A while back Talaura told me about a production of Our Town that would be playing at the Kansas City Repertory Theater. She knows some of the people involved in the production and it's one that played in New York. She told me it was a must see. I'd seen bits of the play before, but never the whole thing and I knew that I really did want to see it. But as it got closer to the run of the show, I got lazy. It would just be easier if they put the show on in my living room. I bought tickets. It was time to nudge this hermit crab out of her shell and I haven't seen a theater production in ages.
This production of Our Town was everything it had been touted as and more. What gets you though is the last act. Throughout the play there is very little set, a couple of tables and a few chairs. The actors pantomime the actions of daily life like cooking and drinking coffee from mugs. This is OK. For me it takes away any distractions from the words and interactions of the players and as the play goes on it just seems to be a normal thing. That there shouldn't be any more than this. This is where I have to put in a spoiler alert because I'm going to tell you about the end of the play. It's important. In the last act, Emily has died and wishes to go back to live one day even though all the others in the cemetery warn her that it's not a good idea. She chooses to go back to the day of her 12th birthday. That's when they open up what looked like just an ordinary wall at the back of the stage to reveal a complete 1901 kitchen. Down to the very last detail, the red water pump at the sink, the colored bowls hanging near the stove, the mom cooking at the old wood stove, even the sounds and smells of bacon cooking in the skillet. This is the moment where you get it. Emily says "does anyone ever realize life while they live it...every every minute?" as she moves through the kitchen touching everything, begging her mom to just take the time to look at her. The stage manager who has narrated throughout the show admits "No. Saints and poets maybe...they do some."
We don't see the minuet details. We don't take the time to savor ever moment. So often moving on to the next thing is more important than noticing the color of the wrapping around the gift. There are some of us who get it. Those of us who have lost too soon, too early know how fast moments go and how every moment is important. I never forget this, but there are times when I get complacent about it. I will let the moments just roll over me and I think this why my little 365 day projects are so important. They help pull my focus to this moment. I am thankful for those projects, but more than anything I am thankful for the awareness to be truly present in every moment and for knowing how important it really is.
I am thankful for every moment, even those that are sometimes painful.
I am thankful for you.