Tom Minter's Off The Stoop Blog

a playwright's journey, creating, connecting, and conversing.

Archive for July 2015

…time stopped

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..’creating’ family is a process we all come to at some point to form the sustainable and nurturing relationships that embolden us to reach into our dreams, and manifest exceptional events..

The circumstance of making this occur connects friends in a tighter bond of interrelationships, that deepens through listening and advising –and, on occasion, allowing for not being heard, and not being understood; but always, ever, with undeterred support, engagement, embrace and ..a gravitational commitment to being ..family.

I have had the amazing chance of many re-invigorations and course changes in the journey of getting to 58 years old; not always pretty, but each notch of a year has always shown me how important it is to celebrate those who share the travel with me..

The years since 2001, when I returned from London to DC, have been threaded through, and bound in the particular clasp of a couple –Kristian Fauchald & Len Hirsch– who were not only engaged patrons in my specific efforts to establish a unique artistic voice, but were the kernel upon which a tight group of us, and a whole swath of community and intellect and even frivolousness, combined to establish holiday convocations of a full throated family of immense accomplishment, compassion, wit, and support.

..but, for a tighter few of us, in between those holiday dinners, chez Len & Kristian, where the door was always open, there were quiet evenings of dropping in and speaking about projects, parents, aging, fears, music, science, television, theatre, Norway, Europe, bio-diversity, marine biology discoveries, Polychaete’s, politics, civil rights, same sex marriage, cultural bias, classism, an eroding planet eco-system, the diminishment of dialogue to a snide snip called ‘txt’ –then Twitter.. – all satisfyingly impromptu, either settled at the dining room table, or in the living room’s ‘mid century’ chairs of dubious comfort, against an even more distracting color palette, and amongst the chaotic hangings and clutter of an avid inquisitiveness in art, artisan artifacts, tribal masks, piquant camp, and the talented products of a hobby in stained glass work.. a room accentuated by two modest photos of singular historic content and coalition ..Len in both – one with President Obama at the signing of the act repealing DOMA – and one, with Len, beaming pride, and standing close between a childhood friend, and a recent Supreme Court Justice..

It is not too small a thing to say that the home Len & Kristian made (originally on Q street, NW, and then, in the last 7 years, at 11th & M streets, NW) was a fulcrum, a place at the very pinch of the dynamism of the times, always fielding hot discourse of content, of politics, passion, science and vision..

I learned much, and have had the gift of sharing the learning; now, in the short span of 12 weeks, I have been taught something else.. as, in sequence in this period of time, stopped –first Kristian, then Len..

It is a hard thing to move through the loss of one; it is an inexpressible realization, to face the empty chairs of two..

-and yet, an image remains to facilitate even this.

Grand as the dinner may have been, stunning or ebulliently corrosive as the meal’s discourse may have served up – by a certain point in time in the evening, after desert but still in the midst of acute speculations- Kristian’s body clock and temperament would instigate his rise from the table –and with a genial nuanced shrug of ‘enough, enough’, and a gleam in his glance –Kristian’s move would signal something far more intimate than “let’s move on”..

..it was that special moment, that family signal (between two ends of the table – two men who had shared a partnered, then maried life of more than 32 years), that articulate subtlety, understood en famille, that digestion needed its moment, and that the reins of debate needed to yield..

Kristian would be up, and off to another part of the room, at ease to have the conversations roll on at table, or fracture to more comfortable corners of the flat –or, even to exit..

And we, the tighter knit of us, attuned to the tempos family share, would smile between us.. and, saited, slip out of the evening, into the night, homewards, full of the chatter and conversations, and new known things..

 

I feel this right now..

I am after dinner ..finding my way home, savoring all that had passed..

 

Len & Kristian, at Belgo in teh Strand, London, in 2004 ..coming to seeing a workshop presentation of my work, "Cakewalk"

Kristian (l) & Len (r), at Belgo in the Strand, London, in 2004 ..there to see a workshop presentation of my play, “Cakewalk”

Written by tomminteroffthestoop

July 18, 2015 at 10:37 AM