Perhaps I Had A Wicked Childhood

A friend of mine has been in a musical improv class. This friend was looking for musical theater shows (movies) to research and learn from and I suggested my favorite, The Sound of Music, by Rodgers and Hammerstein.

This musical is my very favorite because it speaks to a great deal of the issues I have carried with me since my childhood, that of balancing the desire for order with the clarion call of chaos.

Maria is always and forever fucking up at the nunnery. She's a nature child, a nymph, a "wil o the wisp, a clown" Her chaotic nearly pagan love of the Alps, runs in stark contrast with the reserved, tightly bound nature of the nuns at the abbey.

Because she fucks up so much, the nuns realize she just isn't meant to live in the Abbey and because they kind of adore her even though she's a wild child, they send her on her way to be a governess to a large motherless family.

The contrast between chaos and order is clear in this new environment as well. The Captain, hating his loss and grief and faced with raising a brood of children by himself has instituted draconian rules. No music, no laughing, and the governesses are to use a whistle code to address the children.

After a few days, Maria calls bullshit on this and soon the household is full of chaotic lauging, sweet singing, and falling into lakes. The formerly regimented children are now happily and joyously fucking up all over the place. The Captain resists at first, but Maria alights a spark in him. The "Eidelweiss" scene is awesome. He starts singing and you just know he's going to come alive again (If you think about it, Maria is one of the prototypes for the oft hated Manic Pixie Dream Girls that many feminists write scathingly about. The wild girl-child who heals the heart of broken man. In this case though, I think he heals her too, because she always felt like a fuck up and then learned how to grow into responsibility and order. He relaxed and she matured).

All this is set against the backdrop of World War II and the Nazi's encroachment into Austria. Talk about order vs chaos.

Ultimately, the Captain and Maria fall in love (to perhaps my favorite song in the film "Something Good") and (spoiler alert) they escape the Nazi's (with the help of the NUNS, those crazy girls!), leave the order of the cities and head into the green verdant Alps, singing all the way.

I have always deeply sympathised with the character of Maria. While I didn't grow up in a nunnery, my mother was a very calm, ordered, regimented person and I was.....well I wasn't a fuck up, but I felt like one most of the time. I had big energy, big movements, I was loud and I think she didn't always know what to do with me.

I still feel like a fuck up a great deal of the time. I'm not good in corporate situations, I just feel like a total fake in a costume if I wear a suit. I love how I love and I'm still loud and I feel as if I'm quite often obnoxious in my verve and excitement. Or that I notice the wrong things during business meetings, or that I'm more interested in process than task.

And I struggle with the seductive quality of chaotic process even while I cling to linear, point by point, thinking. The last show I was in with Gnap had a very organic rehearsal process and it was really fucking hard for me. But the show was incredible to watch and to be a part of, so yet again I'm shown that there can be a balance, order coming out of chaos.

This past week has been really damn stressful and emotional. So much so that on Wednesday I took half a day off and just had myself a good old fashioned crying jag. Most of what I was stressed and upset about was work related, but some was connected to my creative life and pondering about if there was a purpose to it or if I was just....fucking up. I've spent a great deal of time this week trying very, very hard to Just. Control. Myself.

Well, you can imagine the end result of that. I went to a party last night, with the high hopes of burning off some steam and dancing, but it kind of all went wrong. Whether it was the stress of the week, the empty stomch and champagne, or the little inner monsters of chaos exiting my system in a less than orderly fashion. My dancing was on the wrong beat, my words were all off center, the mood in my head was competely backwards to how I'd hoped.

I fear I was kind of a loud obnoxious jerk.

I'm rarely a jerk, so I realize this isn't the end of the world, and no one died but I just fucking hate it when I am. Because I should be able To. Control. Myself.

But I can't. No one can, not all the time, and no one should. We all lose ourselves, in dance or drink or love or anger, and you'd think I'd show myself the same forgiveness that I show others, but I rarely do.

Perhaps, I'll learn that at the very least.


  1. My darling, self-control is highly overrated.

    Here's to Maria!


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