There is a beautiful moment at the end of a movie I have not seen in nearly 30 years, a movie I saw in my teens, and loved and loved and loved. For many reasons, not least of which was Tim Curry in a corset and fishnets.
I never dreamed that one day I would be waxing nostalgic about Rocky Horror Picture Show. Which I now cannot fully recall - except one of the last songs keeps running through my mind, where Frank'nfurter (god, it feels a little ridiculous to even type out that name) is crouched down after all the ruckus, all the debauchery, crooning "and now, I'm... going home...."
I don't know how to upload my voice here, so you are spared that layer of this post.
I'm going home.
I left my job today. My last day. The job I moved to Southern California for. A really Big Job.
Artistic Director of Playwrights Project.
I am not elated. I thought I might be, to be relieved of responsibility and stress and worry and hard long hard work. But I am actually, surprisingly, sad.
I am sad.
I thought, when coming, that I just might retire in this job. I had a vision of us living in Encinitas or some lovely place like that, me working a reasonable 30 or maybe 40 hours a week, my husband surfing and working and making art and thriving in the sun, my son growing up in the ocean...
That didn't happen. I worked so much more than a reasonable 30 to 40 hours a week. My husband did not thrive, but spiralled down further into his bipolar / ptsd mire and pulled himself back up and went down and came up again for air. We did not live in a lovely place, rather a drab small house on a street filled with rentals, a few blocks from a lovely neighborhood and another few blocks from a dangerous crime-ridden neighborhood, and we did not fall asleep to surf but instead to helicopters circling overhead more often than not.
But good things happened, too.
I introduced Edward Albee to a room full of exceptional people, in a home with a Picasso hanging on the wall. I met Marion Ross there, Mrs. Cunningham, and she held my hands and looked at me with tears in her eyes, moved by the work she had seen.
I produced 8 world premiere plays, all of them entertaining, two of them extraordinary. I worked with some wonderful theatre artists. I helped make a lot of theatre.
I listened to Teaching Artists process their dilemmas and questions, and sometimes I had answers or advice for them. Many of them wrote me notes, gave me cards, heartfelt cards, thanking me for my work and my support.
I sat at the table with the Board of Directors. They listened to me. They, too, wrote notes of thanks and sadness at my departure.
And my family and I went to some wonderful places. My son and I had many gorgeous dates - the Train Museum in Balboa Park, always bookended with a trolley ride through the park. Our after-school visits to the "animals" at Mission Trails - listening to the recorded animal sounds on the walk into the visitor center, climbing on the bronze sculptures of Coyote and Mountain Lion. Our family hikes through the oaks and grasslands of Mission Trails, and our journeys through the Cuyamacas to Julian and back. Our discovery of Imperial Beach with visiting friends, and our trip back to eat seafood on the pier. Our last ocean sunset, on Sunday, above Del Mar.
I am not elated tonight. I am sad. I guess some mourning is in order, both for the actualities of what life held here, and for the dreams and visions of what did not happen.
I thought I would be overcome with joy at the nearing journey home. I trust I will be, soon, when the final boxes are packed and taped and on the truck and we are in our first "mo-tail" on the road trip home, and when we find our new physical home and start to move in, and when I find the work I'm meant to do there.
But for now, I guess, it's okay to be sad.