Stranger...

"To You"

Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you? --Walt Whitman

This poem has been a part of my life for a long time. First, I read it in a deathbed edition of Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman that my mom gave to me when I was in junior high. Then, I read it again when I was taking American Poetry in college. Then, I used it in a production I produced that used poetry and words of Whitman. And, then it inspired me to create A Cloud of Victims, a play that I am now producing. It always resonated with me because it brings the question of meeting another person to light. How do we meet someone? When do they become friends, great fiends or simply someone we connect to at the moment? That is the process of the moment.

In producing the play now I question how connected to each cast member I'm working with in this production. How well do I know them and how much have I learned from them are ideas and questions that come up in my mind. Also, will we become good friends or simply acquaintances (with the illusion of friendship from Facebook)? Then, I wonder if that is even important at all. I am working with them now and isn't that the most important, making the most out of the moment? That is the important part.

The creative process isn't about longevity. It's about the moment. Nothing is infinite. All art work, music, movies, poems, all anything is simply the moment. Everything else is simply memory. The moment can never come again. The experience of reading a poem for the first time, seeing the art work, watching the movie or listening to music, can never come again, it's simply a memory brought up from the moment. That is the magic of theater, the moment can never come again. A wonderful experience of the moment. So, it doesn't matter if the friendship lasts or the work lasts, its the moment that will be within us. That is the key.