Sixteen: Dramaturgy

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This morning brought something magical: a friendship brought back to life, resuscitated. Perhaps more vital than magic.

It had become virtual, our friendship, more a memory and catalogue, an album of youth- of dreams and our departure points into adulthood- than a container to hold the places our passions, strength from failure, contentment and new hope intersect and meet in our current lives. We had become virtual friends, despite our mutual good - and lazy- intentions. Or perhaps, because of them.

10 years. It feels like 5 and also feels like 20. The conversation with my friend, felt as warm and curious as it had in Providence, in New York, or in our short meeting in Paris. His beard peppered with silver streaks made him feel more like a professor than the grad student I'd befriended so long ago. But the twinkle in his eye in the low light from the living room in Stuttgart was the same as in his thirties. Everything and nothing had changed. Seeing him, the friend who moved back and forth continents and oceans, owning no more than two suitcases and a laptop at a time, brought me right back to myself when we had been close. I was a world and experience-hungry 23 year old. I suddenly felt the longing for the great lost loves of those tender years, the loves that I thought I left behind and would never find again. The ones that got away. But speaking to him, I realised they'd never left. He spoke about dramaturgy and I later realised, that's it. Dance. Movement. Dramaturgy. Language. Signs. Sound. Scenography. How do we move through the world? I left dance and performance, but it never left me.  It stayed with me in my work designing shops and experience for Margiela, the stage had been my biggest metaphor in the design process- the customers in an participatory audience in an experiential performance piece, the staff actors, the store the stage, the decor the scenography. 

How do you show up? What is around you? How do you move through it? Who are the collaborators with you on the stage? Who is backstage? What do you sense? What are the challenges? What is the music inside you? How do you want this act to proceed and end? How will you make that happen? What do you need for that to happen? Who do you become when you acheive that outcome? What can you do right now to make that happen? All right. Let’s take a couple of breaths. Let’s weave all of that in, now.

 

They are still my strongest ally in my work as a midwife. What we love never really leaves.