When I was preparing to leave New York City in August of this year, for my yearlong #loveandworktour, I thought, “I’ll finally have time to revisit my unfinished plays, write a new solo show, and get to work on my wire and glass bead projects.”
I offered to help my friends and family members with their projects. “You know I can organize and fix things, do graphics or websites, or brainstorm play ideas– maybe repair your costumes or work in your garden?”
I had some broad concerns. Would I be able to adapt to multiple new environments and other people’s schedules and situations? What would happen when I let go of the control I had been maintaining over my live/work theater?
I had specific concerns, too. Would my writing workshop with my friends in NYC be sustainable if I were not in town? Would I be able to sleep well in all those different beds? Could I sleep in a bedroll in a tent?
It’s all turning out fine. The writing workshop works remotely, through the app appear.in. It’s mainly one-on-one now, which means I write with them several days per week, and our bond remains strong. And, to my surprise, I am sleeping very well. It’s actually not a problem adapting to the various home lives of my friends and family. I’ve even learned how to be friends with my friends’ dogs!!! (I’ve disliked dogs for my whole life, having been attacked by one as a child, so this is a major, and welcome, shift of attitude.)
So now, as I ponder all my responses, I wonder, “How important is it for me to have a home of my own?”
That blows my mind. I’m a Cancer and have had my own home for nearly 50 years. I am well known for being a homemaker. My NY friends ask me, “How are you making it without your artwork, your kitchen, your bedroom, your wardrobe?” I’m amazed but I really don’t miss it all that much. All of those things are on hold in a 10x10x8 foot space in New Jersey. They may be there for a long time.
Why? Because the people I’ve been staying with across the country keep saying, “Come back when you can, ok?”
Now, I know I’m good company, but still, I imagined after a few days they might be glad to say goodbye. We all know that saying about fish and guests – after three days they both stink. But, apparently, I am not a smelly guest. I’m not a fish – I’m a flower, and they don’t want to see me gone.
And I’m feeling like the proverbial “lily of the field,” not having to justify my presence with labor, or money. I’m on the receiving end of so much generosity – dinners, beds, entertainment and more. I express my gratitude, of course: I make my bed, I bring a bottle of wine – after all, my mother raised me right. But those things apparently aren’t necessary. I’m welcomed without expectation of reciprocity.
My friends all remind me, “You’ve been generous with me for years!’ And that’s true – I’ve banked a lot of good will. I figured I would be withdrawing from the principle, but I’m finding that interest has been added, and that my current trip, rather than exhausting that interest, actually adds to it! Love makes more love.
I probably didn’t need to drive 6000 miles to learn that, but it’s a joyful thing to see it manifested.