Saturday, January 15, 2011

Source Material

Meta, meta, meta ...

So, while exploring evidence of crises developing ten years ago, I am also reading over journal entries from the Dobama's Night Kitchen rehearsal process for The Gulf, a play about the Persian Gulf War, which occurred ten years before that.

On midnight, January 16, 1991 I and a few dozen others participated in a performance art piece called Desert Scream, which took place next to Mem Aud. The director/creator of the project stated he was not commenting on this war (which had not yet begun, but would start the following evening, Eastern Time) but about war in general. When war happens, people die. Lots and lots of people. Horrors occur, people are displaced, there is great confusion and the loss of hope. That was the point.

Hundreds witnessed the event. A small number turned out with American flags to protest the protest, but they stood silently and watched, because there were no words to argue with, just images. And, you know, Peter Gabriel, because at that point in history, anybody staging a movement piece used that soundtrack. Everybody.

When the event was over, we the performers left, and the hippies took over. They started singing Give Peace a Chance and, I don't know, Kumbaya.

Okay, that was trite. They didn't sing Kumbaya. Sorry.

Speeches were made. And words failed.

Desert Scream
1991 Version

Desert Scream
2001 "The Gulf" Version

Sunday, January 09, 2011

It's a mystery

There exists a spotty paper trail of our pregnancy with Calvin. Nothing like the weight of evidence of our pregnancy with the girl almost two years later -- we watched that pregnancy with a vengeance, ourselves and our medical team.

No, we have a few "growing belly" photos, and my sporadic journal entries -- nothing like the outpouring of writing that came after. But having never delved into them until now, I am shocked and saddened by what I am finding. There's no magic bullet, no "a-ha" moment. It sounds like a typical pregnancy, if one of the more unpleasant ones.

The AFP blood tests indicated abnormalities -- but couldn't say what they were. The ultrasounds were excellent. And my wife would suddenly take to her bed, in great discomfort and pain and illness, unable to sleep or relax. And I was deeply troubled.

She had pre-eclampsia. That's it. It's vague, but it's true and we didn't know. Re-experiencing it in this day-to-day fashion is disturbing. And sad. It's was a mystery and we had no clue as to what was at stake.