Jon and I were deeply effected by seeing Death of a Salesman on Sunday. It was both the play and the performance that moved us. Philip Seymour Hoffman was Willy Loman. And I felt like I knew him. I saw the family I grew up in, in the Loman’s. In the anger and the lies and the voicelessness, and blind love. The play was written in 1949 and they complained of the same things we complain about today, how nothing lasts as long as it used to, and there are too many people in the world and how our neighborhoods are being destroyed, how we are expendable in the work place, and how devastating getting old can be.
So needless to say, we weren’t feeling great when the play was over. We were both kinda stunned and yes, I had to keep wiping the tears away. ( I do cry easily, but even Jon’s eyes were wet). We had dinner and I was asleep by 9 o’clock. (sleep has always been my way of checking out of life when I need to).
So the next day, we headed to Central Park. We were still feeling off and decided not to go to the Francesca Woodman photography show at the Guggenheim (I’m not familiar with her work but read she committed suicide when she was 22) thinking we were depressed enough. Walking through the park, we found ourselves at the Zoo. (I know that Zoos are depressing for some people, but the Central Park Zoo is one of those responsible Zoo’s that make me feel good) Then I realized it wasn’t an accident, but Jon’s plan all along. Oh magic! sparks! and fireworks! I fell in love all over again. We found ourselves smiling and leaving the Loman’s behind. Most of the animals were hiding or sleeping out of sight, (that’s how you know it’s a responsible Zoo, when you can’t see the animals) but it’s didn’t matter. We watched a snow monkey eat a cracker and saw a patch of polar bear fur and sat by the seals (I think they’re really sea lions) as they glided in joyful circles through the water.
I’m so glad I saw that play, it went deep inside of me and helped me make sense of my world, which great art can do, but somehow I always find myself going back to the trees and rocks and animals. I think that’s where I heal, that’s where I’m home.