Back from the City.

It’s Monday. The mountain air today had that overcast something wicked this way comes sort of feel. But still warm . Tee shirt and umbrella weather. It made the last portion of the set of Milkshake & Honey go vaguely gothic, or at least, Brit Pop-induced. Fun , with a jacket on. But enough about the weather.

I’m not quite over last Thursday. I’d been trying to nail down my timing for weeks , never quite getting it right and then it all came together. I was happy with it. The children have forgiven me for writing and PERFORMING stories that included direct quotes from them. Though they asked the age old question “Must you write down and observe us? Can’t we just live?” I tell them, well no. I didn’t do scrapbooks for them beyond their first couple of years. I stopped taking photographs with real cameras and didn’t bother with school photos even. Their stories. Their experiences. Our stories together and experiences—this is what I have. This is all that will be there later. 

I meant to take more photos with real cameras and real photo paper. I meant to make more scrapbooks for them. But I didn’t. It didn’t come natural to me. This did. This writing us down thing works for me.

Apparently it works for other mothers too and until I was part of the San Francisco cast for Listen to Your Mother last  week, I didn’t quite get the universality of this motherhood storytelling thing. I get it now. I don’t make friends easily.  I stand back too much and watch. But the evening of stories of motherhood really worked itself on me. The big moment for me? One of our directors wrote and read a piece that contained a bit piece of accidentally hitting her kid in the face with the strap from the car seat. Ah. Memories. That moment where you feel CPS must surely be lurking around the corner to take you in. Perhaps that’s it. It’s the sharing of stories that politely aren’t shared that made the show for me.  Our one man in the show talked of beatings as a kid but not in a whiney way but instead a matter of fact way. We’ve become a culture of parents afraid to share the real behind the facade because, well, the real might not measure up. The real might be frowned upon. But that, as Robyn our last reader noted, might just be the secret of our success.

At any rate, now in our afterglow of the performance I’m super excited that we have this little private chat group going. Because even if I haven’t found my motherhood posse up here in the mountains, I have it there out on the ether.

About Margaret Elysia Garcia

Margaret Elysia Garcia is the author of short story ebook collection Sad Girls and Other Stories, and the audiobook Mary of the Chance Encounters, and the co-founder and lead playwright of Las Pachucas, theatrical troupe. She teaches creative writing and theatre in a California state prison.
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6 Responses to Back from the City.

  1. Of the 30 or so people who came to cheer me on – yours was universally hailed the best read of the night. You absolutely got it right. You are a natural. I am delighted to be in your posse and in time your children will love how you captured their childhood too.

  2. Pingback: What Happens When You Listen « thirty threadbare mercies

  3. Pingback: san francisco recap: it can’t be over

  4. rheabette says:

    Your timing and delivery were INCREDIBLE. You brought the house down! What a joy!

  5. Pingback: The Mothers spoke…and the audience, they listened | Old Tweener

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