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when I know I’m ready to start a new play

Fireworks went off over the town of Positano along where the luxury hotels are. Must be some celebrity’s birthday. I headed out to the balcony to see and stretch my legs. The quiet doves are tucked into their nesting tree beside me and they could care less who just turned 41. They had the same blasé response to the busses that tried to pass each other on the narrow cliffside street outside my balcony this afternoon and one of their mirrors got ripped off.

The doves completely ignored the mother shouting at her children at dinner, “time to come in and eat, finally, for the love of God in heaven, stop playing soccer!” (I am quite sure I understood that.)

But six a.m. tomorrow morning the doves will be adamant about something, so adamant they will wake me up. The sound is very…I don’t know…motherly…in that hot cocoa with tiny marshmallows way. It is impossible not to roll over and smile before pulling the pillow over my ears.IMG_3873

I haven’t left the house today. I have kept myself prisoner until my inbox got cleared. I had a heap of teaching to catch up on and several plays to read. And by heaven, I did it. 9am-midnight. With a small break for lunch and a few espressos. In this airbnb they have a gorgeous little rooster thingie – I am not sure if it’s an espresso tamper or a cigar cutter. Anyway, I use it for tampering! It adds to the ceremony. There is only a single shot espresso percolator, so tiny, it fits into the palm of my hand.IMG_3881

I ate dinner while reading. I had a bit of wine around nine and my notes got very blunt. I took a short breather on the balcony again, and stared out at  the sea I drank a glass of water, looked the notes over again and thought, “Well, I’m sending them off. They’re bang on! And I suspect she’s tough.” She’s got promise this one. In fact, I have an excellent group this year. They’ve made me laugh out loud and have moved me to tears and have made me mad and have made me uncomfortable in my skin. And we’re only halfway done the course. Yup. Proud of my kids.

So, tomorrow I can start on my own writing. I have a draft of a translation, that won’t take me long. I know exactly what i want to do with it. And then…I plunge into something brand new and frightening.

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a head of lettuce from my host’s garden, another gift!

It makes me excited. It makes me sick. Like a long anticipated first date. I want to get to it right now and I want to run screaming at the same time. A memory of a terrible “long anticipated” first date came to mind. A friend tried to set me up with her friend but our schedules didn’t mesh and then I was off to Banff. So, he started writing to me. Long beautiful poetic sensual letters full of wit and promises and smarts. When the day to meet in person finally came, I was so nervous I was literally shaking. I put on my little sundress. I waited in line at the restaurant we chose. He wasn’t there. I stood for a while. Finally, I noticed this guy staring at me from across the street. It was him. He had been watching me and he wasn’t at all pleased. When he saw that I spotted him he kind of hung his head, resigned, and crossed the street. When we sat down for lunch, he suggested I try the salad.

I think of this as I look up at the moon shining a shimmery path across the Mediterranean sea. I chuckle. I say to the doves who still couldn’t give two hoots: “Boy, have I ever dodged a lot of bullets before meeting Mr. Awesomesauce.”

I think of my new play idea. I think it’s going to hold. It’s done that humiliating turn in my head. The turn that is necessary. My plays start with a question. That’s a nice way of saying, it starts with a subject that makes me shout WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY?!?!?! I rush into the subject matter like it’s a festering wound and I’m going to clean it all up all Florence Nightingale like. And as I start to wipe away the blood, I see my own face. I see how I am part of the wound. I don’t know if this makes sense…but it’s only when I see how I am part of the wound…and how shocking and humbling it is to realize I am part of the problem…that’s when I’m ready to write about it. From that humble place. From the middle of the mess, covered in it. Implicated.

And with this lovely thought I head to bed with the anticipation of doves and a plot outline.

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2 comments

  1. AJ Coots

    All your wonderful blog posts from this trip have blessed me beyond belief. (For example, I have thought many times back on the story of Nora the labyrinth.)

    Each new update arrives like a gift! I feel privileged to get to read these missives and, thanks to your vulnerability and skillful storytelling, they really speak to my spirit and are nothing less than a devotional.

    Anyway, thank you so much for sharing your journey; it has illuminated mine. ❤ Much love, AJ

    1. Lucia Frangione

      AJ! Thank you for this gift this morning!When doubts come my way, I’ll read over this amazing note from you! You have blessed me today. Thank you. Love Lucia

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