It is easier for me to imagine being a crocodile or a green anole lizard for a day than to imagine being a playwright for even an hour. After I blogged the possibility about Dad's breakfast dreams yesterday, a friend introduced me to a stranger as, "This is Nancy. She's a playwright." What a daunting concept. What a joke. Ah, but what a dare.
My students have been making lizard art after listening to Joanne Ryder's fine book, Lizard In the Sunabout becoming an anole for a day. Since I moved with my sons into these condos nine years ago I've been a dedicated watcher of the anoles who also call the condominium complex home. The anoles have presented me with a this Power Point program to change my life at absolutely no charge:
Watching the lizards is a slow-down meditation for me, a time to connect with nature and spirit. Planning breakfast is my dad's daily devotion, although it is unlikely he would put it in those religious terms. Dreaming of planning breakfast is the night version of "praying incessantly" in J. D. Salinger's Franny and Zooey:
- Planning breakfast is embracing life as it is, not life as you expected.
- Planning breakfast is gratitude for Mother Earth's bounty and variety.
- Planning breakfast is starting each day with a disciplined, well-armed force aligned against the marauding guerillas of loneliness and grief.
- Planning breakfast is acknowledging the dominion of Father Time by synchronizing humble efforts to ready sausage, eggs, and toast so as to savor their perfection together.
- Planning breakfast is respecting the life's work of my mother to coordinate, nurture, nourish, and ease all our lives with great skill, responsibility, love, and patience every morning.
- Planning breakfast is honoring the generations before us by savoring the smells and flavors of remembered percolated coffee and dishwashing detergent in olden sunlit kitchens, the tastes of foods from across oceans, and the ancestral pang of doing without in depressions, droughts, journeys, and wars.
- Planning breakfast cherishes the rituals that made our family life a tapestry of coffee cakes, waffles, Betty Comden and Adoph Green songs, pop-overs, and Cheerios with the milk poured just right.
- Planning breakfast accepts the presence of chaos and confusion in life and pledges eternal vigilence against their powers
- Planning breakfast is an act of gratitude recognizing the circle of supportive friends who send love and courage in jars of jams and preserves
- Planning breakfast ensures a supportive and vigilant guardian with the bald eagle wings of an old plaid bathrobe is watching the neighborhood children board their school bus and parents drive off down the icy street to work.
I have no idea how to write these ideas into a play. I do have new ideas of how to pray incessantly while enjoying some Little Smokies.