>Gathering Storm

>I am awake and neither in a meeting nor rehearsal. I am up, well-coffeed and processing the dream I had last night about seeing a performance of Calling, our little opera at the grand, Paris opera house. I have seen work there, and it was that very place, with the fru-fru like a wedding cake interior, and a full orchestra and stage filled with our casts’ wonderful faces and, of course, more and more.

They were whirling and doing the mechanized dances that Edisa has cooked up, born from the images, photographic images, of workers fleeing the Towers on September 11, 2001. But now there was a chorus of heartfelt, office workers and construction workers all moving to composer Doug’s amazing music. And I don’t know if they do this at the Paris opera, but dreams can merge and purge and thus my words were running across the top of a lush red velvet curtain and they were in French. Although I speak French sometimes in dreams, I rarely read French and here were words so clear and fast zooming across my mind.

I suppose the dream was predicated on the great success of last night. Not only was the reading and performance, our little Page-to-Stage concoction at the TriBeCa Barnes & Noblem, a success, but the fact that we, our tiny company, pulled off a performance and rehearsal in dual locations was incredible and showed our nimble abilities to the best.

There we were, Carl conducting Maja on violin, and replacement crazy talented, Rob Walker on clarinet, subbing for Jay Hassler who was playing for Paul Newman (can you make this stuff up?). Nicole and Madison both really exemplified mother and child, full of emotion and voice. Hattie marshalling the forces of booksellers and press wishing she had a staff of 20. While Hiroya took the other musicians through their paces with Edisa blocking scenes where mom and child were extraneous. We were a producing family; all going about our tasks, staying on point and moving this baby closer to the real thing, an opera.

I have a need to insert an aside here, and although this is ALL ABOUT ME. (Hey, I wrote this thing right, so here it is.) I was touched beyond belief by the folks who showed up at Barnes & Noble and they all seemed to be truly moved by the reading and the operatic segment that followed. But here is the kicker, as I was shuffling paper getting ready to go on, I hear a voice from my very far past hollering my name. It was my favorite high school teacher, and just typing that I begin to well up. And all of this crying is happening as Tropical Storm Hanna gathers outside my window turning a blue sky to gray and threatening a big cry from the sky. Not only was sociology teacher Vic Leviatin there, but so too his wife Roz, who I had not seen in 40 years. I used to babysit for them.

“Oh, you are a regular old person.” She blurts. “I mean, you are a grown-up”.

Okay, Roz was the very first blunt person, blunt woman I had ever encountered. Roz was honest to a fault, and very political. This long time married duo, sported OBAMA buttons, hers a “WOMEN FOR OBAMA” button and, other than my husband, they were the only ones wearing political buttons at this event. I was so happy to see them; of course they bought books for their two little boys, now 44 and 48. I am still reeling from the kindness they showed and the happiness it gave me, especially now with both my parents gone, those in loco parentis mean so much.

I do miss my parents and with my kids away and sometimes unavailable, I miss that love the perfect squish of a hug that says, “You mean everything to me.” Luckily I have the kittens and a sweet, affectionate husband to fill in my family circle.

We have a super-long slog today, and every time I write September 6 and do the math, meaning it is four days until we offer our open dress rehearsal to folks downtown who helped us, my skin starts to leap off the back of my neck and arms. My job is to remain calm and hold the reins of this run-away pony. Composer Doug did give me some good feedback today, although I may be evincing this calm, he says I am jumping to conclusions too fast and I often jump to a negative conclusion so I need to slow my roll a little.

Okay, Doug, here I am, breathing and going to get a little lunch with my man with whom I feel I haven’t eaten in ages. Pizza or late night cereal does not count. I am excited to sit in the café next door and watch the storm arrive as I contemplate a salad and the metaphoric storms on the horizon lurking in wait for our little opera. I am confident that although we will get wet, we will flourish.

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