Moving Toward Happiness

Moving Company

a review 


Recently walking past a housekeeper with my bags, we left our hotel on the 23rd floor of a room in Manhattan. I nodded good-bye and thank you, and she smiled for a moment but I wondered how long the grin remained the second we went around the corner. I didn’t stop to think about what goes through her mind on a daily basis as she cleans up after me and everyone else that nods to her along the way.

In The Moving Company’s current production of The 4 Seasons, at The Lab Theater, the lives of three human beings caught in the trappings of their own seeming mendacity of hope suggest an essential value we often like to avoid. Like the housekeeper we know exists, yet they are gone when we disappear in our own lives, the three characters in this fictional hotel experience life through the poignancy of summer, fall, winter, & spring, and inside each season, the human condition speaks to the turmoil we all experience no matter our level of responsibility or status in society.

These three clean up after us daily, they unplug our used toilets, gather our soiled linens, and bathe in our afterward when the season wanes and they are left alone with their own simple lives. Each character has a question and while driven by the music of Vivaldi, their actions speak to the pain that exists when hope is just out of reach, when the light disappears, when happiness cannot be attained within the mundane reality of trying to survive. There is a rhythm to their world, and the music allows us to imagine their truths are as complicated as anyone’s own. The everyman is brought to life.

The Moving Company speaks to the reality of a generalized world, while exposing our current political turmoil and the hypocrisy of the haves when measured against the have nots. The judicial system is brought into question, while the seeming confusion of how leadership is chosen by ignorance is explored in the eyes of three normal lives.

We walk past the housekeeper every day, and the spirit of always seeking the beautiful despite the disdainful existence of their lives is played out on stage with a quiet humor. The talents of Heidi Bakke, Joy Dolo, and Steven Epp  play out the illusion we choose or do not choose to maintain when carving out our own lives. The balance of live theatre under the direction of Dominique Serrand once again compels and demands an audience to think, rather than simply walk past the reality of our own existence. In a world where hope is easily forgotten, is it still attainable? Will we remember two or three hundred years from today about the purpose of our lives?

The Moving Company raises the question with a blend of delightful humor spread thin by the painful struggle within the human condition. We are left entertained yet in a constant with silent wonder.



 

‘The 4 Seasons’ performed by The Moving Company

The Lab Theater – November 1 – December 2, 2018.

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Conversations Again

I’m sitting in my local coffee shop,

listening to Bjork shout angst toward

human behavior,

and I have to pause, listen to the words,

watch the lips move,

‘same as it ever was’

a lyric David Byrne gave us years ago,

and yet,

the conversations are still the same,

people trying to make each other,

make each other believe,

a promise, an idea, an ideal, a plea,

a necessary tool toward their own

imminent survival.

It is this human condition,

causes all of us,

well most,

to somehow indicate we can communicate,

participate, challenge, inform, suggest,

repeal,

what a God-awful reality,

when our luxuries of communications,

fall into the trappings,

the attitude, the ugly, the incomprehensible nature,

of human hypocrisy.

Is This Really Liberal Thinking?

Last night I had a conversation with two people I have tremendous respect for, the subject quickly turned to politics, and I openly expressed my dislike of our current state of affairs. I spoke of my dismay with our current POTUS’s views and motives, and the dialogue took an icy turn to defense and validation. The three of us bandied back and forth for many minutes about the pros and cons of what we believed in earnest. The positive takeaway from the conversation is the three of us finished forty five minutes later, and together walked out of the room, smiling, and said good bye for the night. I think it is important to recognize that people can have honest, often animated conversations that include their views, without the fear of character assassination afterward. That was my takeaway from yesterday’s debate with two people whose opinion I value.

A concern that evolved from our dialogue is their personal anxiety with the inability to be open about their views around their own community, specifically the school they attend. I’ve heard this conversation before, and the tone has been similar in that there is a general fear with expressing one’s political views no matter the side that someone carries or believes, because someone on the other side is always going to be waiting to pounce with wrath and indignation. The subject of a divisive culture is prevalent in our American society today, and both sides of the argument are easily persuaded to lay the blame for this current mindset upon the other, rather than step back for a minute and process their own contribution.

In a democratic society, the true definition of democracy is to suggest an open debate always exists that merits argument and opinion from all sides. Democracy itself is dependent upon actions that inherently support social equality. I wonder if anyone can look about their own personal world beyond their backyard and see this belief in action. I’m afraid not. Instead we are talking about walls, and bans, and now steadfast agreements of a scorned party to vote down another party’s proposals in a unified attempt to recreate what we as a people have witnessed for decades upon decades of political ignorance. I’m afraid putting a narcissistic, megalomaniac into a position of power will not change things anytime soon. In fact, even if I could be in complete agreement with any of the current administration’s  proposals, which I am not, I just cannot believe that ‘the people’ will rise to support those ideals in a complete and unified manner any time too soon. There is far too much anger in people’s minds right now, and it is evident first, in the children.

We live in a pretend away society. The sort that would suggest if we don’t talk about it, then the repercussions will not impact us directly. Until it does, when the ramifications of our society begin to knock on our front door. In the meantime, let’s sit in sidewalk cafes and debate the subject until we are lacking oxygen due to vitriolic fuels slapped back and forth between good souls trying to justify and rationalize their own way of thinking. I sat in that very coffeeshop this morning, in between two paired conversations, where one side lauded the efforts of our current administration, while the other decried the present swing of governmental bureaucracy. If the two pair had literally gotten up and walked through each other they would have magically disappeared as their parallel universe would have quietly combusted with little fanfare.

Growing up as a child I had a certain advantage. I was raised in a divisive household, a political separatist movement. My mother and father had differing views, and for most of my childhood and well into my teens, and later adult life they proudly canceled each other out at the ballot box. Here’s the important thing to remember though. No matter how differing their views were, and there certainly were heated debates over the years, they at the end of the day, had respect for one another’s viewpoint. So me, I learned how to weigh both sides without forgetting that people could actually get along together, quite well actually with differing opinions.

How do we possibly get started with our current state of affairs? I think our first objective is to recognize that liberal or conservative thinking do and will cancel each other out forever. That’s not the issue. I think the solution exists elsewhere and somehow we as a society need to recognize that path, together.

 

 

While I Judge The Circus

Standing alone I witnessed a world

not so tangible

once they did let me inside.

Out here where you can hear the screams,

the minions seem cloistered behind closed doors;

we brag about liberty and our freedoms around town.

The minute our space becomes theirs

we fall back,

shelter our own well-being,

only to imagine their fallibility.

 

When will it be time to look at ourselves,

perhaps we hold the key,

to understanding each other,

to knowing what it is to create a world

beyond self,

far away from that centrism we

pass off in ignorance.

 

I remember when I was a child,

she told me,

they all want the same thing,

and they’ll say it again,

and you’ll believe their generosity,

sincerity, genuine hypcrisy.

 

We all do see the same indifference, and yet,

how far away from our reality might we climb,

before our footing becomes another memory.

 

Clowns Among Children

We are a sad face

To listen to our squeal

We can never erase

Such a psychotic wheel

~

They play their stupid games

Each one cruel as another

Doesn’t matter their aims

Just a hypocritical bother.

~

I wonder what they imagine

when fear is a constant knock

Across the pond the whine

of wives in superficial frock.

~

Is this a nation that truly leads

Or are we only as callous

As the earth we cultivate weeds

That such a freedom is us.

~

People die yet they don’t listen

What can they possibly think

A nation that whose only mission

To weigh in such juvenile ink.

~

Perhaps in time we cannot allow to forget

The natural pain and angst they beget.

Circus Clowns

When I was a kid,

the circus came to town,

I remember not liking the stench,

being afraid of the clown.

I think there’s any sort of trepidation,

when we see a showcase that hides the truth.

I grew up to recognize

a lot of the wise

sort of character playing clowns we see,

tend to look at their lives through a glass of misery.

I wonder sometimes,

if in these our such turbulent times,

we Americans,

the accentuate freedom living human beings,

I wonder if we do,

understand the policy of clowns.

I watched a gavel of idiocy last night,

on national television,

free speech and lunacy,

we were all able to turn it off if we chose,

I stayed with it only to allow myself,

the opportunity to speak of clowns today,

to hope we all might take a breath and pause,

I wonder if we know waking up the dead,

will set us back a century.

Happy ‘whateveryouwantittobe’ day,

(something about Black history month here ___ )

month, year, hour we forgive our calculative nation.

Happy to be back at the circus today.

I always hated that three ring debacle of stench.

Still do, still do, still holding on to

life.

Heads Explode

When the summer air dries the mind,

while the human condition  becomes designed,

to employ an ideal,

to suggest we steal

each other’s value for the benefit of our own

each mannerism, gesture from where found unknown.

We only benefit by the knowledge of truth

as that reality slides we belong long in the tooth.

He wanted to take over the centerstage,

he took a walk cognizant of age,

the public suggested he was the one

he was the sort of person we’d hope had won,

but the world came crashing down,

he suddenly just wore a frown,

nobody could see it really coming when it happened,

this was and easy route he thought, so his write’s penned.

We will have you ready,

in every manner steady

to full the people with crisp harsh criticisms,

so brutal we’ll have to revisit our own isms.

I want to be your guy,

look at me so sly,

yet now I’m here standing near the crest of the mountain,

seems a lovely day to go searching for the perfect tan.