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Monday, July 29, 2013

On Writing, Theatre and Life. Glorious, horrible life!

Photo copyright Tibor Kolley- Huffington Post

Once again, I humbly tug my forelock to you and mumble 'Mea culpa'.

When I first began this blog, I read a lot of advice about what a blogger 'should' do. Some advocated daily or at least bi-weekly posts. That seemed a bit much to me. I didn't want to become white noise in the blogosphere! The best advice I read was that it is better to post infrequently and make it count than to inundate followers with shallow and inane posts-for-the-sake-of-posts. I vowed to post only when I felt like I had something worth saying.

I was doing pretty well for a while, I thought. I aimed for a post every couple of weeks-- sometimes more, if things were worth chatting up. But real life has a way of messing with one's best social media intentions.

As it should.

We need to live it, folks. The good and the bad. Life screams for more attention like a relentlessly teething baby with colic who needs a nap/feeding/clean diaper.

This isn't meant to become my public forum for whining about my lot in life. This is meant to be a blog about writing, authors, the vagaries of publishing, and the wonders of art and the creative process. But life... glorious, horrible life... takes a lot of energy and attention sometimes, doesn't it?

The Reader's Digest version is that I've had more than my share of struggles with stress relating to financial security and ailing family members in the past few months. Facing down those demons doesn't leave much room for me to stop and think 'Gee, I should blog about the quirky and heartwarming relationships between writers and their cats'! It is more important-- far more vital, in the truest sense of the word-- to live my life and work on my novel-in-progress than strain to squeeze out a regular blog post.

One of the ongoing joys I have is to be able to glut myself on live theatre. The Stratford Festival is on my doorstep, and I am blessed to be surrounded by a community filled to the brim with talent and creativity. This past weekend I attended an invited dress rehearsal of a new play 'The Thrill' by Canadian playwright Judith Thompson. I was blown away by the script. I urge anyone who can get to Stratford to try and see a performance:
It asks a lot of The Big Questions: what makes one human life somehow worth less than another? Who has the right to decide? At what point does a chronic illness change from something one lives with to something one would die to escape? In the hands of four wonderful performers, this was a smart, witty and deeply visceral experience for me. In particular, there was a plot line involving an aging mother who is losing her grip on reality, and the hopeless feeling this engenders in her son. Dealing with elderly parents is an exhausting period in our lives-- one I know only too well of late. I have seen many friends around me in the past year lose a parent (in one cruel case both within months), or struggle to help their parents cope with the effects of aging and illness. And-- of course-- it has been the constant, pounding, demanding motif in my own family.

Facing down life-altering events and taking the time for inward reflection and grieving may seem like an excuse to avoid social media. Maybe it is. But it's a damned good excuse.

Life DOES go on. And so will this blog. On a more regular basis.