The Weight

by | Jun 17, 2012

I recently played the role of Procne in Walterdale Playhouse’s production of  “The Love of the Nightingale” by Timberlake Wertenberger. One of my favourite lines from the play is a lie.

Procne tries desperately to convince the Thracian women to tell her what has happened to her husband and her sister, and when they are silent she claims

I have learned patience. It is the rain. The inexorable weight of a grey sky. I can wait.

But she is not patient. She pleads, she threatens, she bargains, cajoles and insults trying to get the information she wants. Her rhetorical attempts are unsuccessful. Rather it is her husband Tereus’ return that puts an abrupt end to her questions.

Procne spends most of the play in denial. She repeatedly resists the truth that she claims to seek.

I am impatient. I have come to accept this about myself, and I’m trying to use this knowledge to grow. Rather than apologize or feel guilty when patience escapes me, I try to acknowledge my feelings and find a way to come to terms with them. Because I can’t always get what I want right now. And sometimes getting what I want means waiting and working for it. Some things are worth waiting for. And some things, if we get them too quickly or too easily, won’t be fully appreciated.

I need to figure out what I really want. There are lots of shiny things, so many things that I’m interested in, and I often find myself attracted to something because I can have it right now. But what am I giving up by taking the easy win? Am I missing out on finding my true passions because I’m so busy with things that are fun and interesting in the short term? Am I spending my time and energy on mediocre endeavours instead of working towards something with the potential to bring great joy and meaning to my life? Have I, like Procne, turned away from the truth in order to live a life of peace and comfort? I fear the answer is yes.

I need to start using my impatience to my advantage. I need to stop letting it distract me. I need to figure out what I want right now. And then work for it. I need to keep asking myself the hard questions and push myself to find the answers. I need to stop being afraid of the truth, the truth of who I am and what I want. Fuck patience. I need perseverance.

The inexorable weight of the grey sky doesn’t grant me patience. It has made me complacent. That relentless, heavy sky has drowned me, clouded my vision and left me seeking the closest shelter. I can’t keep waiting for the storm to pass and expect that the sunlight will bring me knowledge and insight. I need to find the courage to dance in the rain.