Emotiolitical 08/11/2011 9:44pm

So the moon is a waxing gibbous, almost full, and some kind of haze has settled over the sky over the city. The air isn't thick like a hot summer night, but the sky is fuzzy and lit up. I left the parking lot near The Lab on 1st St N on my motorcycle, thinking about which way I wanted to go home. At a stop sign I unzipped the vents on my leather jacket's upper arms to let some of the cool air in. I decided to take Washington all the way down to 35W north because it would be slow and easy, stoplight to stoplight, with payoff at the end, when I'd be free to accelerate quickly down the onramp, the engine winding hard through the gears, and merge with nighttime traffic doing 75 or 80mph, but then ease back to 65 and stay in the right lane. Take it easy. Maybe I'd twist the throttle where the road bends a few times, but tonight's short ride home into NE Minneapolis would be about the cool air rushing through the vents in my jacket and helmet, feeling the change in the air temperature as I'd go over the river and down to the little valley of the Johnson St exit. It's always several degrees cooler there. I was thinking about the play I had just seen, Red Resurrected. In The Lab's wide open space I sat on the edge of the mountains near the woods in the small community where Red lived. She was the orphan child of everyone. Just a person alone in the world, as we all are, drawn to the darkness and wonder of the trees and the animals and the path that leads somewhere we can't see or imagine. And I heard all the animals. I saw them. I heard the wolves howl and the cicadas call and the birds chirp. I heard the sound of twigs under my feet. Felt them snap. The water dripping in the sink. I watched the fire start and grow and felt its warmth. All of this from the stage. I saw a deer taken down. An injured wolf heal. A little girl grow into a woman. I saw a community deal with the darkness and wonder of human frailty and kindness. As I left the theater I was quiet. I felt connected to everyone around me, but also very alone. Not in a lonely way, just solitary. The play was about one person's journey and so I felt myself being on mine. I said goodbye to friends, recognized the feeling a few new friendships developing as I end up seeing some of the same faces at various shows. For some reason I was thinking about the version of me that was walking around and doing things in the late 90's, before I rode motorcycles. Before I knew myself very well. When I reached the end of Washington, leaning the bike gently but swiftly into the left turn lane, I noticed the car ahead of me had stopped several feet back from the line, even though they had the green arrow to head down the on ramp. My eyes moved left and there was a taxi blocking the onramp entrance. It's doors were open and two people were attending a person lying on the ground. Looked like the taxi had hit a bicyclist. His bike was next to him. His blinking red tail light had been thrown 10 feet beyond where the man and his bike lay. Further still was a backpack or piece of luggage. You could see exactly in which direction the bike, rider, and gear had been thrown. The bicyclist was moving, but not getting up. He was in pain. Someone was calling 911. This had just happened. As I sat behind the reluctant car in front of me, unwilling or unsure if she could go around the taxi, I saw more people moving toward the crash scene. They wanted to help. Or just wanted to see what was going on. It felt like help because they looked like they wanted to be involved, not just to look. Here were humans being human. Helping each other. Sharing a traumatic experience and trying to figure out what to do. Then my head was back on the play. The community of humans working and living simply, just trying to help the girl be safe and grow up right. I looked around at the complexity of the traffic lights and buildings and felt envious of a life in the woods. Where magic can heal you, and being lost is something we need to happen sometimes. This is why I don't carry a GPS when I travel long distances on my motorcycle. I like to be lost sometimes. Just a person on a road somewhere, looking around, on my journey, taking some time to be aware of taking some time being on my journey. Tonight was just a short ride home, but being aware of being on my journey is no less important on the short rides. I assessed the crash site, saw the helpers, saw the cell phone connecting one person to another person who probably knew exactly what to do. I was just another body keeping left turning traffic from turning left. So I rode around the timid woman's station wagon in front of me and glided onto the on ramp. I'm no help here. Humans are helping humans, like they do, so everything is OK. I wondered if the station wagon woman thought I was insensitive. No. Just need to get home. I twisted the throttle and flew away. I was going to write about yesterday's meeting with Sarah Wash today, but that didn't happen. That's now a tomorrow project. I feel calm and connected and simple tonight, because a piece of theatre reminded me that I can always make things calm, connected and simple if I choose to. Some people whittle. Some meditate. Some ride motorcycles. We all sleep. We all dream. We all know when the moon is on its way to being full, whether we see it or feel it. Someone is hurt tonight and their life's journey is changing. Right now. Or even ending. Same thing I guess. I'm letting that moment go and moving forward. I feel like I'm going to sleep well tonight. Up next, the blog post I was going to write today, tomorrow. I have no idea what any of this has to do with politics and art. Nothing maybe. Maybe everything. I don't care tonight.
Headshot of Adam Whisner
Adam Whisner
Emotiolitical: A professional actor turned political activist attempts to connect art, politics, the Fringe, and the desire to change things without being so mad all the damn time.