To paraphrase: It’s been the worst of times; it’s been the best of times. Right now, the power has been shut off to help prevent gale-force winds from igniting another catastrophic wildfire, and I am sitting in the sun in our garden, the song of chickadees and a young golden-crowned sparrow muffled by the low burr of the camp stove heating water (as nothing will stop me from drinking hot tea). If my decently charged phone loses power, I can go to the parking lot of the local high school (still closed due to the pandemic) and use the PG&E provided emergency charging station. My muscles are pleasantly vibrating — earlier this morning on my still decently charged laptop I played the recorded on-line yoga class I’ve been taking. I’ve been meaning to return to yoga for over 20 years as my muscles atrophy and I can no longer twist around to examine that weird spot on my back. I’m happy I can sit outside as the air quality index is green today; I’m happy I can return to yoga after all these years since I only have to stumble into my living room and I don’t have to comb my hair. And all the odd sounds I now make are unheard by all except my husband who is hopefully outside filling the bird feeder that the acorn woodpeckers have claimed as their own and from which the chipmunk plots her daily thefts.
So yes, good times and bum times, I’m seeing them all, and my dear!
I’ve adored Caryl Churchill ever since I saw Cloud Nine during my year abroad at the University of Birmingham. I am grateful to have had this opportunity to explore her extraordinary world of the quotidian and the tragic, the hilarious and the fragile. We rehearsed over Zoom, which has its challenges. But I put on my headphones, closed my eyes and listened intently to my fellow actors. The language carried us all. Escaped Alone is fierce and funny, lyrical and jarring, sweet and savage. Much like now. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Go listen.