A Sandcastle’s End

Today was good.
Today was fun.
Tomorrow is another one.

Dr. Seuss

It’s difficult to say what happened, exactly, that made this latest theatrical journey such a powerful experience.

Some have said it’s that we tried something completely out of our comfort zone. But we’ve done that before.

Some suggest that it’s the incredible cast, oozing with talent and committing to the very end to make new discoveries and add even more energy to every scene, night after night, culminating in a near-perfect (yet perfectly unperfect) closing night performance. Yet I’ve experienced casts like that, many times.

Others point to the amazing crew, including my firstborn with whom I’ve been craving the opportunity to create this kind of art ever since they were born, and my best friend who had me totally convinced he was off the bench for any theatrical projects yet jumped in full belly-flop without even dipping his toe in the water to check the temperature. However both these humans have shown time and time again, in other meaningful ways, that they are “all-in” with me, all the time.

Perhaps it’s simply that we innovated, that we “made great art” as the near-divine Neil Gaiman advised us to do, that we rose up despite the naysayers and had a helluva good time doing it.

Most likely, it was all of the above, and then some.

Or simply, this:

If you can keep your head when all about you  
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,  
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;   
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;  
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim; 
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;  
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling, “If”

Thanks to everyone who played on that beach with me. I’ll not soon forget it.

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