I didn’t make this up; the poet Robert Haas did. And in so doing, he laid the foundations for most of my thinking today.
I’ve spent the past few days traveling to Baltimore, and giving a workshop on Intuitive Dating at breathe books there (great shop, you should go). I also saw my new play Punk Rock Mom performed there for the first time as a fully staged production. It was a short trip, yet felt long, since so much time was spent traveling, waiting in airports, eating substandard food and tossing around on beds that make what the Spanish Inquisitors offered look compassionate.
It couldn’t really have gone better. The turnout was good at the workshop and they asked me to come back, perhaps more than once a year going forward. I like Baltimore, so this isn’t really a problem for me. I also liked the workshop participants. Each one of them seemed kind, compassionate and dedicated to healing and moving on from romantic pain.
The play, likewise, was a great experience. The company worked really hard, and it showed. The performances were great, the staging as well, and I couldn’t have asked for a better first experience with this one. Any artist will tell you how rare and wonderful it is when someone truly “gets” you — what you’re trying to do, where you’re going with all of it — and then how fearless they have to be to get behind it. True on all counts here, and very fun to boot.
So why, at the risk of sounding ungrateful, was I sad at the end? I suppose it could be construed as fatigue (I have been working an awful lot lately) , or just wanting the wonderful stuff to keep going. After all, some people could get used to people telling them they were great all the time.
I read this quote on the plane home — “Desire is full of endless distances” — and all of a sudden, something clicked. Of course it is, because the closer we get to anything we want — a job, promotion, lover, theatrical production, wonderful workshop or something else, the more we want. That desire, built of smaller needs, piles up on us until we’re forced to reach out more, to close that endless distance, until nothing more remains to be conquered.
Getting started on that tomorrow.