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Sunday, June 01, 2008

Loving Both Of You Is Breaking All The Rules

It's been a bit of a roller-coastery ride today: the memorial service for Dawn's mom was held this afternoon at Virginia Mason Medical Center, where Pat worked for much of her 30 year nursing career. Dawn handled it pretty well, all things considered, but she had a lot of support to help take some of the load off, and allow her to focus on the important things. Today was, I think, something of a catharsis for her in terms of being able to share some of the emotional turmoil she's been holding in for the past few days, but at the same time, it also gave her an opportunity to celebrate the life of someone very dear and close to her.

The one thing I realized during the course of the memorial was that Pat had many facets to her personality, and that she was highly respected by her colleagues, peers, friends and family. I didn't get to know her until several years after her retirement from a long career in nursing, and so I was impressed, although not particularly surprised, to learn that she was the first certified Nurse Practitioner in the State of Washington, and that she had helped to implement a number of programs in the Endocrinology Department at Virginia Mason, where she had also played a vital role in developing one of the world's most innovative diabetes treatment programs. It wasn't something she ever really talked about, but it was obviously an important part of her life, judging from the number of former colleagues who turned out to pay their respects.

Now of course, Dawn has to engage in the harder task at hand - moving on from her loss, and falling back into the rhythms of everyday life, albeit without the support of one of her strongest anchors by her side. It's going to take a while, but she'll be okay; she's already proven her resilliency in the face of adversity, and I think she's going to take the lessons she's learned from this experience forward with her. It doesn't mean things will be "comfortable" any time soon, far from it I expect. But, at the same time, discovering the extent to which her own inner resources can carry her must be of some comfort nonetheless.

I ducked out early from the post-proceedings to race over to the Theatre, where the company was in the midst of selecting our 2008-2009 season. It was a bit of a nail-biter for me, since I had submitted a proposal for a production that I intended to direct, but because of the scheduling conflict, I wasn't going to be present to speak on my own behalf.

It's a situation in which I rarely find myself - having to choose between supporting someone else in their time of need, versus supporting myself, and although the circumstances weren't in any way equitable (there was simply no way I wasn't going to be there for Dawn, despite the clear presence of many others also there at her side today), and there wasn't a moment's hesitation, or an inkling of regret in doing so. I simply had to trust that I had made a good case for my proposal, and also to trust that my colleagues would make a fair and judicious decision in my absence. Even so, I admit I was a bit unprepared for the hugs and cheers of congratulations that greeted my arrival at what turned out to be the tail-end of the selection process.

But now it's official: I'm going to be directing the World Premiere of "The Moon Is A Dead World", the first playscript by monologuist Mike Daisey, opening mid-October. Sounds like a ways off, sure, but it means rehearsals will begin early September, which means auditions need to be held no later than early August, which means I need to assemble a production team by, oh, say, early July - roughly a month from now; while at the same time assistant directing another production that opens mid-July.

Well, there goes MY summer.

I hadn't really had any one-on-one discussion about the project with other Company members prior to this afternoon, but I'm told by our Artistic Director that the show generated the most enthusiasm of all the projects considered, as evinced by the fact that immediately after we adjourned (roughly 15 minutes after my arrival), people started approaching me with ideas about how we might accomplish some of the not inconsiderable technical challenges, while I in turn began approaching others about coming on board in various capacities.

Needless to say, I'm excited, terrified, and frankly, a little emotionally overwhelmed at the moment, but I'm also thankful. I don't want to call it "karma", because that implies some sort of quid pro quo; I do something nice for someone, someone does something nice for me, because I don't believe that's the way the world works. It's really more a sense that I've made good choices in terms of who I support, and who I have around to support me, and I think today was a very good example of the effect those choices have on both myself and on others.

I just hope I can continue to choose as wisely.

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Posted byCOMTE on 5:35 PM

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