Saturday, February 26, 2011

I Tell Myself- Remember This

This is what I wrote yesterday:

we go on, knowing full well that some things can be transcended into new creation and some things simply cannot.

Guess what? I believe I was wrong. And let me be the first to admit it.

Last night I got to the Opera House and I was agitated, nervous. I felt as if I'd never done that play before. I knew I knew my lines but I kept looking at my script, fully and truly afraid I was going to read a part in it of which I had no memory. That I would be onstage and be completely at a loss for words. That everyone in the cast would stand staring at me, waiting for me to give my line and I would really have no idea even as to what act we were doing.

But of course the lines in my script were as familiar to me as anything could be. I know those lines. And yet- that nervousness. I also had a feeling of what-the-fuck? Who cares? It's just a play. I'd had an emotional week, I was close to tears. I saw my mother yesterday, completely by accident when I went out to lunch with Hank and Lily and Owen and she didn't recognize me at first and when she did and I said, "Well, my hair is red now," she said, "No it's not. It's brown."
I felt, as I always do with my mother, that I am fourteen years old again, and every time I rub up against her I come away raw in some way and so I must put my hands out to brace myself against the rub.

Not her fault. My own, I know it.

But still. There it is and I felt raw last night as I waited backstage for the stage manager to tell us to take our places and I did stumble over my first few lines- ironically, the ones I know best- but somehow that gave me courage. I could stumble and not fall. I could stumble and make it something better. And suddenly, I fell into Truvy with a BANG.

I did a new bit in the first few minutes. I adjusted my breasts in my bra when I said, "There is no such thing as natural beauty," and the audience got it, laughed, and away we went, me the laugh-whore and I watched everyone around me put more and more into it and when it was all over, we were happier taking our bows than we've ever been, I think. We'd all pushed ourselves past safety and landed on our feet.
When M'Lynn broke down during her speech about her daughter's death we all cried, and then, when the moment of tension-breaking came, we laughed, we reacted truly and genuinely and there was no force, there was only fine flight into characters.

I felt as if we had done a good job and the audience gave us everything we needed as we gave them everything we had. After the performance, so many people said, "You all looked like you were having so much fun."
It was that obvious.
They laughed hard and I swear, I heard someone sobbing during the emotional part. Sobbing out loud.


And so I did take what I had thought could not be transcended into new creation and I did exactly that. It was not exactly smooth as silk, perhaps more like nobby silk, the woven kind that gives you a tiny bit of crunch between your fingers as you feel of it. And the two hours passed like a quick dream and I felt that magic and it was so good.

The feeling of satisfaction and subtle amazement is still with me this morning. I am grateful. It rained yesterday and spring progresses. The redbud is redder, the Bradford Pears are more fully bloomed, I can feel the bamboo getting ready to raise it's pointed head in the yard and I can't wait to show Owen how to kick it over. He can say "bamboo" now and also, the sour flowers are starting to bloom- another flower he can eat just as my own children did- winter is being transcended into the new creation of spring and I sit back and am amazed at all of it and especially that my own children can rub up against me and we take nothing away from each other, don't leave each other raw in any way, but come away feeling smoothed like a satisfied cat, and there is another transcendence and I look at the way my grandson feels so comfortable in his own skin and the way he holds his mother and she holds him, like a mother bear and her cub, completely relaxed and at loving ease and he says, "Mama," and I feel as if I have not only transcended something but created alchemy in this world.


  1. Just beautiful. All of it. Congratulations on a great show, a great post, and a great and wonderful life! What you wote about mothers - Oh My. Truth and Beauty. Yes, remember this.

  2. this is the truth. the whole truth and nothing but. so happy for you ms. moon.

  3. Oh, mama, I'm so glad! Lunch yesterday was awesome, seeing y'all and watching Owen not eat his sandwich. Love you.

  4. alchemy, yes. You have created it. You keep creating it. Beautiful stuff.
    So happy the play went well and you transended.
    I must remember this too.

  5. Mel- I am constantly amazed at so many things. My children are the prime example.

    Angella- Thank-you. I wish moments like this for all of us.

    DTG- Wasn't it fun? That boy. When we took him to Costco he ate his second lunch. He is vastly impressed with any food on a stick and will eat it up. Yum, yum!
    I love you so much. Kissing your face...Mama

    Bethany- When you least expect it, you cast the perfect spell.

  6. Tonight I will have a martini and tell myself, remember this.

  7. Mary what a day you had. But you presevered, pushed on despite the emotions brewing within you.

    The play last night, and really the play "Steele Magnolia's" is such an emotional play of life, choices, relationships, love, death, grief, what-if's, womanhood, bonding on and have this play be what you all are doing right now is a message or maybe not. Still it has been transforming and not just because you colored your hair to red.

    I am glad you had your family with you when you saw your mama. They will be there for you Mary to hold you, support you, love you in the ways you so love them.

  8. Oh, how great. Happy for you -- so happy. And thank you, as always, for sharing your exuberance AND your sorrow. You make the world realer.

  9. Deb- YES!

    Ellen- I truly am one of the luckiest people on this earth and I know that, even at my most sorrowful.

    Elizabeth- And to you, my love. And to you.

  10. Ms. Moon, you asked me last week or so in the comments section if you "know" me. Not as well as I know you! I only know you from reading your blog everyday since you turned 50 and someone shared that post with me. I am Elizabeth from Jacksonville, well, actually from Fruit Cove, south of Jacksonville. Your Florida is my Florida. That of great oaks, swampy places, and chickens in the yard. I don't have a blog, but I have a website for my law practice at double-u, double-u, double-u dot e oakes law dot com. Your blog keeps me in touch with the cracker girl in me.

  11. Owen looks absolutely edible lovable delicious pure sweetness and the curve of his little mouth is love itself.

    you go mrs. moon!!! i wish i could be there to see you.

  12. Elizabeth Too- Ah-ha! Aren't you sweet? See, I am right about the Elizabeths. Dang. You've been reading me forever!

    Maggie May- I just told Lily yesterday that Owen's mouth makes me want to kiss it, kiss it, kiss it, all the time and she said, "And that is why we do."

  13. Oh the magic of "being" your character, of "becoming" and those around you doing the same, It is true magic! So glad it all went well! Those emotional weeks can be trying but we always seem to push through them :)

  14. Nice. I am sure it was a great show.

  15. See that's the bit I have a hard time believing. That I could leave my children intact and unrubbed. I hope it happens for me as well. I work damn hard at it.

    I'm so happy your play went so well. It sounds like such a joy to be in and to watch.

  16. You HAVE created alchemy in this world. The photo of the kids and Owen is cute as hell.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.