Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday Morning

Saturday was the kind of day people think Vancouver has all the time: It poured with rain all day. And I mean poured. But the truth is, it rarely rains here like it did yesterday. I stayed in all day and took cleaning to a fetish level; I even cleaned the gravel floor of the aquarium. It was fine to be forced to slow down, relax and stay small. I was so relaxed, I was falling asleep by 8:30 pm and so I went to bed.

Consequently, it is 5:13 am as I write this sentence. I got up at 3:30 and I saw stars in the sky. The storm has passed, which means in a few of hours I can be on the seawall for a brisk early morning walk. And then I will come home to work on Trudeau, the Felons and Me (TFM).

I wrote TFM during three weeks in July. That draft earned me enough interest for Kim to agree to produce it so in August I wrote a second draft and since then I have not even looked at it. Consequently, I had trepidation about getting back to it because all my life I was plagued by Next Day Syndrome (NDS). NDS is what I called my tendency to hate everything I wrote the following day when I re-read it.

But I was relatively happy with what I discovered. And it truly felt like a discovery because writing TFM concurrent with writing Uncle Gus' Monkey was challenging—as has been writing a fictionalized story of my life and remembering the changes made from the facts. My brain feel too full. Anyway, I was energized by my "rediscovery" of TFM. When I finish draft three, I am going to ask for a workshop or organize a reading myself.

Below is the prologue. The show is about my seven years at Presentation House during which time I designed and built the theatre and then changed their embarrassing amateur art gallery for local artists into a centre for photography that has become so successful that a huge sparkling new building for it is going to be built on the waterfront in North Van soon. The show is in the Presentation House theatre this coming June.

Chris:             Good evening, and welcome, and how do you do?
My name is Chris, and I’m here to imbue
on this night, in this house, and deep within you,
an engagement of spirit for this place where we view
the arts and ourselves, and where we accrue
our sense of community, of belonging to
each other, and where we learn to eschew
disconnection and difference, and instead, to pursue
celebration, achievement and all we can do
… together.
     I’m here from the past with a tale that’s true—
at least it’s true from my point of view.
With a story worth telling and relevant to
the future as you consider just what to do
with this dowager palace and the hullabaloo
with the gallery bidding this centre adieu.
     I’m here from the past, to remind and renew
your understanding of the where what and who—
all the sordid tales about our debut;
a retrospective, a memory a déja-review
of the dreamers who dreamed and the dream that came true.
Of the dancers who leapt, pirouettes, pas-de-deux,
and sculptors and painters, and all that they grew
out of cobalts and phthalos and cadmium hues;
of actors and singers, and their much ado
that moved us, inspired, reminded us who
we are as a people; why we do what we do.
And I may make a fuss, a slight ballyhoo,
about one thing I did, and could never outdo.
And that was deciding, out of the blue,
that we would use photographs as our point of view
for telling each other why we do all we do.
When I was here, I was head of a crew
of youth with a passion to build and renew,
Even though some of us knew it was true
We were here because of a social taboo;
Regardless, not one of us, not ever, withdrew,
our challenge here etching us like a tattoo.
The actor and actress enter.
And enriching this telling of tale overdue
Are Actress1 and Actor, 1 two thespians who
Can offer you all more objective a view,
Actor:         And bring life to his story; this stage we will chew,
                   And correct any bits that we feel are untrue.
Actor:         We’ll reveal, amuse provoke and we’ll woo.
                   And satisfy those who are trés curieux.
Chris:       Armed with these colleagues, for you I’ll review
The proud history of brilliants and idiots who
Put the life in this place, paying accolades due
to those who deserve them, from my point of view.
                   And just as in life, if perhaps you tell two,
They’ll tell two more — and soon there’ll accrue
A community of interest in all that we do
here to brighten and deepen our community’s view
of this world that we live in and our human zoo.

     That it’s not a dull story I can attest to
Because sometimes we suffered as most projects do
from people on whom I wanted to spew.
Like Old Mister Proud who hadn’t a clue
about people or culture or just how to do
anything. And he ran this place too!
Mr. Proud:          The opinions of minions tend to imbue,
The truth with opinion that’s hard to see through.
Chris:                 And the partner he chose for his mauvais pas-de-deux
Was one Lady Ferret a viper, a shrew.
Lady Ferret:       Quite frankly, without us, you might misconstrue
just who are the heroes in this little review
of our history all told from his
 point of view.
Chris:        Please excuse me, dear colleagues,
                   I must bid you adieux
And start telling this tale that’s tantamount to
a soap opera! And so, dear friends, without further ado,
here is our tale of how, when and who.
1 The real names of the actors will be used. 

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