Week 13: In this life, what are we but passing through?
This week’s story was written a week ago, on the bus, on my way home, after my last class in Term 1…
I write this on the bus home after the last class of Term 1, purely out of a burst of inspiration.
It is currently 21:12 hours. I don’t know if the night makes us sadder, more melancholic, but as the class dispersed and people were taking group pictures, it felt like the onset of “post-production depression” all over again.
Sure, I will see these people again very soon, and we will be doing classes again in 2 weeks. But something about this being the end of Term 1 invoked a mix of sadness, relief, gratitude; you know, when you’re glad something has ended, but at the same time, something has ended… I believe they call this feeling “bittersweet”.
For context, “post-production depression” refers to this feeling that most in theatre would experience after a production ends. I used to be involved in plays and musicals when I was younger, in school, during my undergrad. And, regardless of the role you play, regardless of whether you were the one on stage or if you were the director behind the scenes, you feel a sense of emptiness when it all ends. It goes a little beyond sadness, it almost feels like grief. I don’t know if I’m describing this adequately. Perhaps you get it, hopefully you do.
Speaking from experience as a performer and a director, something about spending a whole lot of time with a group of people who share the same goals as you makes you like them a little more, care for them a little more, want to protect them a little more; to the point that they feel like family.
You go through the downs of outsiders questioning you, threatening to cut your financials, and you go through the ups of finally finding the right way to portray a song, or someone in the group finally nailing their very complex line of dialogue.
You watch the stage transform from a big, black, bare hole in the wall, into something colourful, something that tells a story. You watch something that was once abstract and in your imagination come to life. And then, at the end, you watch it get torn down, you watch it return to that big, black, bare hole in the wall, waiting to be turned into someone else’s imagination…
And then life returns to “normal”. You go back to studying, you move on to another production. But for a while, your life will feel empty, devoid of meaning. And you will miss your little group of family members. It isn’t the nicest experience, but I think it is proof that the emotions you felt were true, that it was all once very real. I wouldn’t change a thing.
Well. I am about to reach my destination, the bus is a few stops away.
I guess, we are all just passing through in life, like this song I’ve been looping the whole way home. But as we pass through, we leave dents in each others lives, some bigger than others.
It was nice reminiscing the past for a little while.
I’m looking forward to the new term, for new experiences, new struggles, and new laughter (after all the exams end next week, of course).
We are all but projectors on Earth,
projecting the scripts we have written.
Frames of happiness and sadness, darkness and light
that make up the scenes of life.