By Lydia Stryk
October 2017 at the Griot Theatre in Hollywood,CA
In hospitals your mind can go to beautiful and awful places. Fear and boredom battle for dominance; a minute can be an eternity and days can disappear like seconds; one learns to prize moments of joy, relief and laughter. Learning to find peace within that mental and physical chaos is a struggle.
There is a myth that because someone is in an accident that they suddenly become enlightened angels. That is unfair pressure to put on both patients and their caretakers. Recovery isn't a simple, sentimental story of will-power and "stick-to-it-ness". It's messy. One of my friends who is in a chair often has strangers come up to her and say things like, "thank you for being so brave." They assume they know her story, that it fits this beautiful narrative of adversity and perseverance. They don't treat her as an individual, but as a symbol. My hope is that this story will cause people to question that everyone's recovery should follow the same path.
JR Bruce created two separate but parallel universes that each character inhabited. Anton was plagued by guilt of running over Libby and the shattered pieces of porcelin that sybolized her body hung over him as he tended to his garden plot. Libby had death hanging over her, symbolized by a suspended image of dirt falling into a grave.
Body as a Vessel
The piece is about a person coming to terms with their body in a new state. We had a lot of discussions about the process of discovering that "new" and "different" isn't better or worse and that we can adapt to find a other ways of being. We expressed this through using the vase as a metephor for the body. It began by shattering dramatically and ended different but still able to hold flowers and be equally beautiful.