Tuesday, May 05, 2009

5th May

There's a line in our show where I say: "We chose to keep our scripts"

and Suzanne says: "In case we get ambushed by grief".

Which is exactly true because it is such a risk in this script which touches so closely our grief. And most days in rehearsals it happens at least once that one of us is overtook by weeping.

This morning it happened to me. I wasn't in rehearsal, as it happened. I was alone at home. I can't remember what i was doing, or where it came from. In that sense it was a classic ambush: and suddenly i was helpless with weeping.

The memory was not of Susie, or of my mum. But strangely enough of myself.

I was at school and playing Lizzie in "Next Time I'll Sing To You" by James Saunders, which was the house play. I loved being Lizzie. And I loved her costume, which was a trouser suit in a bright colour. Maybe purplish... and I remember after a dress rehearsal somehow being free to wear it for a little while afterwards and feeling relaxed and happy and confident and at ease with myself.

It can't have lasted more than half an hour: and I was weeping at the briefness of it, of the loss of that confident person, that happy actor who loved what she was doing and felt so at home doing it...

She was destroyed by the bullying at that terrible place, and the profound fear it instilled in me.

And then I remembered a boy called Bull who was the constant butt of the most vicious bullying all the time he was at school. And I never really helped him or befriended him because I was so afraid.

I felt such acute sorrow for him, and such remorse because I did not help.

There was nothing much else I could do this morning, really, but weep, and I struggled reluctantly out to the lunchtime meditation group.

I'm so glad I did, because when it came to the walking meditation Jon told us something that happened to him at Plum Village. How a particularly lovely monk suggested to them that they take someone with them in their imagination as they walked.

So i took Bull, not even knowing his christian name, gently round the church twice.

Dear man. I hope his life was not altogether ruined and he has found some happiness.


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