I went to see Sarah Ruhl's modern reworking of Eurydice by the New Moon Theater in Memphis. New Moon specializes in difficult plays or plays that don't get put on very often. They did King Lear a few years ago that was one of my all time best theater experiences ever (and I tend to go to a decent amount of theater). I knew the myth -- it was my sister's favorite one growing up, so we heard it a lot, but I didn't know the original play (which now I want to read). The production was visually stunning: a sparse set and exquisite costumes, and these hanging cranes, folded from letters the cast members had written to loved ones they have lost. The letters and cranes moved me even before I heard that back story, and I sat sketching before the production started.
I've continued to think about this play during the week since. The father/daughter interplay wasn't something I remembered from the original myth, and it truly moved me. The father even quotes a Lear and Cordelia scene, which is oddly dear to my father and me. I may have the only dad who thinks reading Lear out loud is ideal father/daughter bonding, but I have totally bought in.
I was also struck by how Eurydice kept asking Orpheus early on, during the courtship scene, what he was thinking about. The answer, to her dismay, was always music. That rang very true. My brain is so very often thinking about art. It's so critical to who I am that I have to work hard to make relationship time. My partner must often feel like that when I am woolgathering and planning a new print or children's book in my head. My intention for this year is to savor all the places I am in and the things I am doing in any given moment. The writing podcast I listen to (#amwriting, which I can't recommend highly enough) was talking about choosing a word for the year. Mine is "savor," even though I haven't done anything like this before. I'm at least still thinking about that, now that we're in March, and I hope I will get better with practice.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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