Leaning into the fragile
The kickstarter crowdfund campaign for vessel came to fruition & the financial target was met. I am profoundly grateful for the money but more for the support that was demonstrated. I found it incredibly difficult to launch the campaign as I was frightened it would fail. I am rarely frightened to the point of becoming hamstrung but this was one such time. It was only through the urging and support of producer Jane McMorrow and the practical help from my go-to-man Mark Schofield that I had the courage.
vessel is the first work without my beloved Stephen (Clark) talking, encouraging, reading, suggesting, nurturing and providing the unconditional love and support I grew to rely on over the years. Everything, on fairly constant basis, feels fragile to me and over the last few years key people who were part of my emotional infrastructure have died; Professor Olive Stevenson, Clare Cathcart, Lester Munns and, of course Stephen. My love for each of them is woven into the piece.
I continue to try my best to keep myself steady and the love of chums has helped enormously but that can feel fragile. I have had a recent attempt at a romantic relationship and that felt fragile. In her book When Things Fall Apart, Pema Chodron writes extensively about "resting into groundlessness"; a sense of inner safety that doesn't rely on external supports. I don't have that inner safety and do rely on external support, as demonstrated by the Kickstarter campaign. My under-resourced inner safety tanks were what made it frightening. Asking for money became conflated with my worth. Everything felt fragile and it is right that it should because everything is and we humans are brimful in frailty. It is what makes us marvellous.
Writing a new play demands groundlessness and fragility, it demands both resting into and leaning into. Running a kickstarter required similar; an openness, a vulnerability, a necessity to hold one's nerve and all this could easily be a description of falling in love couldn't it?
It is worth saying that even though I am nowhere near good enough at welcoming groundlessness or being friends with fragility, I am really delighted by the opportunities offered me to practise. Next time I will not try to take three on at once.