Enter Stage Left

The lost, the found, the replaced: A Thanksgiving rumination

It seems unbelievable our country will soon elect a new president. After an endless, exhausting, perturbing campaign — one that has stretched our patience to the limit and disturbed our perception of the world as we thought we knew it — We the People will have finally spoken. Either we will be graced with an accomplished stateswoman to lead us, or damned by a manipulative, sexist bully to terrify us, determining whether we are to live for the next four years in a continually exciting experiment of a country or a doomed oligarchy of deceit, fear, and profiteering.

I guess you know who I voted for.

Is it too much to ask those who are the losers to behave with care and dignity? Normally, I would say no, it’s not too much to ask, but with this election, all bets are off. When a bull is in the china shop, dishes will get broken. Let’s hope the bull and all his b—— have left the stage. Forever. I fear, that will not be the case.

But whatever the outcome this month, I ruminate on the vagaries of life and what is asked of us, and I have come to understand that each life, all lives, consist of losses, things we find, or replacements of things we once. We live lives of transaction: We negotiate the losses, the “finds.” the replacements as best we can, and move onto the next set of bargains. It’s what we all must do.

And in that spirit, with energy restored from not having that old pain in my right knee anymore, it’s time to examine why I continue to “enter stage left” and settle even more deeply into San Francisco as my new home. Not so new anymore, I guess, because we’ve been here six years now, and New York City sometimes seems another lifetime ago. Though the miles traveled to get where I am today are only those required to cross the country, and though it has only been six years, I feel an infinite deepening and tremendous broadening have happened inside me — widening my spirit and maturing my sense of self. I feel that by moving to San Francisco, moving from my old life as an actor on the professional stage, and by embracing my desire to write — or at least attempt to do so — I feel these things have changed me for the good. And what better place to experience this personal expansion but in this city of daring and piratical adventure: San Francisco.

Many life events have happened to me in the six years I have lived here: I experienced a brush with cancer, survived and learned from it; we moved into a house with our best friends and have been sharing a family way of life that we had always dreamed about; I lost one of our two beloved dogs, and will probably be saying goodbye to the second dog soon; I’ve experienced many joys, a fair degree of fear and sadness, and have lived to tell the tale; I have a new knee, which brings my time spent in a hospital more in these six years than I have ever spent in my previous 60. It’s been an adventure.

I’ve also had the pleasure of expanding my writing to a wider readership, and whereas I have still much work to do on the book, I’m determined to finish; it is in its first rough draft form, and there are at least 70,000 words on paper. The Marina Times has graciously supported my writing habit, and I feel at times like a professional writer, thanks to the lovely people there.

And now, I have a new knee, and the country will soon have a new commander in chief.

New York City friends still don’t understand why I moved her, giving up a co-op on West End Avenue, my career in the New York theater, and such urban delights as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim. But in making the choice to live in San Francisco, I have also given up cold winters, the chance to slip on ice patches and break an elbow, and the ever-increasing crowds that are making Manhattan more and more uncomfortable to traverse. San Francisco has what I want, and as long as I feel the personal growth occurring within that I have experienced so far, I shall strive to know this city better, and enjoy my time among the friends I ‘ve had the pleasure to make here.

Now with my new right knee, I will walk this city with a renewed vigor, and, I hope, have enough energy left over to write about it. Much to be grateful for.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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