I’m sitting at the Africa Lounge at SeaTac airport. Thanks to the kindness of Sir Richard Branson, I have the internet at my fingertips…all I had to do was watch a (highly entertaining) ad (starring beautiful people travelling and interacting, through knowing glances, expressive eyebrows and the beauty of technology, with one another) for 30 seconds urging me to fly Virgin…after which I was able to connect to the world. And, believe me, Sir Branson, if Virgin flew to Durango, I would have. Have you ever flown Virgin? I am terrified of air travel. I routinely have to sit at a place like the Africa Lounge and have a glass or two of alcohol of some sort to even step onto a plane. BUT, with Virgin, the experience is such that you know if you crashed, at least you would die happy. They’ve got chat rooms and mood lighting, people. MOOD LIGHTING.
As I was saying, I’m at SeaTac. I’m privileged enough to be heading to Silverton, Colorado, to be an ‘artist in residence’ at the New Artist Series sponsored by Silverton’s A Theatre Group. If you would like to see my photo and bio, of which I am so proud, click here.
This is the first step in my journey. I know, ‘journey’ can be such a loaded word that is often overused and dramatized…but I don’t know how else to describe this. It’s a journey that will take me away from my son for longer than I’ve ever been away from him. A journey that will challenge me to treat my dreams of being a writer as though they are a reality. It’s also a journey that will reunite me with a woman who was part of the process of my becoming the artist, and the person, that I am.
Mollie Mook Fiddler. I met her as a seventh grader. I remember the first time I saw her, at age 12, standing at her locker, across the hall. She was definitely too pretty and too cool to be friends with. Still, by some miracle, we became friends. In fact, somehow, eventually, we became the closest of friends, laughing together, crying together, camping together, being too cool together, dieting together, and eventually, as ‘adults,’ she took me into her home, giving me a place to stay when I was in a time of need, need of escape…that’s how I ended up in Iowa (where she was in the graduate acting program at University of Iowa), a place that became more important to me than I would ever know. A place that, in all honesty, I had to look up on a map to discover its whereabouts before I flew there to accept her kind offer. Iowa is where I met my husband, and where I found myself (not necessarily in that order). And it all started with the tiny guest bedroom at 228 Lee Street, Iowa City, IA, 52246, that Mollie offered me when I really needed her.
While Mollie is still far too pretty and too cool to be friends with, I took her up on yet another kind offer to spend a week with her creating and developing a piece for the stage. She will not only be directing the piece, she will, if my begging did its job, be starring in it as well, at its performance at the end of the week. The idea of Mollie Mook (as I knew her so many years ago) enacting MY written words is like an excerpt from a dream I’ve had many times, from which I’ve awoken smiling.
Here starts the journey. I hope to update this process day by day, because my bags were too full to pack an actual diary. So, welcome to my diary. I’m calling it Wishbone, because for some reason I sense that will be the title of the piece that comes out of the outline I’ve put together.
The process is this: I bring an outline to rehearsal at A Theatre Group in Silverton, and three talented and open-minded actors (of which Mollie will be one) will help me craft this piece. I’m hoping to piece together something about survival, something about the acceptance of the price of admission for living. Something about how to move forward, with bravery or without.
That’s what I’m doing right now. As I said, I hate flying. But I’m moving forward, getting onto the plane in less than an hour’s time…with bravery or without.
A fellow flyer and diner at the Africa Lounge snapped this picture of me: Me with my armor, a beer, my computer, my cell phone, my blogging. This is how I get on the plane. Until tomorrow…