Saturday, June 17, 2017

A personal reflection for June 17, 2017.

On this date, ten years ago it was Father’s Day. We were traveling from Birmingham to Lurgan, Northern Ireland by air and the journey from hotel to cottage took most of the day. I did not compose a blog entry on that date, only posted this photo of cute pins the children and their mother got for me.

So this seems as good a time as any to reflect briefly on this exercise. Why re-post blog entries? Would anyone truly have an interest in reading them? What is the point, exactly?

I think the idea occurred to me maybe the day before I started. I realized huh, it’s been ten years since the tour, that’s interesting. And since I don’t feel I have anything new to blog about this month, it would provide “content.”

Quickly, however, I began to regret this decision as I was not really happy with the person I was encountering. I found him anxious, and kind of a jerk. Taking text from the I Hate This Blog (which I stop contributing to six years ago) and posting it here became an exercise in editing, which has its merits. I did not want to be dishonest about my feelings, but I have been able to create written entries which are easier to read.

However, as the tour continued, and as this re-posting project has continued, I have been able to appreciate my mood at that time, and how I began to relax into the journey and the work. I was very anxious in Carlisle, and downright despondent in London. These are reflections of my own mental state, and not of any other individual’s actions or behavior.

As the days progressed and I began to take in how my play was being received, I have been much less disappointed in my own thoughts. I am more open to our hosts, and spend more time talking about them, a team of wonderful volunteers and professionals who were dedicating their lives to the same mission I had, as counselors and companions in grief.

That has been my greatest joy in revisiting these journals in this way. I have had an opportunity to meet them again in my memory, and have been surprised as what strong memories wait there. It all went by so fast, and returning to America I had to get right back to work, and had no time to dwell in that experience.

My recollections on the post-show discussions are remarkable, because I am not sure I have truly read these journals for ten years. Yet, the comments made and stories told by audience members are fresh, vibrant and real. This play was a major focus of my creative life for five years, and using it as a tool not only to assist others in their grief but also understanding my own was a great part of the experience. That’s what the aughts were all about for me.

Happy Father’s Day.

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