Dear Dancing David and Magic Tom,
I awoke today at dawn with tears continuing to trickle down my face as I recall the transformational experience of witnessing your Gaybaret. My heart feels tender and open as if it had received a deep tissue heart massage. I believe in the power of art as a vehicle to change the hearts and minds of people. You’ve created a vehicle for heart opening and deep self reflection that has the power to change hearts and minds.
I identify as “Queer,” or more specifically a Pansexual woman. I was born in the late 70s and could identify with so much of what you shared in your masterful storytelling. I felt seen and validated as I laughed and cried through every one of your heart filled songs. You tenderly shined a light on some of the historical context of gay experiences through the timeline of your life stories. This helped me to recognize more clearly some of the ways our collective culture has influenced our lives and ability to practice living openly and authentically. A potent reminder about how far we have come and how much work there is still to do to cultivate more safety and celebration for our community.
I expected to be moved by the beauty of hearing about your love story. What I didn’t expect is the opportunity you gave us all to feel into the preciousness of living and caring for our loved ones through your powerful sharing of the lessons learned in the spiritual practice of tending to the needs of our elders and offering hospice care. The images and words I witnessed in your creations will surely continue to inform my practice of being present for elders and teachers for years to come. I am grateful.
As I sat with Tom’s preschool teacher (who also happens to be one of the major “Marie” figures in my life) sitting to my left and my partner of 5 years sitting to my right, I held both their hands as I rode the waves of emotion through your melodies and poetry. This was a true ritual captivating my full being in the awareness of the blessing of sharing that moment with two of the people that helped shape who I am. Your work slowed time, giving me an eagle eye with a magnifying glass to see and feel so clearly how sacred it is and how blessed we are to be in the presence of those whom we adore. Thank you for helping us to remember the gift of being alive, loving and being loved.
On a more personal note, the song about Marie when you were by the sea together and recognized that her time embodied was coming to a close was almost unbearably beautiful. I held Lorrainebow’s hand so tightly while both of us wept. I was recalling the conversations we have had about our commitment to care for one another through the dying process (whomever happens to get to that process first.) Thank you for giving us that moment to love one another so fiercely. The anticipatory grief around the inevitable loss of our physical togetherness is so rich with the acute awareness of the need to have reverence for every day we share. Thank you.
I am in awe of your use of driftwood as a metaphor and an evolving sculpture installation. Just an hour before your show we were discussing how central trees are to our personal story and spiritual practices. How our ancestral traditions include the honoring and worshipping of trees as beings, portals, life sustainers, healers and helpers. During intermission and throughout this morning we considered the stories of each of the trees that brought these pieces of their bodies to you to become ceremonial tools in your ritual. As a visual artist and intuitive puppeteer I felt especially moved by your thoughtful and prayerful use of each tree limb and trunk as well as the art pieces you made that held the space of your story…the Glass Menagerie sculpture, the little box that held Marie’s gift, the hoop skirt, the flying nun hat, the origami rainbow …so much beauty!
The music, the poetry in song, your voices individually and together…very effective, soulful, gorgeous and fun healing medicine. I think now about the practices of sound healing in many traditions. Your music is medicine dressed fabulously as meaningful entertainment. Yes, I was thoroughly entertained in the way only the best cabaret shows can offer. What’s more is I felt my body received a kind of purification to the liking of experiences I have had in traditional rituals and ceremonies that use sound and song as a tool for aligning what is misaligned in the body, mind or spirit. You two are vessels for some seriously strong song healing that continues to echo in my body today as the three of us walked in the Island center forest and remembered the story of your being there together.
I could go on and on but at the risk of writing a 10 page letter I will close here by saying your show was one of the most meaningful, heartfelt, healing and brilliant I’ve ever witnessed. I grew up in the world of dance and theater. From LA to NYC I’ve participated in and witnessed my fare share of greatness but you two brought together all of what is most important to me in a performance ritual…I am changed. This was a gift I will treasure always and reflect upon often.
I hope we can all connect again soon and share in a wing prayer ritual with Lorrainebow too!
Please feel free to use anything from this letter for testimonials if there’s anything in here that would be useful in that way.
In deep gratitude and awe for the gift of your Gaybaret creation,
(Spirit daughter of Lorraine ☺️)