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Thursday, 14 February 2013

Weekly Wisdom from Mr. Trollope


"You must like the soft twilight, and the long evenings when we shall be alone; and you must read to me the books I love, and you must not teach me to think that the world is hard, and dry, and cruel--not yet." --The Small House at Allington

Holding Hands is a Lovely Thing


Just before the month turned to February my new friend AS sent me a link to a short movie that reminded him of a story I had shared, and it made me think of a valentine--that it was a valentine, though it was still January; that my story was a valentine; that I hope to send valentines always.  Love letters every day in some small way or another, the extension of a hand to another.  Blogger, playing coy, has decided to only permit me a link in the very last sentence of this entry, and I invite you to scroll down, slowly, and all shall be revealed.
In a notebook I've carried with me from show to show, a notebook I bought as a teenager in Roycroft artisan, Leonard Robinson's, bindery in East Aurora, NY, I wrote amidst the technical notes for Camelot (Don't move until/Exit before him/Turn around on) "Holding hands is a lovely thing."  The theatre in Houston was more vast than any other space I've performed in, and darker too.  As we started to live in the theatre, I allowed my hand to be held.  RP would take it from the wings, and I would follow him from the darkness into the light.  On stage it would go dark, and I would find his hand, and let him lead me off, a squeeze as we parted.  Exiting stage right into the black, Dawn's hand was waiting extended for mine, and I would take it as a child, let her guide me, dress me.  Holding hands onstage I thought of times I wished my own had been held offstage.  My hand on top of TS's in ritual medieval form, I would flutter my fingers upon his to say goodbye as we passed into the wings.  I can enter and exit myself, I can lead and not follow, I can change my clothes on my own (for the most part).  But I am very happy for opportunities to relinquish, to return my hand to one offered--whether it be an actor's, a manicurist's, a stranger's on a train platform.  There is care here, there is meaning here; I am not afraid to hold hands, and I look for places to let mine rest.  I often photograph my hand.  My hand that looks like my father's and my mother's, and my grandmother's.  My hand that wears rings, and my wrist that wears ribbons.  My hand that pets cats, and pours glasses of champagne, that rolls dough, and arranges apple slices just so.  I want to make things with my hands but most of all I want to hold yours.