Encounters

It's Sunday and I feel like I finally have a moment to breathe. What a week.  I usually write something around this time of year, as it's our wedding anniversary.  I like marking moments, and I realised that I've been writing how I'm feeling each year on the 16th October.  But this year it coincided with handing in my last uni assignment (for my degree, fingers crossed), starting a new acting role at work (more about that later) and Melbourne Festival.  After a particularly tough time last year, Peter and I were directed to 'go and have some fun'.  Melbourne Festival now means cramming as much theatre, art and music into a couple of weeks as we can.  It's a chore, but someone has to do it :)

We've seen some great things so far, and burnt the candle well and truly at both ends.  And it's only the first week. I'm going to write about two performances in particular.  They couldn't have been more radically different, but combine these with a wedding anniversary and lots of thoughts are popping inside my head.

Peter surprised me with tickets to Brief Encounter on our anniversary.  It was delightful and such a beautifully staged show.  I've never seen the movie, but who can resist seeing a celebration of Noel Coward.   It was amazing.  Creative and clever sets meshing cinema and live performances together, all set to a soundtrack of Cowards' tunes.  The story of people randomly meeting, suddenly finding themselves washed away in a wave of emotion and joy in contrast to their current 'happily married' lives touched a note with us.  It's hard to fight the tide when you meet someone who makes you feel like swinging from the chandeliers.  Can you fall for someone you've only just met and hardly know?  Love is the hero of this story and we found ourselves rooting for a happy ending.  But in a time when divorce was scandalous, our protagonists do what's 'right' and return to their normal lives.  I didn't.  I swam with the tide and it has meant huge changes in me and my life.  And now here I am on our third wedding anniversary at the theatre on a wednesday night in Melbourne, being mesmerised by this gorgeous play and thanking my lucky stars for Peter.

Last night we experienced something entirely different.  All that is wrong is a quiet, intimate play with barely any dialogue.  18 year old Koba writes on blackboards laying on the ground, explaining who she is and all that troubles her.  She is aware and caring, but conflicted by the horrors going on around the world - war, torture, environmental issues, corruption, multinationals and child labour mixed with her complex relationship with money, love, her family and herself.  We watch as she creates art in front of us, obsessively writing in an increasingly frenzied wave of thoughts and emotions.  Words are projected on every square inch of the stage walls with her lithe silhouette engulfed by 'all that is wrong' in the world.  It was amazing to watch it unfold, and her creative playing with words to unravel multiple and hidden meanings.  It's hard not to feel despair as you look upon to woes of the world, written everywhere and weighing so heavily on young shoulders.  This is the world Koba is inheriting from the older generations.  The questions remains for all of us...how can we change things when the tiny 'I' in this storm is lost amongst complex international issues.  The lesson I guess is to try.  Things won't change if we do nothing.

I found myself again rooting for love.  I wanted Koba not to be afraid, to be able to trust and find love.  In friends or a partner.  Life's problems are better is you have someone to give you a hug or give you strength when you feel you have none.  And perhaps this is what I have learnt as year number three rolls past.  As hard as life gets, it's better to share things with someone else.  No man or woman is an island.  Peter reminded me this week that 'he's my biggest fan'.  He sees in me things that I can't, but it's nice to see myself through his eyes.  I hope I do the same for him.  Call me a simplistic sentimentalist, but I'm glad in the face of hardship, I am rooting for love.  May I always continue to do so.





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