Monday, August 23, 2010

I was in the bath tonight when the doorbell rang.

I didn't much want to get out because it was nice and warm in the bath and i was enjoying the book I was reading (the new biography of Adam Smith).

I'm reading the biography of Adam Smith because I've just finished writing my play, THE TREE OF LIFE, which is about the Apprentice Pillar in Rosslynn Chapel, and I'm about to start my next play, THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE, which is about the philosopher David Hume. Hume and Smith were close friends (I think in my play they might be lovers) and Smith developed a theory of sympathy between human beings as the basis of moral relationships that owes a great deal to Hume's idea about fellow feeling, and the two plays are connected somehow.

And I want them to be produced side by side, one at the Lyceum and one at the Traverse, though whether that will happen is another story. And not really my business.

Anyway I got out the bath, because people don't often ring my doorbell, and it was George.

George Tarbuck, who is an old old colleague and friend and who did the lighting for so many of my early Traverse plays and most recently for JESUS QUEEN OF HEAVEN.

And he has recently been to Mull,because he is doing the lighting for Mull Little Theatre's production of THE WEIR, and one of the actors is David Walshe, who was in my AN APPLE A DAY, and with whom I have been improvising a new play, with him and Susan Worsfold (susanworsfold.co.uk) and George was coming round to do the lighting for it.

Because he loves the work. And I was just so touched by this.

Honoured, too, because George is one of the best lighting designers around.

He was talking about how he is building a school for theatre technicians, down at Black Light, building it with his bare hands, because he knows there is a need for it and no-one else is supplying it.

And about stories. About how humans have always told stories, and that after we have destroyed this civilisation, a we will, and after the survivors have started to get together, and build fires, one of the first things they will do is tell each other stories.

Because that is a fundamental human need.

And we drank to stories, and he was gone.

And when I came upstairs, and sat at this machine, just to check it and write to my lover before I went to bed, there was a message from Karl of thedialogueproject.com appreciating what i wrote about "the author".

So I go to his website, being curious, and find to my amazement we share so many of the same ideals and aspirations and dreams...

So that suddenly there are these two unlooked for human encounters, and I feel my isolation is finally breaking down.

Maybe even a tide is turning.

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