We seemingly live together as our paths cross in subway stations, sidewalks, bars, and health clubs, but we don’t really live together. Our lives are similar in many ways, but different in so many ways. We all love, we laugh, we cry, but our external experiences are dramatically different, and that is when we go into our own universes. It’s as if we live on different planets and we even speak different languages. We live in what I call parallel universes.
Last night I had the opportunity to peek into a different universe. While attending my weekly writing workshop, I stumbled on a flyer for a “staged reading” of a new play. The setup for the play was a “country schoolteacher inherits a Harlem boarding house from her worldly, sophisticated aunt and arrives on the doorstep of the Harlem Renaissance.” I had plans to go out of town, so I passed the word on to friends and didn’t give it another thought.
Then when the time came to go out of town, I was exhausted from two back-to-back writing contracts, so I decided to stay home one extra day which provided the opportunity to slip through the fence and go into the universe of playwrights, actors, and directors. I was both in the audience and above the audience observing. I had never experienced anything like it. Who were these people? The playwright was a young African American woman named, Thembi Duncan. She had seven actors reading her play, and about twenty-five people were in attendance. The dialogue was crisp, witty, and intelligent. The actors were sharp, articulate and perfect. From the “talk back” at the end of the play, I learned that even the audience was a part of this theatrical world. I was enthralled.
These are the same people that I pass on the sidewalks of life, but have no idea of their experiences. And, you say “so what”. You say… there are lots of things you don’t know… have never experienced… and will never experience. You say… get over it.
I invite you to join me and step out of your norms… slip through the fence and experience something else.…. But beware… You might like it.