Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Deaf Blind Shuffle

Consider this -- about a quarter of Miracle Worker rehearsals were canceled. Why? No need to rehearse! All is well! Everything is going great!


Okay, the mother of Helen Keller (in real life) is a hair bit anxious about the fact that her child gets only, like under 3 full weeks, of rehearsals to prepare. And the understudy? That poor child just got thrown into the mix last night. Heaven forbid of anything happen to Scarlett.

These theatre folk live dangerously. On the edge. Banking on one child's performance, health and well-being -- Scarlett's. The Matron has Instruction from Theatre in her Inbox: no illness, no broken limb, no hair cut, no tattoos or piercings, no worries. She's doing her best, all fronts.

Today introduces the beginning of the real deal: tech week. Previews start on Thursday and Opening Night? One week from today.

Break a leg, Scarlett!

Weanie post, but the Matron and her family are off to Grandpa Don's funeral. The blog has been thin, reflecting the state of the matronly Nerve. Better days ahead.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Note to Self: 2009

The Matron hopes that the next year has a lot of this in it!

The Five-Day Rain
by Denise Levertov

The washing hanging from the lemon tree
in the rain
and the grass long and coarse.

Sequence broken, tension
of sunlight broken.
So light a rain

fine shreds
pending above the rigid leaves.

Wear scarlet! Tear the green lemons
off the tree! I don't want
to forget who I am, what has burned in me
and hang limp and clean, an empty dress ---

The Matron so loves the images, the suspension, the lust for lemons so urgent that one must reach while they are still green, not ready. No waiting!

Here's the next year we've been given. Blaze and shine.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Good-Bye Grandpa Don

John lost his stepfather in the wee hours of the morning. Here is a repeat very early post about the Matron's mother-and stepfather-in-law-- one that sort of sums up her outlook. Life is full of good-byes, the terrible kind. So she loves this post. Good-bye, dear Donald. We will miss you.


My mother and stepfather in-law are 73 and 83. They go to a funeral every week. Memorials and wakes are their primary social junket. After the service, they eat ham or egg-salad sandwiches and sip coffee. These gatherings exist in a unique temporal dimension: conversation shifts seamlessly between past and present, potent and trivial. They gossip. They decry the cost of gas and talk about whose grandchild appears headed down the worst road. They fall back fifty years to wedding nights, births, and communions. Disappointment and betrayals get yet another look. Really, I can't imagine (fill in the blank) is gone. Who makes the better rhubarb crisp? Then they pick up their plates and go home.

Today I put our dear dog Thurston's ashes in their new box and set them on the long smooth shelf next to my father's ashes.

I watch both boxes and think about my shelf, filling up.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Seventeen Years

Updated from December 28, 2007, before the Matron's third person was fully realized. She'll be back tomorrow.

Dear John,

On December 28, 1991, we went out for coffee. That lasted five hours. We went for a walk, remember? And ended up in a church, peeking in on somebody else's wedding. I swore of Family, Children, Domesticity, all sort. Here stands that resolve in 2005.

After coffee, you asked if I wanted to come over to your house for dinner. A meatloaf supper. It is Vast Testament to my keen interest in you that my answer was yes. And you lived in a carriage house! I was sure you were gay, you were so pretty and the place was that quaint. And clean (except behind the tub but I discovered that later). You even had a pretty black square plate with decorative sand design sitting on a coffee table. What was not to like?

Here's your youngest, running, about three years ago. Look at those cheeks! Those munchkin legs!

Meatloaf supper, indeed. I stayed two days. When we finally parted, you admitted relief. Your single (serious) reservation about me had been laid to rest: despite the tie dye leggings I wore (with groovy black leather boots), I was not a Deadhead. Indeed, I could barely distinguish between musical groups. I asked: "Is that the Beatles" when Simon and Garfunkel came on. Still, you loved me. I moved in a week later.

Here is the first time Scarlett went on an official stage, in front of a significant audience. She's the one with her eyes shut, all anticipation and joy.

A few years later, we have a third job between us, driving.

Now, I can't advise hauling over suitcases within a week of the first date. But I did. My friends were worried. I was just days out of the last relationship, after all. And then there was History: "Remember Brian? Remember Kevin? Steve? Hassan?" Yes, Impulse tended to overtake.

But I knew this was different. Right before I moved in, you told me you loved me. With clarification. You said, "I love you. To like four degrees out of ten, because we've only known each other six days."

Here's Stryker with bad hair that's even worse now, doing one of the yo-yo tricks that helped earn him that national championship. We learned about the tournament the very morning it started. You dropped everything and rearranged your whole day so he could go. And I wouldn't have to do it (at the Mall of America).

It is possible for the hair and hobbies to worsen.

When I was pregnant with Scarlett, we knew the baby was a girl. You said, "I hope she gets your brains and my looks." I pretended to be appalled but I hoped so, too. I guess the jury is still out on the brain thing, but how can you argue with this?

We actually met three months before that very first December 28th date. Remember? We shared a table at Dunn Brothers Coffee shop because the place was jam-packed. A man playing an accordion was conveniently located two feet from my head. You didn't hit on me. We exchanged pleasantries.

But then an odd thing happened. You appeared in one of my dream. We were doing silly, routine things like grocery shopping and getting a car fixed. We mowed a lawn. I woke up but remembered because the dream seemed, well, real.

Things weren't going well with my current boyfriend. I was thinking about him while preparing to visit and mused: is Kevin the one I'll spend my life with?

"No. It's the guy from Dunn Brothers."

That thought popped --whole and instructional --into my head. My next thought was: "I better find out his name."

So the next time I saw you at Dunn Brothers, I stopped at your table and got that name, encouraged Invitation. Before long, I told you about the dream and directive. I guess that was okay with you.

On my birthday you gave me a beautiful ring and a card that said, "Looks like we're getting married."

We have a history of unilateral decision making about our relationship. But I guess that's working out. We still have this dear friend, padding toward 16. He can't see us but he knows we're here.

And while I'm happily blogging, all warm and cozy, you are the one outside, searching for Satan's Familiar. True.

And you still look every bit as good as you did the day the woman in the car next to ours flashed you her phone number at the red light. Remember how she wrote that out, on a big piece of paper and held it up to the window?

Happy Anniversary--and, you're the one who made the personal, home-made card and gift. I am lucky in love, indeed.