It is Sunday evening on Cape Cod. It has been foggy today, but we went to the beach anyway. I swam a bit, walked on the beach, collected stones and built small cairns with them. In the morning, I went to St. Mary’s of the Harbor in Provincetown.
I read a bit more of Michael Cunningham’s Land’s End, and did a little of my own writing. I have a lot to write. I slept for a while. Now, my stomach is bothering me and I have a sore throat. I hope it is just a passing thing.
The evening’s oppressive heat and humidity
finally broke in the middle of the night
in a fierce storm
leaving the morning
cooler, yet still damp.
On the beach
“Isaac was here”
in the sand
as we looked out
over a great sea of grief
to our friends
remembering their son
In the sand was a leaf of dune grass
looking like a trampled palm leaf
on the streets of Jerusalem
towards the end
of Holy Week.
Near the words
were tiny fish
washed a shore
by the storm
that couldn’t be saved.
The waves will erase our words,
but not the memory
Isaac was here, too.
It is warm and sticky as a light rain falls in Connecticut. For the past few hours, I’ve been cleaning the car and packing for our trip to Cape Cod. All of the usual issues arise. I always worry that we are taking too much stuff, but also, forgetting something. I get frustrated at how much junk needs to be cleaned out of the car first. I worry about keeping the line of sight out of the back window clear and about making sure the kayaks are firmly secured. Kim worries about the pets. Have you seen the kitten?
Eventually, the car is packed, we have showered and are almost ready to go. But first, I need to take a few moments to gather my thoughts. There is so much writing I need to get done. Website updates for one organization, meeting minutes for another. I need to write a couple more reviews of the Fringe festival, as well as do some personal writing for my own development. There are various deadlines to meet, even during vacation.
I take a glance at Facebook. A six year old child was killed in a traffic accident less than three miles from our house. A friend across the ocean is burying her son today. There is the litany of prayer requests in various Facebook groups. Yesterday was the Feast of St. Benedict. The Epistle appointed for Sunday starts off “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armor of God”.
I hold all of this in my heart as I send positive thoughts to those who are suffering, and then get in the car.
If you have friends that rescue animals, especially those that work for no-kill shelters, you know that they are some of the best people in the world. They are passionate about what they do. They can also be impractical and more than a little bit crazy. If you don’t know animal rescuers, you owe it to yourself to get to know some.
The play, St. Francis written by and starring Miranda Jonte, captures that passion and madness beautifully. As I watched Tessa, the owner of a threatened no-kill rescue, rant on stage, at times covered with blood from animals she was trying to save, I saw the characteristics of so many great rescuers I have known.
Likewise, Meghan Rose Tonery does a wonderful job of capturing the bubbly energetic volunteer at a rescue in the role of Molly Mattie. Tessa will do anything for Molly. Perhaps it is because she sees in Molly her better self, before she became so jaded and run down by the animal rescue business. Perhaps there is something about Molly that doesn’t get revealed as they talk about selling their eggs.
John Whitney, likewise puts on a solid performance as a returned old flame, another reminder of Tessa’s past before things all got so complicated and John Moss and Frank Mayers round out the cast nicely.
The play captures so much language of rescues from failed fosters to spayed bitches.
Do yourself a favor, go see this play. If you don’t already have a companion animal, visit a shelter and find one. If you’re really inspired, go out and support a shelter or animal sanctuary like Locket’s Meadow
The hidden gem of the 2015 New York Fringe Festival just may be the blue sapphire from the Happy Prince that the sparrow gave to the struggling writer in Wilde Tales. Wilde Tales is three fairy tales by Oscar Wilde, carefully crafted together and masterfully executed by six actors. There is great ensemble work and wonderful use of puppets.
These are simple fairy tales, well done. They talk about reluctant sacrificial love, unrequited, scorned love, and forbidden love gone astray. One can easily imagine Oscar Wilde drawing from his own experiences, as well as members of the cast drawing from their own experiences.
A reference early on in the play to the lotus flower made me think this play would pair well with The Broken Record. The angst of The Broken Record seems to go hand in glove with the joy of Wilde Tales.
Do not go to this play expecting intricate plot twists exploring hard to fathom details of the human condition presented through nuanced performances of highly complicated characters. Instead, go expecting simple stories of love tinged with sadness that will uplift your heart.