Megaphone Residency- Uneasy
So time is marching on...
I am in the heart of it. And it is...
Jenny Lindsay is helping me by directing and mentoring me and it has been so important to have her eye and advice. I am not new to performing. Not new to writing. Not new to writing the personal but...
It is hard. It is terrifying. It is the stuff of exposure. Identity politics is that it? That thing! Sigh. Get over it! Is it really that important? Is this, I say to myself in my slam down laptop moments, worth it?
Uneasy. And sure- the absence of you- missing you- is childhood memory- nothing new. and should I no now shroud you in sepia, bring you out wi your cracks and shatterings filled in wi gold. Beautiful. Lost. Daddy. Is that no what a daughter should do? And aw that brown skin of you, that brown skin you, and the trauma that came with, was it trauma at all? Have I only amplified background noise in an attempt to forgive you? To excuse you. Uneasy. My kids are on the way back to me. My youngest are turning deep summer brown. Sure. We are only maybe seasonally apart. The sun making apparent our features. In the dreich we pass- isn’t that a blessing? Sunshine gives our skin a tan with extra depth, with an extra...a friend, actually no a friend, she says, Christ! What’s that you are saying? Laughs. You nothing but a bit olive. Practically white. No one would ever tell you were not. C’mon, get serious, you no black! Laughs. That’s ridiculous. So what do I do Dad? You said I was your double. But maybe I am no. And that was all I had of you. Most days. Most Years. Just that. That brown. That bit of olive. Is that an orange juice stain on your mouth? Are you a Paki? A half-caste? English?
So what do I do Dad? You said I was your double. But maybe I am not. I have my longing running through me. I am not a child. But I am your child. The one you didn’t want. And now, you are dead. Proper gone. And that old fault line resurfaces. I am teetering between belonging and not. Looking to forgive you. To be forgiven. To be yours again.
Day two of rehearsals with Jenny ( and so thankful for the residency for helping me to fund this).
I am all scraps of paper and new shiny slideshow and after an amazing session with Roxana and Peter Vilk I have audio, and it is all so great but I am sifting through it all and lost. Lost. But Jenny sees it. Can see it. Believes in it and I am left with something - something to rehearse, to practice. That's good.
But so much to do- still...quiet the ghosts, put them in order. Find a way through for me, for all that may want to share it with me.
The words are there, the structure is there, it is there. I am almost there. But it is hard...
I have what? A show about grief, a show about family legacy, the stuff of that mixed race, Scottish identity - and what's that?
And I am all this and then...Then I am holding my son after he has been bullied in the park for his colour- for his brown. And I think it is this- isn't it?
My boys crash into the campervan gulping back tears. Their friend follows them in. They were being racist he says. Who? The kids in the park. To Joe? Yes. My two boys. One Irish pale and freckled. The other just like you Dad. They cling to each other. And I think, I was waiting for this. I was waiting for this. I was waiting for this. I was waiting for this.
It is the stories, the journeys that lead us to here...It is what it feels to claim your place. It is the thing of belonging and not.
I am with the unease, with the fears, and in my living room, now rehearsal room, whilst the kids are at school, I am dancing with my ghosts. I am finding my voice.
With great thanks to The Workers Theatre for awarding me a Megaphone residency.
Workers Theatre Weekender