Monday, July 31, 2006


I am taking a break. I have been looking forward to this break for a long time. In order to work, I need to be away from home. Being away from Jeremy is really hard – it is insanely difficult to maintain and nourish a relationship through the phone. Yes, we have a home together, but I am almost never there. Plus, I think that if I had taken the work offered to me this summer, Jeremy might have castrated me.

When I first arrived in Frankfurt in late May, I was so frustrated by the lack of convenience. Things closed early, I couldn’t easily pick up a wireless connection in my apartment, I had to use internet cafés to check my email for the first two weeks, stores aren’t open on Sundays and holidays, cell phones are insanely expensive, you have to sort your trash, they charge you for bags at the grocery store, toilets barely have any water in the bowl. I missed American convenience – shopping for everything and anything at Walgreens, grocery stores open 24 hours, the seemingly ubiquitous internet connection, being able to call Jeremy at any hour of the day for free on my cell phone, air conditioning, free paper bags at Whole Foods.

Now, I find that I miss Europe. I loved my routine there. It felt so independent and relaxed. I loved getting up in the morning, writing my morning pages, eating some breakfast, and then leaving my apartment and walking through the city. My schedule was structured so that we rehearsed mostly according to the follow schedule: morning rehearsal, 4 or 5 hour break, evening rehearsal. At first, the break in the day really bothered me, but eventually I grew to treasure it. It allowed me to go outside during the day, run errands, eat a leisurely lunch, perhaps take a nap, read, and arrive refreshed for the second working session of the day. I read voraciously there, I started this blog, I threw myself into rehearsal everyday, I started taking pictures. I felt my creativity surge.

Back in the states, I find it really hard to focus again. Things feel fuzzy. I am taking a much needed break now, firstly to have some time with Jeremy as well as to regroup and get ready for all of the upcoming new projects I have coming up for next season. I actually have a lot of time on my hands now, but I find it is really difficult to get moving. I feel my creativity and energy are stuck.

We are staying with a host named Bill here in the Washington, DC area while Jeremy is working at Wolf Trap this summer. Bill is a nice, 70 year old widower whose passions include bicycling, learning biblical Greek, and seeing opera. He has a nice home in suburban Bethesda that we are staying in. My days mostly consist of waking up, morning pages, taking Jeremy to work, driving into DC, checking my email on my laptop at a café, reading the news online about how the world is blowing itself up, studying Hungarian for a bit, translating a bit of L’incoronazione di Poppea, going to the gym, eating a quick lunch, driving back to Bethesda, practicing, then picking up Jeremy at work. This routine is killing me and my creativity slowly. The sheer amount of time I spend alone in the car (not to mention the gas that I guzzle – therefore doing my part to perpetuate our American unquenchable thirst for oil) is draining my soul. I have tried to do this without the car – and it is massively inconvenient. There is no public transportation between Bill’s house and the nearest Metro Station between the hours of 9:03 am and 3:23 pm during the week. It is simply so hard to get anywhere that is a public place, my energy is sucked into simply getting around.

In a nutshell, I am growing restless. Nothing feels right – I am easily irritated. All I want to do is go to bed. I feel like I am wandering much of the time. About restlessness, Julia Cameron writes:

“…a bout with restlessness is best met with curiosity – not with the conclusion that your true cranky character is surging to the fore. Irritability is the flag waved by restlessness. Restlessness means you are on the march creatively. The problem is, you may not know where.” - Julia Cameron, Walking in this World

She is right – I am irritable, and I am certainly on the march creatively. And I also don’t know where I am going. Or do I? In some ways I do. My life is scheduled for the most part until the spring of 2008. I have a list of upcoming projects that are satisfying and interesting that need attending to. So why am I so fussy? Is it because I actually do know where I am going? Or am I just suffering from reverse cultural shock? Or is it that I am a workaholic and simply don’t know how to relax?

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