Monday, February 6, 2017

memory of Cruel Tears

My class is happening right now - those who are there are conducting it themselves, and others have already sent me their essays. What a terrific bunch! And I am in bed, where I have spent the whole day, mostly unmoving with my eyes closed. I can't eat. This is the worst bug in years; Anna has it too, and we both got the flu shot!

But as I lie here aching from head to foot, I am deeply deeply grateful, because this brings back a particularly painful memory. In 1977 or 78 I was part of a cross-Canada tour of the musical Cruel Tears, a country-western version of Othello. Yes. We spent months getting from Vancouver to Toronto via many communities big and small. In Toronto, finally, it was winter. We were appearing at the Bathurst St. Theatre, the drafty old church, and one day, I got sick. Really really sick, like this sick, aching, head throbbing, stomach heaving. Only there were shows to do, and no understudies, no option to say no thank you, I'll just stay in bed. It was a musical; I had to sing and dance with high energy, while I thought I was going to die. Several of us were sick; they put a mattress backstage so we could lie down, and I'd lie there, shivering, until it was time to go out on stage and sparkle.

One big reason I am glad that's not what I do any more.Thank you to my students, who have taken over for tonight, so Teach can recover. That can't happen soon enough.

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