I’m in a show! Listen to Your Mother is a national series of live readings celebrating Mother’s Day and dedicated to mothers: having, being, enduring… Margaret Garcia, an Indian Valley-based poet, teacher and – full disclosure – my office mate, worked with Roxanne Valladao and Plumas Arts to bring the show to Plumas County. Taking on the task of directing it was nothing short of noble for a woman with several fulltime jobs, two radio shows and two kids.
The 13 essays Margaret selected ranged from paeans to Mother Nature to courageous accounts of mothers so damaged by disease and circumstances that only these strong and sensitive daughters could have survived their childhoods to write about them. Some made us laugh. Many made us cry. Every presenter brought something of Plumas County to the production: the hiss of a hot spring, geese lifting off a misty meadow; a red-tailed hawk…
My essay about my mother’s death had been kicking around in various states of unfinished torpor. I jumped on the show’s deadline for entries as an excuse to focus on and complete it. I was thrilled to be selected for participation.
Reading My Essay
The unexpected came with being part of a cast. We are 12 women and one brave man. Some of us have been friends for decades; others began as strangers. Sharing these most personal experiences at our first rehearsal brought instant bonding. As we met to read and reread, with Margaret rearranging the order to enhance the flow and drama, an uncanny intimacy developed among us. If not exactly sister soul-mates, we became close, bound by the personal moments we shared in both our essays and the performance.
Like any production, this one ended. The cast friendships endure. And beyond them – out there in the community of people who were our audience — women are talking about mothers: having, being, enduring… They are talking about writing about mothers. And some of them are: writing down the huge hurdles and small miracles that occur between birth and death.
Stay tuned for Listen to Your Mother: Plumas County 2014!
Here’s the YouTube version of my performance.