I’ve had an interesting couple of weeks. I’ve ended my four-month Richter marathon when ‘On The Twentieth Century’ closed a couple of weeks ago. My class is almost over which means out into the world I will go. I have to begin the job hunt. Fun. I came to realize this is my last “summer”. While the actual season will not go away the meaning of it will. Summer was always the time before going back to school. Well, no more of that for me. In a few weeks I will hold my membership card to the world – a diploma. It means I’m a functioning person in society. I can’t use the “I’m a student” excuse anymore. Seeing as this is my last “summer” I decided to reflect on what has taken place this summer. I came to one conclusion – I wouldn’t trade it for the world. As much as I complained and hemmed and hawed (yes I said hawed – I am 72!) about doing two musicals back to back and all the rehearsal time I spent at Richter. I loved every minute of it. The people involved in my life this summer and the moments.
I say moments not referring to every single second that passed by, but the times this summer that really impacted my life in good ways and in bad. I am reminded of a song in Into The Woods with the following lyrics:
Just a moment,
One peculiar passing moment...
Must it all be either less or more,
Either plain or grand?
Is it always "or"?
Is it never "and"?
That's what woods are for:
For those moments in the woods...
Oh. if life were made of moments,
Even now and then a bad one-!
But if life were only moments,
Then you'd never know you had one.
It got me thinking about “moments” I’ve had this summer and how I tried to categorize them much like the Baker’s wife does in this song. Who defines what our moments are? Society seems to dictate what our “moments” should be. Shouldn’t we be the ones to decide? “must it either be less or more? / either planned or grand? / is it always or? / is it never and?”. Our moments need to fit a certain category not only in society, but with our own expectations. Personally, this summer, I don’t feel like I have lived up to what my mind tells me these moments should be. I don’t know if I’m making any sense but I need to vent. Is there no in between for certain moments? Is it always less or more than we expected? Why can’t it be just what we expected? Why do we always get choices with moments. And why do I always seem to make the wrong choice when it comes to moments.
The Baker’s wife sings “if life were only moments / then you’d never know you had one”. This addresses that time in between. The time you have to reflect on those moments and realize that you’ve done something horribly wrong or something fantastically right. That time is the “conscience”. Moments come sporadically and without planning, all you can do is let them happen. The look back and criticize. I find myself criticizing more and more what I shouldn’t be criticizing. I just don’t understand it. Why can’t I just let my moments be moments and not analyze them to death?
The song ends with the Baker’s wife singing:
Let the moment go...
Don't forget it for a moment, though.
Just remembering you've had and "and",
When you're back to "or",
Makes the "or" mean more
Than it did before.
Now I understand-
And it's time to leave the woods.
The Baker’s wife realizes that no matter how much we scrutinize our moments, they are just that – moments. They help define who you are, but they are just a small portion of who you are, they are not life changing events. Is that really true? Moments can drastically affect a life. If the Baker’s wife told the Baker about kissing the prince, what would have happened? Would he have left her? There have a been a ton of moments this summer that I have reflected on recently and wondered “what if?”, but then I realize that would only get me crazy if I focused on that. I have come to the realization there is a reason I act the way I do. There is a reason the moments I have had this summer turned out the way they did. What that reason is, is still unclear to me. When I figure it out I will let you know. I understand if this entry is a little cryptic, but honestly it makes sense, I promise.