Even though I did all of my theater work in New York I belong to the Chicago theater community and I am on their mailing list.
Just as all other businesses, the theater community has been affected greatly during this Covid situation. The reality being that unless you are a star it’s especially difficult for actors to be able to survive and earn a living in this climate. I have special empathy for those in the creative community who are trying to survive.
This week is Chicago ACTS Together Week and I logged on to watch the short promo video they made honoring Chicago theater – and underneath that on Youtube I just happened to scroll down and see Todd Rundgren’s progressive rock performance of Utopia in 2019 at the Chicago Theater.
Wow! I spent over two hours listening to this great music performance that took me back to 1974. It was a year within the time period when I was raising my children and anything suggesting Utopia was far from my reach.
Sometimes it is a good thing just to get off of our daily treadmill, turn off the dreadful news and chill with something that takes us to another time and place in our lives.
Thank you Todd for all the great music you have given us throughout the years.
PS. Little did I know then or even dream at that time my youngest would grow up and be a part of the rock community 20 years into the future.
I often find the early morning hours when I wake up while my husband is still sleeping to be the best hours of the day. I enjoy quiet. I enjoy being with me and my inner thoughts.
Just sitting with my inner roommate, a cup of hot coffee and the stillness of the morning pleases me.
We downsized about four years ago and I had to get rid of a lot of things that had taken me 44 years to accumulate. It was freeing. It was just fine and I have never missed all that stuff. But right now as I’m sitting here looking around my living room, I see I once again have accumulated a lot of stuff. What is it about us? What is it about us that we are so attached to things?
I sometimes wish I could be a minimalist. Empty my closet. Live out of baskets. Enjoy wide open floor spaces that are free of ‘things’.
I once had a new neighbor in New Jersey who bought the house up the road. She completely redid the interior of the house in a minimalist style. At the time, to me, it seemed so cold. I wondered how anyone could live with such bare surroundings. Anyway, it rather depressed me to be in her house. It seemed empty of life.
Fast forward 20 years and I have downsized from a five bedroom home to a two bedroom triplex in Miami Beach, quite a change in lifestyle that I was ready for. In spite of everything that I got rid of somehow I cannot let go of things that have been in my life since my childhood.
The table that my great grandfather made for his wife. The copper candy kettle now filled with shells that my grandmother used to make candy apples for her 10 children. The matching candelabras inherited from my paternal grandmother. Eliminating these things from my life would be like erasing and throwing away my childhood memories.
So it looks as though I am destined to never have a minimalist home. A comfortable home to me is surrounding myself with memories that are attached to material things.
Now, like most of you I have had a life full of swings. Emotional swings, financial swings, life event swings and mood swings. But nothing can ever warm my heart more than a swing hanging from a sturdy branch where I can let the cool breeze pull it’s fingers through my hair, kite my skirt and fill my heart with the memories and feelings of being a child again.
There is something about a swing I can’t resist. I am always reminded of my childhood and the poem by Robert Louis Stevenson when I think of swings.
How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!
So many of my memories in my childhood have involved swings. Going to a one room school house in rural Ohio when I was a young girl and having recess where I could swing. I would take that rusty old girl as high as I would dare to go. Holding my head back as far as I could without slipping off the seat I would watch the clouds move with me. Back and forth. Back and forth. Challenging the dizziness within my head.
The tire swing that my father put up for us when I was about eight years old. We lived near a big bubbling and winding creek where Daddy hung a big rough rope around the strongest tree limb he could find. My brother and I would swing out over the edge of the water, hanging on for dear life for fear of falling into the tumbling water below. It was exciting. It was fun. Just the feeling of the cool summer air whoosh by my body with each swing still remains in my mind.
Childhood will never leave. It’s still inside somewhere, but the years have passed and life has moved on without a swing for me. Until, that is, until my son put up a swing from a very strong limb for his daughter Lucienne. He hadn’t a clue that that swing would also be for me, his 81-year-old mother, who has never lost her love for a swing.
Every chance I get while jogging down my son’s winding driveway past the aging fir trees I can’t resist, no matter how urgent my task. I stop and take a ride and reawaken the child inside on the swing that hangs from the strongest branch that was made for Lucienne.