Letting Go

As if it isn’t already obvious to you, I write these things from the seat of my pants. I’ve never really sat down and organized a blog in my head and then, like, edited it and checked spelling or anything. There is almost a preciousness with the way I don’t spend too much time on this blog, it’s got to be a rant or there’s no point.

There are two totally different ideas and both of them match the title I chose, so I’m trying to figure out which way to go.

On the one hand, despite the obvious degradation of our civil liberties and despite the all out attack on democracy that we are going through as a nation right now, I find that I can’t spend too much time being upset about it. I feel foolish arguing politics with people. When I talk about the facts of the Bush administration with right-leaning folks, I get a five hundred page treatise of double talk, of assumed motivations behind obvious lies, of justifications in the face of invented disaster, and I find I can’t move forward. I’m mired.

When I talk to left-leaning people, there is such vitriol for the man, such palpable hatred for a basically good guy. This is a dude, elevated to a level beyond his wildest dreams because of the reputation and successes of his father, who, through a combination of dull wits and fervor, has made terrible decisions. Unfortunately, that also describes me when I was twenty, (although getting a chance to direct an orchestra or choir without any skills is hardly the same disaster as directing the military industrial complex without any skills) and I find the spitting disgust among my lefty friends to be hard to deal with.

So, I have to let it go. Thus the title.

On a completely different topic, I find that some of the people I love most here in New York are starting to move away. A small group of my friends moved back to North Carolina, some of my best friends in the world are getting entrenched in Chicago, and last night one of our favorite couple friends came by the house on their way to flying out to Michigan, where another one of my dear friends moved last year.

I have spent the last year, really, huddled in my apartment. As of this time last year, we were planning the wedding, we were two months away, and that was really the start of the Year of the Project. When we were putting together Lucretia, it was just producing and rehearsing, which we’ve done a million times before. Fleet Week, and The Wedding before it, were emotional rollercoasters that kept us removed from our social world for great long stretches.

Now, I get bi-weekly phone calls from my dearest and closest friends. People I want to *see* at least once a week call me just to catch up, and I usually spend about ten minutes on the phone with them.

God, I miss my friends.

There is the cliche about the artist, alone in his or her little world, scribbling furiously while the world passes around him, and this cliche has a certain romance to it. In “Amadeus” the movie, Mozart writes music on his pool table while his father fights with his wife, and he’s totally oblivious to it. The music swells, he is in heaven, here in the world of his own creation.

The truth, for me, is that when I looked up from my computer and realized I had made dinner for my friends probably three times in the last nine months, I wasn’t thrilled to be in the world of my own creation. Mac and Jordana, separately yesterday, told me that the Fleet Week music is always running through their heads, and I had to admit that I never hear it. I write it down and empty the hard drive, when I play the music back I’m excited but I don’t recognize it as mine.

(Let me say that the biggest problem with my current project is that I am essentially a dilettante, or at least I began that way. I have had the great fortune of being paired with both a brilliant scriptsmith and a genius word-fitter when it came to creating the actual play, but the process of writing 24 pieces of music probably took me three months longer than it should have because I am untrained, unexercised and unexperienced. The next time we do this, it won’t be quite as tragic…)

And so, groups of my friends are leaving New York, and I’m not replacing them. I’m becoming what I never thought I would, but always wanted to be. I’m becoming a man with not too many friends who spends a lot of his time creating plays.

I always wanted to be seen as this guy, I never realized that I also wanted to *be* this guy.

The knock on me, from multiple sources, was always that I was frivolous, a man of no gravity. For years and years I was an amusing ass, someone that could be counted on to take things too lightly and to be great fun at a party. Now, I barely enjoy the little time I do have with my friends, and I totally missed the last year in New York for some of my favorites. Now, if I am at a party or away for a weekend, I’m on the edge of fury the entire time, desperate to come back to get something *done*, to finally *accomplish* something.

So, I have to just let it go. Maybe my twenties were my time for being frivolous, and maybe now is when I work. I have to let my friends go, and I have to not worry about disappointing those that are still here. I miss my friends, I miss the fun so much, but maybe I’m just not that guy anymore. It’s not a maturation, hopefully I will come back to being social and fun to have at dinner, but I need to just accept that, right now, that’s just not me.