So begins a quote which has become the PAC’s motto. It is the beginning of a Shakespearean speech that goes on to compare the world to a stage and life to a play, and catalogs the seven stages of a man’s life, sometimes referred to as the “seven ages of man”: infant, schoolboy, lover, soldier, justice, Pantalone (middle age) and old age.
This month, I was diagnosed with arthritis in my right arm. An indication if ever there was one that I am slowly slipping into my own seventh age while at the same time Logan, my cat, my confidant, was at the ebb of his own seventh age. And while these two life events are going on, I was simultaneously trying to keep up with present and block (scribbling out in my script the actor’s moves and motivations) Peter and the Starcatcher – a re-imagined origin for Peter Pan, the boy who would never grow up. Ah, the irony of it all.
Like the arthritis, I felt it was coming — I knew it was inevitable — but was still at a loss to grasp all this (literally and figuratively) as I would carry my furry friend to his doctor all the while wearing the wrist wrap provided by my doctor or have to stop working on a script about eternal youth as my hand cramped up or Logan begged to be carried to his food bowl.
In between vet visits and doctor appointments, I spent a good portion of the month at home working on the script with Logan peering over my shoulder from the back of the couch, sitting on my lap or attempting to turn pages as he walked across the script. Both comforting and frustrating me all at the same time as is a cat’s nature. Good times.
As the month comes to an end, I have accepted my diagnoses, Logan is gone and the script is blocked. It is done. And yet, it is not. For as I work with the actors, the blocking changes, my memories of Logan refuse to fade and in spite of reality, I refuse to be confined or defined by the pain in my arm. The show must go on. And in the meantime, I take solace in friends, family and in particular work. In the last scene of Peter and the Starcatcher there is an exchange that goes:
FATHER: Soon, you’ll forget, and it won’t hurt anymore.
DAUGHTER: No! It’s supposed to hurt – that’s how you know it meant something!
I cried when I blocked the scene as I felt Logan purring beside me and I’ll probably cry every time it is performed in January as I feel him yet again.
This month the PAC Kid Spotlight shines on Keziah Dunn from Meade County High School. She’ll be performing as Cinderella, Queen of the Night Sky, Star Queen, Autumn Fairy and the Ball Room Butterfly in Allegro Dance Theatre’s ballet version of Cinderella this month at the PAC. Learn more about Keziah and our other PAC Kids.