Few people, I imagine, attend rehearsals. An actual production is a different story: Actors appear on stage in costume under the lights; everyone knows their lines; the drama unfolds as it should from beginning, to middle, to end; the curtain falls to hearty applause from the audience; the actors reappear to take their bows; the audience disappears into the night; the next day a new audience arrives for another performance.
But rehearsals? Why bother to attend? Everything is being worked out, worked on, nothing is finished, everything is in flux. Will an actual comedy or tragedy eventually appear out of the mess?
Here’s a messy drawing, an example of a rehearsal. My sketch books tend to be ragbag accumulations of stuff: old train tickets, images from the Tarot, stubs from entradas to museums, quotations from the I Ching, drawings without intent or purpose, just a way of paying attention to the world, in this case a Sunday afternoon jam session at a local brew pub.
That was a summer ago. Today we are in a cold, gray, bleak January, in a parade of storms visiting us since sometime before last week. Ludmilla Khersonsky’s poem arrived from a January on the other side of the world where ordinary people like you and me are freezing to death without heat or electricity under skies that rain missles and bombs. I’m sorry to have carelessly obscured the last lines of her poem with pen and ink. They read:
“… Do not open, the door boomed./ Do not offer it anything./ Do not wear a pretty dress./ If it starts breaking in, hit it – hit it – with an axe.”