I recently had the opportunity to see two great plays at Community Theatres.
In November, in Ajijic, Jalisco MX, I saw The Twelfth Night, a comedy by William Shakespeare where my brother was the star! They spent months writing the script, from 5 to 2 Acts, building the set, making costumes, doing the marketing and ticketing, printing the programs, practicing and changing the script with direction, make-up artists, cleaning up, etc. It ran for two weeks … and then GONE.
In December I saw the final performance of A Christmas Story put on by a Community Theatre in Elkader, Iowa (population 1100) which again played for about 2 weeks. As the audience was leaving the theatre, they were already tearing down the set.
This reminded me of Buddhist sand paintings. I saw one live many years ago at the I.U. Art Museum. These monks spend a bunch of time creating some artwork using grains of sand. And when they finally finish, they just empty all that sand creating an enormous amount of entropy.
And I remember, when in my late 20’s, saying to Fred Mills, a physicist at Fermilab who had been my boss and mentor, when I was up there with a crew from the Indiana University Cyclotron Facility dismantling a synchrotron: Hey, Fred, how does it feel to see that something we spent our whole lives working on (hey, I was still in my late 20’s) getting dismantled?
And he said, “Every particle accelerator I have ever designed is sitting in a trash dump somewhere”.
And you know what? I now can say that. Every particle accelerator and PV manufacturing machine I’ve designed is sitting in a trash heap someplace.
So, another Buddhist saying I heard from my brother DavE:
Nothing you do is important. But it is important that you do it.
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That last line is what I needed to read this morning! I’ve been feeling rather useless, that I can’t figure out how to effect any change for the better in this battered world, but had a little victory this week. I inherited a small flock of chickens 15 months ago, who had been rather neglected. Now they free range in my backyard and seem very happy, except for one, a big, beautiful Brahma who was definitely the mean and dominant one. She was also the only one who wouldn’t let me pet her and pick her up until a few days ago when she walked up to me and squatted down to get some affection! She’s also stopped being so mean to the other chickens and is the last one out of the coop in the morning, letting the others be first to eat breakfast. Not important that I restored a chicken’s sense of well-being, but important that I did it! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us today.
As long as all that electroscrap is recyclable, I'm OK with it. ;)