Two days ago, at the gym, I found myself getting super annoyed by all of the TV screens and the constant motion. It was driving me MAD! After about 15 minutes of huffing about it, a wave of peace came over me and I had this grand idea---
betsy, why don't you find something in this chaos that inspires you.
More than that, why don't you do this all the time. In every situation when you're
feeling the creature annoy creeping in, why don't you battle it out with something
beautiful. Find it, you know? So I tuned into one channel, watched the commercial eagerly,
and found a flower in a vase on the side of the screen. It was beautiful. It was a kind of flower I
had never seen before. It appeared only for a split second, but I let that flower carry
me into the next moment, and then the next and then the next. Then I realized
that my entire day had been colored by that flower. and it all felt so good.
Later that night, I received a disturbing call. A good friend from graduate school, a classmate, a fellow, one of only ten of us, a warrior, an acrobat, a comedian, a brother, a lover, a son---had died in NYC the day before.
It was our singing that first brought us all together.
"...Soon I will be done with the troubles, with the troubles of the world. Going home to live with God..." This was the song that another classmate would teach us on the first day of our MFA class coming together. It was this song that carried us through until the end. ...and until now. I can't even tell you how many times we sang this song at the Crib.
The Crib: small, nasty, cozy, uncomfortable, beautiful, huge, wild, endless. We transformed that thing into mountains and valleys, fields of wispy grass, purple oceans, worlds you've never even dreamed of. We were the inaugural MFA class of Dell' Arte International. So while paving our own way, we sort of helped paved the way for future classes (and boy, did we like to think of ourselves in this way). We spent most of our days away from the main campus and in our own new location, called "The Crib." While the Crib was not an ideal spot for the intense theatre work we were doing, we quickly grew fond of it---after all, it was our space.
I'm not quite sure how it came to be, but we started a ritual (maybe not the healthiest ritual, but one that brought us closer together every single time). After a really intense lesson or rehearsal or play in which the 10 of us occupied the space, we would take a swig of a bottle of brandy that lived in the space and shout out (in funny accents every time), "TO THE CRIB!!!" Sometimes we would cry, sometimes we would laugh, but we always did it together and we always embraced each other afterwards and before leaving the space. It was a coming together unlike anything I've ever experienced before. We were partners, playmates, colleagues, brothers and sisters. We were a team.
Since his passing, I can't stop thinking about that time in our lives. I can't stop thinking about him. I'm remembering things I've never thought of before, things that I didn't realize existed. I can't help but think about how much that time formed who I am today. And he was such a huge part of that.
I am writing this post because I think he would want me to. I hope he would. I hope he can see it. I hope he can feel the outpouring of love from all of his friends and family.
I think it was no coincidence that I thought of seeking out the inspiring things in life amid chaos at the gym that day. Even if it wasn't, I will forever believe that he gave me that bit of light that day. And I'll take that with me wherever I go.
Here's to finding peace and hope and inspiration in bits of everything you do in your life. Here's to not letting days go by without appreciating things that have moved you. And for goodness sake, Here's to the Crib!
But mostly...Here's to the love, laughter, joy, infectious soaring spirit and life of Adrian C. Mejia. We salute you. We love you. We miss you.
Although one has fallen, it will forever and always be the TEN of us.
To. The. Crib.
Love into the weekend and beyond,
Viva La Famiglia!
My thoughts and prayers are with his family, girlfriend, and all of those feeling the blow of this huge loss.
***Song of the Moment: Early Bird, by The Frames***