June 30, 2021
Tonight is my last night to write as Detour’s founder/Artistic Director. Tomorrow I take on a new title, and with it, new adventures. As of tomorrow I become Detour’s Founder/Artistic Director Emeritus. It’s a lot of words and I’ve been hungrily chewing them all. I think what they mean is that I’m just getting old. (Not growing up mind you . . . just experiencing a few more quirky parts.) They also imply this grand dream of mine now has wings of it’s own. It can fly, actually, it can soar. Finally all those fancy words gloss over a really huge truth -I really DON’T understand Google Docs (and probably never will.) I can and should let younger, wiser folks do what they do far better than I. I’m ready, inspired and utterly grateful as I take on this new role. I’ll teach for sure, direct as needed, and always be there to hug and cheer.
It seems there should be grand wisdom to share in this last post but perhaps I’ve shared it all. Digging through piles of stuff is a magnet for tears – of joy, of remembering, of memory after memory. Perhaps I’m just meant to continue my endless thank yous . . . those never retire.
As I was going through all those papers I did find a letter I wrote the company in May of 2011. It was after my Michael died. There was such a vast out pouring of support and care that I wanted to write a group letter. ( No blogs in those days.) In that letter I quoted from a journal I wrote years before. It may be the one thing that bears repeating so I thank you for this indulgence.
“What Michael taught me about an empty sheet of paper and paint holds such profound truth when applied to the canvas of living (and directing!!) :
Choose colors that are rich and vibrant
Juxtapose surprising combinations
Add water to revitalize a pigment (or person) that you think is too old and/or cracked to do any good
Don’t be so literal
See shapes, squint so the harsh lines (and wrinkles) disappear
Move things until they fit
Working and reworking an area too much simply muddies it
There is a time to let it be
Don’t let others comment while you’re in the process
Focus on those parts (of pictures and life) you want to keep (let go of the rest)
When I contemplate my life as a picture I can see the muddy areas, the areas where I dared to make a valiant stab at living juicy and the places where I can still choose to move things. Michael taught me a trick about moving a matte around a picture that is amazing (and again a necessary lesson for us in living.) ‘The challenge for any artist,’ he explained as he salvaged a corner of my picture worth keeping, ‘is to move the matte around until the composition is right.” I can move my matte until what is left is what I want myself and others to see . . .”
and I would add today, what I want most to remember and cherish – forever.
The stage has been my canvas now for more than twenty years. The men and women of Detour have been the vibrant, bold colors that creating a world of living, breathing stories I couldn’t wait to share.
I end with Michael and my rules for the road . . .
Always bring your paints
Tonight I would add one more …
Trust the journey to take you places your heart could never imagine …
I am grateful for all of you who’ve read my words,
for all of you who’ve heard my dreams,
for all of you who’ve been there to help me create a lifetime of incredible/memorable pictures on stage
Thank you for making this journey:together.
My love to you all,