I spent the week of the election at Mt. Tremper Arts, doing a kind of self-designed residency/retreat work exchange, sharing the space with Alex Rodabaugh and his collaborators who were doing an official residency in advance of the premiere of AmeriSHOWZ.
I thought I was going to spend the week in deep reflection, reading and writing and getting a lot of stuff done. I thought Clinton would win, and I was worried about the potential for violence from Trump supporters. I thought I could get in a couple of good, long hikes and go back to Philadelphia re-charged and rested.
Instead, Trump won and I spent a lot of time just staring at the sky or ceiling, and obsessively checking twitter, or looking for answers on the internet. I assisted with dinner prep each night, under the patient tutelage of chef Ethan Knechel. I went to an amazing yoga class with Mt. Tremper wonder-woman Megan Byrne. Both of these activities helped keep me from sliding into deep despair.
There was a performance of AmeriSHOWZ on Saturday night, and it was very cold. The audience was small, and one man left before it was over, reducing our ranks even more. But by the end, as Lily Bo Shapiro performed a solo and the others placed translucent walls in between the audience and the dancer, I felt the less-aloneness that can come with good live performance. I didn’t feel hopeful, but I did feel comforted. And when I left Mt. Tremper and came back to my little home in South Philly, I did feel re-charged and ready.