It feels like a storm of stars colliding into one another; a trillion serendipitous moments that on their own just look like tiny coincidences, but as the story unfolds, every star has emanated in the form of a character, a glance, a smile, a word uttered, a move made, a feeling felt and they’re all playing pivotal roles in this clever little script that is life.
Act 33, Scene 15
As with any performance there’s me, the protagonist, a gang of archetypal main characters and a world full of extras, who could take centre stage at any point. And just before I boarded my one-way flight to Chiang Mai, Act 33: Scene 17 begins with two of the main characters taking centre-stage; one from the present, one from the past.
Attraversiamo by Dario Marianelli starts to play softly in the background and the one from my present enters the stage.
He presents me with a piece of information dating back to my childhood. This piece of information could be argued as fact or fiction, as it exists in the form of a perceived memory that has lived on in his mind for many, many years. It’s a perception of me that I’d never understood or cared to understand and something I must have subconsciously decided to bury deep down in the depths of my heart with everything else in life that I don’t want to deal with.
As I sit there cross-legged on the floor listening to him rehearsing his lines, the music climbs dramatically into a crescendo and a meteor shower of emotional epiphanies rains down on me.
I finally see that thing I’d buried, lying there like precious treasure locked inside my chest. His words have solidified into the shape of a golden key that will help me unlock some of the mysteries of my own mind. And whether his perception was fact or fiction doesn’t even matter, it’s something I know I need to face.
The scene ends with the violins and piano softening to a whisper as an enormous mirror falls slowly from the rafters, filling up the stage.
Act 33, Scene 16
I remain seated with my back to the audience, staring into the mirror and my reflection starts to fade. Soft chimes start tickling the airwaves, the violins start to sing, a guitar stomps its feet and the flutes begin to sway; they’re dancing together slowly and gracefully to Medicine Man, keeping the Dario Marianelli theme and my galaxy of thoughts twinkles brightly.
The pain from his words has dissipated and I’m accepting them for what they are, and now I’m in search of a truth from within.
The only movement I make is the soft rise and fall of my chest as I breathe deeply, my focus is fixated on my reflection and everything around me melts away. I’m questioning reality, thinking about perception and whether anybody is ever right or wrong. Maybe none of us are. Maybe our intoxicated minds are forever distorting our view. I don’t have the answer yet but I’m going to find it, not out there in that world, I’ll find it in me
I’m reflecting on myself, my ego, the me that I thought I was, the me that I think I am and the me I’m perceived by others to be. I relive moments when I’ve thought I was sure about something and start to question, well, maybe I was wrong. I wonder whether my thoughts are truthful or are they fooling me.
My contemplation doesn’t give me any answers, but after hours and hours of rhetorical interrogation, my flickering thoughts become still, shining lights and I can see clearly for the first time.
Act 33, Scene 17
In Act 33, Scene 17, the mirror remains on set and as my reflection starts to grow stronger I’m joined by the second character, the one from my past.
The music has stopped and there’s a silence so raw that it feels like time is standing still, even the audience are holding their breath. We stand together, a few feet apart, facing the mirror for a few minutes. No words, no thoughts, no glances, just raw, silent acceptance of the moment we are in. The intense energy can be felt between us, it’s a mixture of every emotion a human can possibly feel and it’s not long before tears are in our eyes.
As the tears slowly cascade down our faces, words pour out – not from our lips, but from our hearts, and Harvest Moon by Neil Young begins to play in the background. You can almost hear the crumbling of bricks as our honesty starts to bring down our defence walls. We’re starting to connect in a way we never have before.
We move closer towards each other, although our gaze remains facing forward to the reflection of ourselves in the mirror. We hold hands. Our stomachs are settled, our thoughts are pure and every syllable spoken stitches a piece of our broken hearts back together. It’s all still there, it never really went away….
…then the curtain falls – it’s time for the interval.