Sunday, September 21, 2014

"...But it won't ever be like this again."

About 10 years ago...egad...ten years ago... I was standing on the banks of the mighty pond that sits in the middle of Stratford (that pond is basically a goose poop soup, FYI) and I was saying goodbye to a dear friend.
Lindsay Burns and I had hung around for most of 2004, while our husbands worked together at the Stratford Festival. We walked almost every day and talked about our creative ideas. I had just begun work on the idea that would end up being Sharron's Party and she was talking about a show she was writing called, "Dough"...please forgive me if I am wrong on the title, Lindsay...we encouraged the shit out of each other...AND both of these ideas came to fruition within the next year...pretty awesome.
I was so lucky to have her there as a confidant, friend and a inspiring creative spirit...that year changed my life forever. It was after 2004 that I took a leap and dedicated myself to my cabaret work.
But as the 2004 season was coming to a close, she and her family were going back to their home in Calgary. 
One cold and rainy day in October, she and I met for a last walk around Goose Poop Soup Pond.
I remember it like it was yesterday...because Lindsay was about to say something that would change my life.
We had finished our walk and so I would not cry like a I am want to do at just such an occasion... I said, "We will see each other...we will skype...we will walk together again, my friend!!".
She smiled at me and said, "Yes, we will...but it won't ever be like this again."
I was a bit gutted. 
I hugged her goodbye and walked away...and that line ran through my head over and over.
It was truth.
A very strong and living truth.
My people, she could not have been more right.
We would totally see each other again, to be sure, but it would never be like it was. We would still be grand friends...but not in that situation.
Not for ill or good...just because it was so.
That time was a time to be cherished, enjoyed and not taken for granted.
AND, as the years have passed, I have held that statement to my chest during every interesting, heartbreaking, thrilling, joyous, and challenging experience.
Whenever I started to take something for granted, I would think of this statement...and I would be in it. 
I would be in the moment.
A moment on stage in Africa with my hands thrown up in the air, yelling and selling in a line up in Scotland, crying as I got a throat infection for the second time in two weeks at the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe, all the time I spent on tour with my dear pal Christian, a day at the beach with my husband, a day in the hospital with my husband, laughing with my sister on her back porch, laughing with Joe, Louise and George in Greece.
It will never be like this again...this moment...this situation will never happen again.
After a while I realized that, as lordy as it sounds, every day is like this. Or could be.
And when I truly realized this I clutched that sentence even tighter.
I have seen Lindsay Burns only a handful of times since 2004, but every time I laugh my ass of...and I think I have not yet mentioned to her the weight of her statement.
So here it is...thanks to you, Lindsay, what a gift you gave me in your honesty.
THIS is Lindsay, her wonderful husband Grant and son, Jasper.
George and I stopped by Calgary on our way out to Kamloops...lord, we laughed!!!

So, as I lay in a bed in Kenora, I am running over the last 5 weeks.
What a magical time I have had.
Our drive out to Kamloops, visiting with so many wonderful friends, seeing so many wonderful views...and George and I...and our friends...laughing and laughing. 
I dig laughing, as you might have already discovered.
Spending the rehearsal weeks in Kamloops. Staying in a silly hotel with the grandest view. Shoving four weeks worth of work into two weeks and shoving THAT into my brain. Singing with my husband, singing with the cast, working with Steve, Daryl, Leon, Patricia, Mike and Valerie...and Skylar and Christine.
Performing that awesome show.
Going over my stupid/wonderful patter song every day, one million times.
And, oh sweet Jesus, I scatted onstage...not pooped but JAZZ as in singing, front of people. HOLY crapbags.
The show was wonderful.
And over all too soon.
I am so glad that we got to do it out there...and celebrate our 20th Wedding Annivesary, my 46th Birthday, see 4 bears on our Great Bear Hunt of 2014.
OH! Also, yesterday, we drove by a hill just outside of Canmore where two young, tanned people were bucked naked and doing the sun...beside the highway.
I laughed...I laughed so hard I think I gave George a heart attack...almost.
But, I gots to tell ya,  some of my most cherished time is the time that we got to spend with our dear pal, Patricia
George and I have not seen her for reals, in about four years...or more...well, George saw her while he worked in Edmonton...but me? Not at all.
And while were lived and worked in Kamloops for the last four weeks Patricia cooked us dinner, we drove her places, we napped at her place, she swam at ours, we saw a wonderful movie about Indian food and then HAD Indian Food. She made sure that we had a cake and gifts for our anniversary, she gave me a beautiful gift for my birthday. We sat and laughed our heads off in our dressing room, I instructed her about the joys of having a spanx suit to wear under dresses and she would show me her latest thrift store finds...and I finally met her son, Leo and husband Farren...and her dear parents as well.
We caught up and it was like I saw her yesterday.
It was a very special time.
And about two weeks into it we were talking about what a wonderful time we were having...and how lucky we were that we were doing the show again in 2015.
Then...I told her my Lindsay story.
We will do the show again. We will work together again.
BUT the next time would never be like the time we were experiencing right then.
For good or for ill.
AND then we continued having a great time...with the knowledge that we were enjoying every second.
I am so thankful for this trip, this journey, this show, this drive, this TIME!! 
I gotta go to sleep, my melatonin is kicking in...and we gots many miles to drive tomorrow...I love a drive.
And a laugh.

Me and Patricia

Myself, Patricia, Steve and George
Christine, Skylar, Patricia, Myself, Leon, George and Steve

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