Saturday, May 17, 2008

What Memory, Saints and Poets, my Grandparents, and the SFMOMA have to do with each other.

Emily, sitting in the graveyard with the other dead souls of Grover's Corners, utters the first half of one of the most poignantly exquisite (according to me) moments in English literature...the Stage Manager answers her, if I remember correctly, with the second half...and I can't find my copy of the book right now. So, it goes something like this...

Emily:  do they (the living) every realize it, do they?  (re: the temporal beauty of life)

then the stage manager says something simple and wonderful, about:  the saints and poets,  they do

well, I was supposed to be Emily in the Boblingen Junior High School presentation of "Our Town" and--let me tell you--I was very very excited about whiting out my face with good makeup and mushing my red "I -am-supposed-to-be-one-of-the-dead" hair all up crazy-like with twigs and leaves (this presaged a significant obsession with hair and make-up, unfortunately, that still haunts me to this day)...anyhow, my family had to go to Italy (don't cry for me, I know) and I didn't get to be the star, but I will always, always love my connection to the magnificence that is Emily...

So, a few years ago, I did a funny little piece for an event for the SFMOMA that was built around the saints and poets quote: an homage to my grandparents (Vivian Ann and Robert Lincoln Lee)--who, brillant souls that they were, adored San Francisco--and what does this have to do with anything?

Well, if I hadn't gone to Italy, and I had memorized the lines, I'd probably be able to recite them for you at this moment.  But, then again, probably not.  Because I did star in "Visit to a Small Planet" (you saw me in it, in the Boblingen Junior High Gymnasium, right?), by Gore Vidal, and I don't remember a single word of it.