american angel notes from amsterdam – 13

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saturday september 23, 2006. 00:17

my dad took a turn for the worse. they thought a heart attack, but are now calling it respiratory failure. he is hanging on. i will have to make a decision on when and if to go back. i am going to go to bed now and see what my dreams and the morning tell me. my precious father.

saturday 12:35. bruxelles, belgium

i’m missing rehearsal right now. i am at the brussels airport. my sister was trying to get me to los angeles from here. a mistake made with the flight times. i missed it. just checked united and all their u.s. flights are gone for the day as well. i’m sad i’m missing rehearsal to be stuck in an airport. i may have to go to paris or london or return to amsterdam. God bless us all.

i don’t know how my dad is. even if he is still alive. i wait here. alive and grateful. and so very very sad. even surrounded with such beauty. the little girl with the red balloon. all these people traveling for so many different reasons. and doesn’t look like anyone is going off to war. i pray i’m right.

i wonder where i’ll be tomorrow. i wonder where i’ll be in an hour. the country side was beautiful on the train ride here. cows and sheep and swans and thick leafy lettuce. once i passed into belgium things began to look a bit more Catholic. perhaps it was just the rain.

i’m faced with missing some of this valuable rehearsal time. i am trusting that i can work on my own. and trusting that my story, my family history, my dad’s courage to travel across the ocean from sri lanka with 7 children and a wife, that the honoring of this is the real work that blesses everything. including our wings of desire.

so i am confirmed on a flight to los angeles through chicago, leaving tomorrow at 11:05. i arrive in the city of the angels at 5:30. i think i’m going to go back to amsterdam now. provided i can get a train tomorrow morning in time to be here. i have 74% left on my battery. well, that’s something.

13:38

bruxelles noord. waiting for the 13:44 train back to amsterdam. some kind of homing pigeon.

had the choice to spend the 40 euro roundtrip train ticket on a brussels hotel. practice my french or return to amsterdam. i am not on vacation. could have worked in brussels, but the temptation to explore might prove too much. really just craving the familiar. the family. i’m on my way back to amsterdam, bono singing loud in my ear “it’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright, it’s all right. she moves in mysterious ways.” my train approaches the station.

18:14

back in amsterdam at the coffee and company. ate dinner. saw a cat in a cage, crying so clearly for what she wants. read my script on the train. listened to the dutch over and over. got tired. fell asleep while listening to public enemy. so sorry to have missed both the plane and the rehearsal today. spoke with ola, she blessed my decisions. told me she is behind me, fully. i will not let her down. i will be where i need to be. glad now to be back in amsterdam. i will sleep and rise early and continue this journey. by the Grace of God.

love,

bernie

sunday september 24, 2006. 15:17

this journey a mystery to let be.

“remain in the distance. let it all happen. remain earnest.”

i am still in amsterdam. the training involved with dashed expectations. the fight to surrender. an unused train ticket to brussels in my bag. it’s good for travel for a week. a cancelled american airlines emergency pass from my sister ramona.

ola waking at 3:30, offering me a ride to brussels via text message. a suggestion she said that came from an angel. it takes an angel to hear and act on the suggestion of an angel. the alarm set for 5:15 this morning. ramona calls me at 4:30 to tell me that my dad is much better. it is no longer an emergency. made the hard decision after talking with two of my other sisters and also saying hello to my dad to stay in amsterdam. here i am.

went to church with mam and andris. we were sitting above a grave marked on the church floor of a man named andris who died on november 28, 1591. some 10 years before henry hudson made his trip up the “hudson” river in search of asia.

got a text from sarita. the cost of love is high and worth it. no matter the outcome. it is the way to live.

the need for privacy with certain grief. the dignity of this.

cassiel – “the angel of solitude and tears who ‘shows forth the unity of the kingdom’.”

i believe our play is going to be beautiful. ola has my complete trust. i imagine we may continue to struggle, but she has my full trust. her artistry is a match for her humanity. she is deeply good to all of us. she is faithful to the play. i pray we struggle together to give birth to this beautiful thing. our unity is important.

i hope fedja is feeling better. hope he is getting the chance to rest.

a blessed sunday. i’m tired. today i rest.

still, the physicality of this angel becoming clearer. on the toes. weight forward. middle finger tucked. shoulders back, arms and hands falling to the sides and behind. the key now is to relax into this, what is now, an unnatural stance.

make it look like i’ve been doing it for an eternity. i still have a little more than a week to practice before the public begins to judge. i have the chance to perfect it up until december 17. at least that’s the plan. right now, i am here. resting.

a guy in a blue knit hat walks by on harlemmer dijk swinging a purple bag. he’s walking toward the movie theatre that is playing world trade center.

i may see it today. or not. at least that’s the plan.

love,

bernie

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