Taking no prisoners. Including herself.

Dear Gigi,

Thank you for sending me an email at 6:53am to remind me that I should probably be posting on my blog right about now. Between walking for hours in the Phoenix heat to hang posters, selling my soul to get some publicity, and struggling to make some money with freelancing gigs so that I can once again lose it all on a production of BURST, I had neglected my most important responsibility: entertaining you with my words. So here is a post just for you:

I feel thin and short-changed, and then plump and deeply satisfied. Living between worlds. Heart at home, body away, soul in production. ‘On the road’ now for only 6 weeks, I feel like I’ve been traveling for years. Happy, then sad, as the direction of my show takes me.  I really feel like I’ve given birth, and am devoted to this little fickle toddler that wants all my time, energy, and money. I know you “want babies” — but for the love of God…

In just 2 short months, I’ve become a playwright, an actress, a producer, a video editor, and a designer; I’ve had to learn about printing, photography, profits and publicity; I’ve visited radio stations, non-profits, and behavioral health clinics. I’m overwhelmed, and overstimulated, and overjoyed.

I’m surrendering. “Have faith,” my friend K says, about everything. Faith.

*     *     *

I am sitting outside. There is a flying metal fish and copper pot. The pristine turquoise pool sits static for days. The last one to swim in it was me, 2 weeks ago. I don’t think it gets used, along with the Barbeque. This is a quaint box of paradise, walled off yard, trimmed hedges, twinkling grass (it’s just been watered). We butt up against 500 other little boxes of paradise, domiciles plopped down in the middle of the desert like a tail of railroad tracks that snake and curl into its own mouth. A subdivision of the conservative upper -(upper?) middle class in Phoenix, AZ.

When I take a walk neighborhood-wise everyone smiles. There are dogs. A few Obama bumper stickers, but mainly McCain supporters. That’s ok — we all have our place. There is a very nice park with those public exercise stations — metal bars of all shapes that instruct you how to stay fit. I tried that for one day. But if I leave the house after 8am it’s too hot.

People here have grass (the pedestrian kind). They grow lawns. They water them, at all hours. Why does anyone have a lawn, and why would they water it at 10am when it’s already 96 degrees out? That’s ok — we all have our reasons.

I ride K.’s bike around and wear my cotton wide brimmed hat like the schoolgirls  in Vietnam, the one I bought on the side of Hoen Kiem Lake before a day of peddling past water buffalo and cows. Now I peddle past schools where children are dropped off in a cattle-line of SUVs, ACs running while the car idles and waits — that’s ok, we all have our ways.

I’m adapting. I used to pant at 6am when the sun already was peaking her fierce heat over Cambelback Mt. — now I question whether I need a sweater when it’s 78*. I used to revolt at wasted water, endless sprawl, and strip-mall  culture — now I have a morning coffee at Starbucks (I know, Panna, I’m so sorry!) But that’s okay — we all have our sins.

And don’t tell anyone, but I got an iPhone. 3GS. Unlimited data. Is this much technology legal for someone who’s trying to do a theater piece about the crippling effects of modern life? I feel guilty, and secretly excited. Like the first time you discover masturbation.

There are palm trees here. Lots of thriving ones, unlike SF, where I never really understood why they were there. Palm trees come from the desert. Our town is built on silt and marinas; on cow pastures and headlands. But here they do all right. I am happy for them.

Ok. I am going to go on over to yoga. I hope this letter/post will satisfy. If not, please don’t hesitate to text, email, call or comment on my blog. I am be available for you 24/7/365.

With all my love,
-shannon

§641 · September 17, 2009 · Narrative, Performance · · [Print]

1 Comment to “(A New Post for Gigi)”

  1. gigi says:

    As you work your ass off to promote your AMAZING (only seen clips – but I can imagine) theater piece, I lay in bed waiting to be entertained by you. It worked!

    So proud.

    I guess I should call to figure out how you landed in AZ (raging headache right now – but I’ll call when it’s over).

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