I have not been to a modern dance production since I saw Stomp as a student, when I was also puzzling over 20th century texts from Beckett, Genet and Arrabal. My convent educated, conventional upbringing preferred the straightforward narrative of Flaubert and Zola and I could not get my head around the Absurd for one moment. A woman buried up to her neck doing a monologue? Really?
In my mid twenties I was introduced to Landmark Education and the idea that life is empty and meaningless and it’s empty and meaningless that it’s empty and meaningless. That society is built on long forgotten constructs and conventional thinking differs from generation to generation, country to country. I finally understood Beckett. Two tramps sitting on a bench wasting time until they die.
If you read my first entry, you will know that I have been struggling with the desire to make meaning from my recent relationship – I would love to believe there was some kind of sense for my life from it – and yet rationality stops me from believing in fate or inherent meaning in anything.
I was introduced to the dance by a highly intelligent, fairly recent friend. She believes that we only use a very small part of our brains in our rational day to day life and that we have no idea about what is going on in our subconscious mind which drives so much in our lives. She repeated exactly, to the letter, what my lovely hypnotherapist said. That he had been sent into my life to teach me some lessons: that I am lovable; that pushing doesn’t serve me; that I deserve someone to fight for me.
She also believes that WE met for a reason. When I think of the personal evolution I have undergone over the last 10 years – having spent my first 35 largely happy and ignorant and the last 10 with the structures I had so tightly constructed having disintegrated, leaving me on the roller coaster, engaging with the thorns, I can believe that life is a journey.
Two more blessings to recount: She is French and I am reminded of how blessed I am to be fluent in another language giving me a whole new means of expression. The dance, meanwhile, was complete theatre of the absurd reminding me once again that life is empty and meaningless and it’s empty and meaningless that it’s empty and meaningless. If I want to construe it as a journey, if that serves me right now, who is to tell me I am wrong?