Sometimes I think that we’re all tiny powerful narrative machines who fit every new person, place, thing or piece of information as neatly as we can into the existing plotline. If we think, for example, that men betray the women they love, then we are likely to feel a strong attraction to men who entertain a similar expectation. If we were the second-best child in a family we may feel underappreciated and under-regarded in every single group setting we adopt by love or necessity. I used to be an actress and I noticed that in every single play we all ended up surreptitiously casting each other into personal family tropes. All this went on for the most part on a preconscious level although once an actress who was our same age exploded in rage at me and my friend EE during rehearsal because we were laughing. She called us “infantile”, which of course sent us both into paroxysms of giggles. She was a stern older sister type and full disclosure, me and EE, are the baby of our respective families. So, double whammy – She, I’ll call her S,. hated her younger sister and we, younger sisters, thought she was a bitch. Voila!
Sadly art, such as theater, often imitates life and life only rarely imitates art and when it does its always some kind of ham fisted thing like the Spanish Inquisition or January 6th. Aida was better, by a lot.
I don’t know where these stories come from. I do know that none of them are readily available if you’re trying, for an example, to fucking write them down! Because of these imprinted stories, it is hard for us to look at anywhere in the world and see it for what it is, for who other people are, for the special beauty of each new place.
That is our challenge, isn’t it? To be ourselves in regards to this wonderful, ever changing world, to hold on to the core but bring a blank slate and an open heart to every new encounter.