Preparing for a weekend of work this week has been a bit chaotic to say the least. Something comes to me the week before a theatre intensive/workshop weekend that is both exciting and dreadful. This isn’t dreadful in a dreading-way, but more that the topics we are working on are dreadful. I have been working on developing a character who is so dismissive in her inability to change her situation that while she is walking to the nooses she eats a tea biscuit and laughs in the faces of her conquerors. She knows that she cannot change anything and so she accepts it, because she wanted it all to happen that way.
That dreadful feeling remains four hundred years after that woman stood eatig a tea biscuit because I continuously read articles about Dentistry students from Dalhousie who talk about abusive and sexually violent things blatantly and openly and get kicked out of school and the article says that it is “too bad” because they were dentistry students. Ah yes, it is just TOO BAD that sexually abusive and derogatory students have to go home to their families and explain why they were kicked out. Just too bad. Too, too too bad.
I’m being sarcastic if that isn’t obvious. I’m being sarcastic because for the past…well year, wow, it has been a year since we started this project okay so its been a year since we started talking about the rights of women and how stuck we feel and who we are as people are determined by our clothing and by our strengths in the bedroom, how weak our wrists feel under a man’s touch and all that stuff. A whole entire year has passed since we chose to write about dreadful stories and haunting tales, since we decided on ouija boards instead of our own stories, although a little bit of me falls through this project as we move on, as I develop this amazing, strong, brilliant character. As I got to lift her skirt and run around the stage as her in March I get to re-do that entire role later on this year. That is exciting because she is such a badass.
And it is a running theme on this blog that I speak about fabulous, bad ass women, so I thought I’d talk about Temperance today, only for a little, and if you don’t care, carry on.
Temperance is strength to me, she is the inability within every woman to stand up directly and shoot her hand up and say NO without second guessing herself–did I really bring this on myself? Temperance lived FOUR HUNDRED YEARS AGO and she asked those questions then ad I still ask those questions now. Temperance is a full moon gazing over the world, watching like a chorus of sirens hissing and piercing men who hurt women everywhere, and women who hurt women everywhere (insert: I am reading Amy Poehler’s YES PLEASE and have just finished the part about women hating on other women, why do we do this? I digress but still.), and look out for the lost, confused and stuck. Temperance is a ghost in every cold and empty home or warm and full house, she sits at your kitchen table while everyone eats in silence afraid to talk about their days. Temperance holds your hand when you sit alone under your desk at three in the moring after you had some pills because you didn’t know what else to do, there wasn’t anyone else to reach out to, and Temperance holds your hand but can’t do anything either, but she is there.
Temperance is a refuge, she’s a symbol, and she’s a good friend. She just wants to be a caring giver and friendly reminder that you are responsible for your own actions but sometimes things just happen. Is that okay? She doesn’t know if it is either.
If you’re interested we are working on remounting Finding Temperance about women and strength and the ability to stand up or, quite literally, fall down. Check out @findingtemp on twitter and stay tuned for more information.
In the meantime, take the brilliance of Brooke Bentham with you for the rest of the day, and remember that at some point we all have been, will be, or are, ghosts.