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When I was growing up in Chicago, the lengthening darkness at this time of year brought to mind Emily Dickinson’s:
There’s a certain Slant of light,Winter Afternoons –That oppresses, like the HeftOf Cathedral Tunes –
I was warned to be home by dark. I can’t recall when the danger of sexual assault was specifically named, but the fear of rape hemmed me in throughout my adolescence, and my fear heightened as the days shortened. So I did not like November. But this November promises to be my favorite month of the year, because productions of my work are busting out all over:
- In San Francisco, as part of the SF Olympians Festival Nov. 13, 8 pm at the Exit Theater:The Girl with Sparkling Eyes and A Goddess in her Grief (short plays about love in a time of human trafficking) https://www.facebook.com/events/688412094520116/
- In Washington, DC, presented by Tasty Monster Productions November 19, 7 pm at The Corner Store Arts Center: Just Deserts (full-length comedy about getting what you deserve, or not) https://www.facebook.com/events/298054237003964/
- At the University of Arizona and the University of Guam, student productions of Medusa’s Tale (one-act play about the rape and transformation of Medusa)
- In Bisbee, Arizona as part of the Bisbee Community Chorus’ production “A Miner’s Life”: We Live in Mud, a song with words by Carol Lashof & music by James McCarthy, from 17 Days by James McCarthy http://www.jamesmccarthy.co.uk/17-days.html
Perhaps it is no coincidence that fear of darkness and monsters feature prominently in these pieces. One is set in hell, another in a collapsed mine … Happy Halloween.
Sonnet inspired by the Copiapó mine accident, August 5, 2010 by Carol S. Lashof, December 2010 We live in mud, we breathe hot dirt, we cry like babies when we think no one can hear us crying. We say we’re not afraid to die. Aloud I say that help will come, but fear, like dust, comes in with every breath, and I— I am so afraid of losing you, my dear. I never should have left the calm and bright soft warmth of you. What am I doing here, so far from you and living without light, two thousand feet below the earth, so near to hell, so far from you. Will you be all right? We live in mud, we breathe hot dirt, we fear to starve in the dark, far from the ones we love, trapped here below while life goes on above.