Not Jake

The dear old Messiah will have to wait for another day.  I found out half an hour ago that I didn’t get the part of Jake in the play Jake’s Women.  I got off the phone and sat down in my man chair.  I’d been sorting through some papers and felt the pull to get back at it.  No.  How about grab the sports section?  No.  So I sat.  My friend Renato came into the room and I told him the news.  He wanted to talk.  No.  And I sat some more.

I’ve been so light lately but now the sadness weighed me down.  I wasn’t slumping exactly but I felt … compressed.  And then … there was quiet inside me.

I realized how hungry I was and decided to have some breakfast.  I didn’t want distractions from how I was in the moment but I needed to eat.  So I did.  Quietly, with virtually no thoughts about the director’s decision.  I committed to sit down with my laptop as soon as I was done eating.  And here I am, alone in my bedroom.

So, what’s true?  My mind flits to the upside – not having to memorize over an hour of dialogue, no rigorous rehearsal schedule, don’t have to worry about stage fright, there’ll be another play …  I let those thoughts do their thing and now they’ve floated away.  Sitting some more, this time with fingers moving over the keys.

What does it mean when I say to myself “I am Jake”?  I don’t know, but I am.  In my heart, I celebrate the humanity of Jake.  He’s happy, sad, angry, loving and momentarily crazy.  He’s all that each of us is.  How about if I don’t nix any of that out of my life, if I let in the fact that we all hurt?  And if my neighbour is suffering, can I allow their pain and simply sit with them?

This doesn’t seem to be sadness now.  I’m very slow and quiet.  The experience of “not chosen” is common to all of us.  I feel my energy moving towards all the human beings I know and all the ones I’m just meeting.  This doesn’t feel like suppression.  Maybe I’ll cry later.  Hey, maybe I’ll laugh later.  (Oops.  I just laughed!)

Here I am, alone in my bedroom.  That’s fine for the moment but my place is out there in the world, loving and having other people laugh with me.  Time to go.

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