Words from plays I've just done stay in my mind for several weeks post show. And sometimes they come out of my mouth in response to various occurrences in my real life, such as today, when I read my first Sunday Styles section in six weeks (Lancaster only seemed to sell the NYT at the liquor store, proving how enjoying both marks you as a marginal personality in Lanc Lanc). Styles today shared a story long awaited in my life; the launch of a Jewish American Girl doll. I grew up with the dolls--I own Molly, Kirsten, and Felicity--and my mom noticed early on that of all the historical girl dolls from varying backgrounds parents could buy for their children, none were Jewish. This was particularly incensing in my household since there happened to be living there, a (kind-of) Jewish American girl. My mom even wrote a letter to the company about it, and years later, when the flagship store opened in Manhattan, I scribbled something about it on a suggestion card, always happy to carry grudge. Anyway, I know what I want for Christmas. On grudges: Styles also reports today about the current culture of nice. No snarkiness allowed in today's tempestuous times. I immediately thought of the book lying on my coffee table, The Pleasure of Hating. That I own the book but haven't yet read it I read as a testament to my snarky mind but kind heart. I also happened to receive my copy of How to Lose Friends and Alienate People (the film) from Netflix today. Coincidence?
Today the class of 2009 graduated from Sarah Lawrence College and I watched. I watched with three fellow alums, live video streaming from computer to TV in a Brooklyn apartment. I remembered very clearly my own commencement--remember getting ready that morning in my Yonkers apartment, remember what I wore, how I felt so disheartned walking up the hill from Bates to the tent at Westlands, feeling that something was coming to a big, early conclusion. Beginning? It didn't feel that way. It pleased me to watch Rahm Emmanuel tear up at being back at his alma mater; I'm not sure there are too many schools that, in and of themselves, apart from memories of friends and freedom, are capable of inducing tears in their former students. I liked how emotionally connected to the place R.E. was this morning. I learned an interesting little story about R.E. when Karen Lawrence talked about his wedding, which took place in a public building--his wedding occuring simultaneously with various other community activities. She pointed out how similar that experience was to the one sought at Sarah Lawrence: buildings are for classrooms, dorms, and offices. Moments of intense purpose are carried out alongside moments of daily, convential life.
Mike Goodman's roomate walked into the room mid-way through the ceremony and asked how we could stand to watch speeches like these. I responded that I was a sucker for speeches like these. Karen Lawrence quoted Emily Dickinson and advised the students to "dwell in possibility," an idea that has been turning in my mind ever since. And maybe that's why I started this blog today--why not. I had fun writing the backstage blog for The Fulton, and possibly, this could be fun too.