Thursday, April 05, 2018

What we say and what we do really matters


At the beginning of the Passion Play on Sunday, I noticed an old lady in the audience. She was walking with a zimmer, and she had a special air about her. An air of happiness and determination, somehow.

I saw her watching all the scenes in the manse grounds, and then in the Stations of the Cross going round Duddingston village.

She was there at the foot of the Cross also.

Then I became preoccupied with standing in the right place and saying the right words, and I lost sight of her.

But apparently she saw everything. And that night she phoned the minister, the lovely Jim Jack, to say it was the best Easter she had ever had.

And last night, suddenly and unexpectedly, she died.

Her name was Grace.

It moves me so profoundly to think that we contributed to her happiness on almost her last day on this earth.

And it reminds me that everything we say and do, and every human encounter we have, can have consequences far beyond what we imagine or expect.

I guess as an artist I'm especially aware of this. Aware of this as a writer - especially this week as I finish off my radio plays about death - and particularly aware as a performer. Because I am always encountering people, often without being aware of it, and these encounters have consequences.

I want the consequences to be good.

I want the art I create to make this world a better place, even in the tiniest of ways, and I want the experience of those who witness it to be positive.

We all have such a responsibility for the well-being of the world.

I feel so helpless sometimes, which is why it does me such good to hear of people like Grace.

And as Calderon says, "the good you do is never lost. Not even in dreams."
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