Domestic life isn’t especially new to me but this level of finding true peace and happiness in a daily shared breakfast (regardless of how early I now have to rise to expedite this), expensive olive oil, a daily and combined effort of keeping the house tidy and a meticulous attention to diary-keeping to ensure kids are picked up, dropped off, fed, entertained and educated is a wonderful series of events that causes my heart to swell.
I notice little things that I never would have before. A bit like Eckhart Tolle finding the immediate and powerful truth and beauty in the verdant foliage of his local park in (probably) rural Germany.
For example there is a switch in our hallway that doesn’t do anything. It is placed above the dado-rail, at chest height and is the same design as a domestic light switch. I have traced where the wires might go, what sockets it might control, which lights it may have duel power over, but so far – nothing. Perhaps it turns the cats on and off, maybe it operates the cloaking device on my keys, it very much could have a remote influence on the intermittently-active car heater which comes on when it feels like it, like not when I'm actually driving but probably when parked.
It excites me that something so innocuous and almost definitely an example of ‘it is what it is’ – a dead light switch – can cause my imagination to fly. Like many people I am a huge fan of TED Talks and had the great pleasure of working at a conference where Richard Anderson was speaking, which initially alerted me to this incredible free resource, a truly philanthropic gesture of knowledge-dissemination.
One of my favourites is by JJ Abrams. Think of him what you will. Personally, I loved Lost series 1-3, hated series 4-6, despite an entire episode revolving around Allison Janney who would be my first and only choice to play Jocasta should I ever play Oedipus, seeing her as I do as sublimely maternal and super-hot. I am of course not currently playing Oedipus, that role rightly goes to the marvellous Joe Sowerbutts, but I am currently rehearsing for Oedipus, playing Creon in a production mounted at the former Mornington Crescent Sports Complex, now a squat with an artistic outreach, from 4th-11th April. The production is directed by the brilliantly talented Tania Azevedo and I never said a thing about not plugging shows on here. (And since we're doing that go and see my amazing fiancé Helen Bang be gorgeous, Greek and grave as the nurse in Medea, Riverside Studios, NOW until 22nd March).
ANYWAY... back to Abrams - I think the Star Trek reboot is brilliant and I am very much looking forward to his forthcoming Star Wars picture as a film lover, if not a fanboy.
His talk was called The Mystery Box. It was a gift given to him by his grandmother and its instructions dictated that it never be opened. More than this I will not reveal as Jeffrey tells the story far better than I could. But essentially it was the catalyst for the blossoming of his imagination. The light to the blue touch paper of his universe-sized creative mind. Its simplicity is its genius, as it is with Abrams.
May I never find out why that switch was installed. I hope I never discover what it does. I will be eternally grateful not to know what happens when I flip that switch. As perplexing as that can be.
Still, it isn’t as perplexing as the time we lost Garry Jenkins.
The link to JJ Abrams TED Talk is here:
And the link to Medea tickets is here!: