God that so many people believe in or have rejected. I began to notice this a few years ago as I workshopped my show -- that many people's Gods (that they rejected) were punative and judgemental. And I would say, "Wow, the God I believed in didn't do all that much but just love me." And still, I rejected him!
Then I thought about my own dad. My dad was never a strict diciplinarian in any way. In so many ways, he was like a friendly uncle who lived with us. My mom was the one in charge and my dad just went to work and tried to be friends with us. I know now how untraditional this type of family system is, and I can see what is not good about this -- it made my mother have to be the heavy and my dad clearly abdicated so much of parenting to her and I think she was not prepared for this in any way. But besides all that, the fact is that the God I had constructed in my imagination was very much like my father. Like a super-human version of my father. A confidant, a friend, an all-knowing daddy. Which, in some ways, made it harder to let him go. Because what is the downside? For me, it became the facts, the psychological and scientific facts that were so at odds with this imaginary friend. But I can see that people who have a "strict father" frame of the world may not at all be able to understand what I'm talking about when I talk about God. I mean, it doesn't mean God is any more or less real because of our fantasy about him, but it does mean that the people who would never be able to relate in any way to the experience I have had will probably never be albe to. Not that I thought they would. It's just all so...interesting. That's all.
When you can imagine whoever you want to be God, then God can be anything. So to talk about "God" is almost impossible. Everyone has such a different set of needs they bring to the table when it comes to talking about God.
In the end, it's just reality that is happening and not our ideas of abstract notions. People are dying in Fallujah tonight. Or barely not dying. Or thinking they might be dying.
There's so much pain in the world, so much excrutiating pain, sometimes I cannot bear it.