Some weeks ago, one of my best friends invited me to go with her to attend a performance by Bread and Puppet Theater. I’d been hearing amazing things about Bread and Puppet for years, but this was the first time I found myself in a position to attend a performance. I assure you – this will not be my last. Breathtaking costumes, a mix of intense drama and lighthearted poking at the Establishment, their style and approach had me hooked from the first moment.
We want you to understand that theater is not yet an established form, not the place of commerce you think it is, where you pay to get something. Theater is different. It is more like bread, more like a necessity. Theater is a form of religion. It preaches sermons and builds a self-sufficient ritual. Puppet theater is the theater of all means. Puppets and masks should be played in the street. They are louder than the traffic. They don’t teach problems, but they scream and dance and display life in its clearest terms. Puppet theater is of action rather than dialogue. The action is reduced to the simplest dance-like and specialized gestures. A puppet may be a hand only, or it may be a complicated body of many heads, hands, rods and fabric.
We have two types of puppet shows: good ones and bad ones, but all of them are for good and against evil. -Peter Schumann
One feature I found delightfully accessible was the “cheap art” available for sale after the performance.
During intermission, Anna and I perused the cheap art for sale in the lobby. I found a piece of art that spoke to me and garnered a bit of surprise from Anna. She saw what I wanted to buy, gave me a perplexed look and said, “but you never wait.”
She certainly isn’t wrong. When I meet a girl who seems somewhat close to my ideal, I dive in and try to make things fit. I don’t wait patiently for the “right” girl to come along, but adapt and contort myself until my prezeled state prevents me from remembering why I stepped into the relationship in the first place. After relationships inevitably end and I gain some perspective, I see the vast chasms between who I am and who I tried to become to meet the other person where they were.
By spending so much of my energy on adapting myself to meet a partner where they wish to be, I postpone the joy of finding my own path; setting aside my desires and my passions to prioritize finding a girl to share them with.
What am I waiting for? I’ve been waiting to actually live my life while I searched for a partner to share that life with me. I’ve had this all backwards! I need to take that “don’t wait” energy and apply it to my own life first. I need to go and do things, to take chances and climb mountains and experience life. Only then will I find a partner to share these adventures with me.
Even more complicated, maybe I did meet the right girl already but I missed it because I wasn’t focused enough on living my life to the fullest.
I think it’s time to let go of waiting to live my life. New mantra: No more waiting – time for living.