I’m having a blast right now on tour in the UK for six months with a play. 19 theatres in all, one a week, zig zagging north to south to east to west with a very merry band of fellow thespians. We’re six weeks in now and one of the many things I’m marveling at is the weave that is growing between the seven members of the cast. Besides my partner, who is also in the company, on day one we were all perfect strangers to each other. We shook hands in that sort of formal, nervous way you do on the “first day of school” and dove into reading the script aloud seated around a table for the first time, together. It is always a thrill to hear the words come off the page that first day, to start to get your mind buzzing around the journey you have embarked upon, the world you will create as an ensemble.
One of the key things that starts to get built is trust. We will have to trust that each will put in best efforts, that each will support the other in their craft, that we will be there for each other when the other falters (as happens in live theatre), that when we make fools of ourselves artistically (and we do) we will be encouraged to keep trying until we find our grain of truth in the work. Together we learn to trust the playwright’s text, the director’s guidance and vision, to surrender to the process itself. It’s a kind of miracle really how trust evolves and I suppose because especially on a tour of this length we are bound to experience both the best and the worst of each other, from it life long friendships will be built.
Being on this ride, I’m reflecting now on other areas in my life where trust plays a crucial role. Driving, being a passenger on a plane, using the postal service, serving my family food that I’ve bought at the store, that my dog will not eat my shoe. That one gets broken and of course forgiven because she is so darned cute. On a much more grand scale I trust the air I breathe, that the moon will rise, the seasons change, that ocean waves will continue to be the pulse of the planet.
To be sure trust has been broken too. Ouch. Very rarely I’m happy to say have I experienced that with a person. In more instances I unconsciously believed, naively hoped or presumptuously expected that a certain pattern in life would unfold and when those inevitable disappointments have come it has been difficult to varying degrees to heal that breach. Not tended to, that breach of trust can turn into something bitter, unresolved anger or resentment, fear. We all know that doesn’t work nor turn out well and again I learn that the inner healing work of trust has to be undertaken.
Amongst the long list of stupid things I’ve done, was parachuting in my 20’s. I had an inner compulsion to do so. Oh the hubris! I mean why would I think I had the right to throw myself out of a perfectly good airplane?? First time I did it, I was a full mile away from the little airport from which our Cessna had taken off. When I returned, mercifully from a successful jump, they reported that they’d heard me hollering as I returned to terra firma. I believe it. My stomach still flutters when I think of that moment when my jump master, a person I’d met a mere six hours earlier, gave me the nod to let go of the strut. Think I was on an endorphin high for a week after that jump. Looking back I wondered why I had felt the need to take this hobby on and realized that I had had some whacky notion that I needed to know that I could rely on myself. Believe me up there if your chute fails to open there is no one to help you but yourself. Jeez….couldn’t I have found a logical way to test trusting my self? Anyway..I hope your journey to trust is a far wiser way than mine was and if not, happy landings.