Friday, September 22, 2023

Encouraging Feedback

I couldn’t watch the video of my monologue. The sight of me made me think of abandoning all plans for further performances and for doing a second one. I’ll ponder things for a while, but I think performing is best done by professionals. People like it, and I’m very glad they do. Several people have said how moving it is. There is no greater compliment. That really brings me joy. (Thank you, Beth.)

I went to the dentist early yesterday morning, and then came home to meet Kris who came by to help me tape the recordings I need for my telephone answering device, and to help me ask questions of the insurer of my home. And when we were done Bronwyn arrived, and we got busy talking about things to be done in the gardens. 

Bronwyn planted all the new plants I got on Wednesday when I went into Nanaimo to go to the eye clinic. I have another eye appointment next week, so I’m going back to the nursery again for more plants. The gardens are looking mighty, mighty good to my old and tired eyes. I left her to work and came inside to bake a nectarine tart for my dinner on Saturday, and to have lunch. 

It was just go, go, go all day until 4:30. I was beat by then. All I wanted to do was find a decent movie to watch and to chill in front of the TV. And what a movie I watched! It was, for me, an absolutely perfect movie: The Quiet Girl. It was hard to watch at times, given my past, but I could not wish for more from a movie. Don’t Google it! Don’t read about it if you’re interested in seeing it. It was like I was there.

I am thrilled with Bronwyn. I have chosen to adapt to her way of working. She proposed she start at 11; she got here at 12:30. But she came with a helper and got a lot of stuff done yesterday. I’ve a nanny for my many children. Hardly anyone sees my gardens but me. I very rarely have a party. My guests do of course; not all are interested. But those who are, understand the challenges and paise my efforts.

Real gardeners have a plan. Gardens are designed. Height, blooming time, light, moisture, scent, colour … there are many considerations when designing a garden. I’m not at all that guy. I take what’s available and I plant it according to its need for sun. I want colour. But I agree with everything Bronwyn says. She can do what she wants, but she chooses to work with me conversationally. I am very, very happy that she’s my gal. 

I had to stop writing. I got an email. Hearing the ping of an email is like you hearing the phone ring. I don’t use the phone much. Kris comes and makes calls for me that I just cannot make. But the ping of an email excites me as the ring of a phone once did for me.

The email was from the filmmaker of the video who taped my performance. I read his email and then I started crying, and then I started sobbing, and it went on for quite a while. I had written asking permission to share the video and he wrote the warmest, kindest email telling me I could share it as much as I wanted.

I have a feeling that stuttering organizations might like it because I stutter worse than most and yet I do the monologue fluently. They could do the same, as a presentation tool for auditions, work, club, church, family event, or many other applications. Plus, I preach acceptance. I say in my monologue: “My world has changed, and for the good. People acting as people should. My world’s a better place to be, now that I’m a different me. Blessed by disability.” It’s sincerely felt and expressed. It’s a major point of the exercise. I think that’s why I cried when I read Kirk’s message. With his permission, I can share the video with my fellow stutterers.

I have a busy day ahead today. I am making sauces and mixing spices. I’m doing all my prep for Saturday’s meal here with my neighbours, I do all that I can ahead so that I’m not exhausted when guests are here. And on Sunday night, I am going to Kris’ for dinner with Steve and Nancy. We four do very, very well together.

And … I am getting comments from people with whom I shared the video that make love pour out of me. It makes me want to keep going with part two, because as my friend Beth wrote to me yesterday, “It’s a great story.” And it’s about speech, but in a very, very different way. 

It thrills me to think of days writing in rhyme. The writing is the best part, I think. It’s private. Performance is thrilling. It took a hell of a lot of work to write and memorize part one. It’s rather frightening to think of memorizing part two while keeping part one, writing one part in the day and reciting the other at night.

When I was 26, I convinced people in North Vancouver City and District to hire me to build them an intimate theatre at no cost to them, in their emerging arts centre. They had run out of money. Hiring me was proof of their desperation. I had a degree in English and never touched tools. But I did it and it’s still being used. The experience was a highlight of my life. And then Walt Disney Inc. said: If you can dream it, you can be it.” Destiny! I can see a 2-part show.

I’m getting’ on with it!

Today I have a heavy agenda of cooking sauces and garnishes and I’ll be prepping ingredients for the dishes I will cook tomorrow. It’s another beauty of a day with temperatures that are fine. It will be about 22° again today.

I’m making another complex dinner because Dave has been so helpful with stacking wood and we’re going to be helping each other with splitting, and I want to thank them. It’s a lot of work but I love doing it, and I love how much my guests like my cooking.

Tomorrow comes the rain.

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