Berkshire Bohème

I miss you. I miss writing, sharing, watching for events and photos that may please and heighten life’s experience for another. But more than that, I miss what writing does for me. I view life differently when I am searching for words to describe my feelings or for a camera angle that will show what my eye sees. Do I have less to write about because I am having less interesting experiences, or am I having less interesting experiences because I am writing less? I am playing with the idea of the latter and so have been on the lookout for topics and vignettes to tantalize. photo-6

Since I last wrote, I have been cast in a three shows, one ended in August, one just started rehearsal last week, one upcoming in December and I have been hired full-time as School Programs Manager at Shakespeare & Company, until my directing duties start in mid September. This is all very exciting stuff. It is what I have dreamed of.

But my living situation continues to be a challenge. Right now I am in a basement dormitory room in Company housing. The ceiling above me has a maze of pipes running haphazardly in many directions, varying in diameter from about 6 inches to 1. They drip from condensation so have wrapped towels around them to keep them from dripping on my head.There are cracks in the ceiling, holes gaping, and mold. When I first moved in with my boxes and bags, the ceiling was spotted black and some of the pipes were completely covered with thick black growing mold. This was too much. Almost in tears I asked if something could be done, and our Company Manager took things in hand and in a few days I had a freshly painted white ceiling and no more visible mold. I continue to be grateful everyday for the hands that cleaned and painted so I could be less at risk for health issues. IMG_1362

The pipes will take some getting used to. Not only the dripping but the grand sounds of flushing above my head. It is really loud and startles me into ridiculous laughter at the absurdity of it all. Is this the bohemian life? La vie Bohème? Am I like those wandering artists in nineteenth century France that lived unconventional lifestyles for their art, burning pages of their precious books to keep warm and painting canvases in freezing garrets?  My room certainly has the look of a rag-tag gypsy caravan with a plastic wardrobe, lamp shades with water stains and sheets covering my belongings. There is no closet so everything is out in the open, not organized or beautiful but completely bereft of charm. I have set a few cute things around but they are so overpowered by cardboard boxes that it’s like noticing one raccoon hat in an opera house filled with feather boas.IMG_1373

Am I complaining? I am grateful for the roof over my head, even if at times I worry it will all come crumbling down. I am humored by my life of the moment. I have moved from a beautiful, large, modern farmhouse to this and there are moments I wonder WHY? But most of the time I know exactly why and I am thrilled with my choice.

‘To take the world as one finds it, the bad with the good, making the best of the present moment—to laugh at Fortune alike whether she be generous or unkind—to spend freely when one has money, and to hope gaily when one has none—to fleet the time carelessly, living for love and art—this is the temper and spirit of the modern Bohemian in his outward and visible aspect. ” Gelett Burgess (1902)

Where would I be without such colorful things to write about? To tell you that this morning I devoutly wished that I had a mirror in my room as I kept trekking back and forth to the dank, claustrophobic bathroom down the hall to get ready for work, and tonight I went to a barn party where I saw a mirror leaning against the wall and the owner gave it to me! Now it sits inside my door and I can see as I leave the room if I have matching shoes on, or my skirt tucked into my underwear. You can’t get stories like that from a life without a little Bohemia. So even though I may not be as comfortable as I would wish, and I play croaking frog sounds on my phone to try to drown out the toilets flushing in the night, and the roommates next door arguing at 2 in the morning, I can still see that my life is charmed.

“What, then, is it that makes this mystical empire of Bohemia unique, and what is the charm of its mental fairyland? It is this: there are no roads in all Bohemia! One must choose and find one’s own path, be one’s own self, live one’s own life.” Gelett Burgess


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