Real life has started up again.

Jobs returned to, deadlines faced, a kitchen long uncleaned daring me to do something. The Fringe was a memorable blast of a vacation and I’m genuinely glad I had the opportunity to dive in deep. I didn’t get to write about every show I saw or even every show I took a shine to. I had several Deep Thoughts that never made their way to the blog. Lucky for you.

Also lucky for us that this Fringe takes place where we live and work. If you love performance even a jot it’s an essential event. Artists and performers of every stripe come out to play and show off and make us laugh and think. We gather in a darkened room and inhale the same air. We laugh at the same jokes. We thrill to the same dance moves. We’re moved by how often, despite all the things that make us individual and separate, the things that hurt you hurt me too. We exhale together.

A week and a half ago I asked who is the Fringe for. I was thinking exclusively about the folks who make the work we watch. On that end it’s for anyone brave and motivated enough to get off his or her ass and take the creative leap, the risk of being seen.

But having been in the audience for the longest sustained period in my life I see clearly what I missed all these years while standing onstage with lights in my eyes. Duh. The audience is who it’s for. Or even more specifically, the space between the stage and the audience. That shared electric air.

If you were out there devouring the Fringe this year, I hope you saw at least one show that knocked your socks off. That you saw at least one that confused or angered you. I hope you spoke to someone you’d never met before. I hope you discovered something. I hope you took a look around you and said, Jesus where did all these people come from?

I hope you carry the wonder and connection that I hope you felt at the festival with you into the recently returned workaday world.

And I hope I see you next year.