As May envelops us and spring erupts, memories of personal transformative events flood my consciousness.
May is the anniversary of my mother’s death.
May is the month of my first visit to the Odin and an unexpected encounter with the Magdalena Project.
This May marks the one-year anniversary of my “deinstitutionalizing” from the School of Theatre at Boston University where I taught acting and directing for 25 years. I poured enormous energy into the teaching and mentoring of my students. Upon leaving, my daily structure collapsed, leaving me feeling liberated yet naked and vulnerable. Who am I? Who am I now that my identity is no longer connected to an institution?
The universe invites me to build a new structure. Piece by piece it is building itself. Like rock climbing, I’m seeking one handhold and foothold at a time. Navigating this journey demands moving horizontally, downward, upward, zig zagging. The path reveals itself. The terrain determines the path. This day a Laurie Anderson song plays over and over in my mind—
She said, What is history?
And he said, History is an angel
Into the future
He said: History is a pile of debris
And the angel wants to go back and fix things
To repair the things that have been broken
But there is a storm blowing from Paradise
And the storm keeps blowing the angel
Into the future
And this storm, this storm
Who am I? I’m an elder. A queer elder. An adventurous crone! A theater maker! A Magdalena! I am being blown backwards into the future.
Elaine Vaan Hogue
15 May 2023