Thought Residency: Maev Beaty

Thought Residency: Maev Beaty

SHARE

We were moving some furniture pieces around tonight, in my home, and we moved a Billy bookcase, thank you IKEA circa 2001, probably, And, uh, oof, there was a lot of dust underneath the bookcase and, uh, I was getting tired and everything seemed a bit overwhelming so I hopped on my phone and read about JT’s… “costume” and uh, yeah, tonight is not a night for me to share any thoughts that I have about this, I have so many thoughts, but it’s not a night for me to share my thoughts. It’s a night for me to just think those thoughts allllllllll the way to the end of those thoughts, and then shut up, and then think some more. So here’s a picture of some of the dirt, under the Billy bookcase, instead.

 

Today my six year old daughter and a friend of hers from school gathered a huge bag of walnuts from the park next to the playground. After experimenting with different ways of exploding them on the concrete or by jumping on them, they brought the rest of their haul home, to the townhouse complex where they both live. And bit by bit – the girls – anywhere from 2 years old to 10 years from the townhouse complex, all emerged. Eventually gathering around a cauldron-like silver pot to crush up these walnuts and the meat within, adding water and chalk paste and stirring the cauldron with three wooden twigs…uhm…and chuckling. In other news, the Crucible is still playing at the Stratford Festival.  

 

Lately we’ve been doing a lot of talking about Do-ing vs. Be-ing at our house, and, um, trying to just take a – little – LOOK at that, and – the experience of that or our understanding of that at our house and, y’know, we do a lot: I think we are Big Do-ers, over here. Yup, we, uh, do…do do…haha! And uh yeah, and I’d like to do a little bit more Being without worrying about the ‘To Do’ do that’s overdue. And watching my daughter do this really neat art exploration tonight with epsom salts and water and crystal and food colouring and paper towel, just, my head was just goin’…”do be do be do be do be do be do be doooo”

 

My parents were living and working in New York City when the towers fell. My father watched it with his own eyes and they plucked charred pieces of paper from their Brooklyn balcony for days afterwards. Uh, that same day my husband was on a train with a group of children to perform at an international children’s peace festival, but they had to stop the train at the border and bus the kids back, finding a way to explain to them why the peace festival was cancelled. Uh, he wasn’t my husband at the time, but today is our fifteenth wedding anniversary. When we called my parents to ask them if we could, ah, use that date for the ceremony and we explained that it was the only day my paternal grandfather could attend, they said that they were ok with that, that they wanted to fill that day with love, with a loving memory. That paternal grandfather is now passed away as has all of my grandparents and. umm… today I am thinking about love and happiness and peace and death and …all the people who are also thinking about love and happiness and peace and death on this date.

 

I’m sitting on the third floor watching a really powerful thunderstorm sweep through the rooftops around me and I am realizing that I am sitting in the sky, i am literally sitting inside the sky. My whole life I’ve lived on first floors and basements of Ontario homes and buildings and, sitting up here in the sky in the middle of a storm, I’m thinking about my friend Liisa Repo-Martell and all the incredible artists who came together to start Artists for Real Climate Action (ARCA) that launched a huge social Media campaign today to gather members, and at last check I think we got over twelve hundred members, in one day, and I’m just sitting inside the sky thinking about how great that is and how grateful I am.

 

I’ve been thinking about the public in the private and the private in the public which is so much of the territory that I have to live in as an actress, and I just came in from the West Toronto Railpath that runs along my home – because I’m trying to get outside more before the snow flies for walks or jogs, and I was just listening to the Guilty Feminist Podcast about abortion rights in Northern Ireland and it wasn’t until after I returned to the house that I realised I had probably: doubled over in laughter; shouted the word “YES!” three or four times in solidarity; clapped my hand over my mouth in amazement – completely oblivious ah, to any observers that might be passing me on the railpath and how interesting that these personal entertainment devices, that used to be about listening to the radio privately in your own home or your car or your place of work, now are portable and can go out and roam around the world.

 

This morning I woke up in Toronto and tonight I will go to sleep in Toronto, 

but right now I’m standing on the platform of the train station in Stratford and I… 

came out HERE 

where it’s VERY COLD 

to wait for a huge hurtling steel vehicle barreling towards me 

rather then sit 

one minute longer 

in the unwelcome, uninvited and disturbing gaze of the middle aged male stranger who’s been staring at me 

(train horn blows)

…and who I could probably beat in a fight, 

but I don’t really want to. 

Hi this is Maev Beaty and this is my first thought.

Today is the First Day of School.

It’s the first day of grade one for my daughter and her friends.

Today is the first day of my voice agent, Sandi Sloan’s,
Retirement.

Today is the day that a friend of mine’s daughter will not go to school, because she passed away a week ago.

Today is just any other day.

Comments

comments

SHARE
Previous articleThought Residency: Robert Chafe

About the Author

retro
Maev Beaty is a critically-acclaimed actor, writer and voice-over artist. She has originated roles in 23 Canadian premieres (Hannah Moscovitch’s Bunny, Kate Hennig’s The Last Wife, Michael Healey’s Proud and The Front Page, Judith Thompson’s Palace of the End, Sharon Pollock’s Angel’s Trumpet); co-writing and starring in award-winning theatre (Secret Life of a Mother, Montparnasse, Dance of the Red Skirts); performing in ensembles of epic theatre endeavours (Sheep No Wool/Outside the March/Convergence’s Passion Play, Nightwood’s Penelopiad, Volcano’s Another Africa, TheatreFront’sThe Mill); and interpreting lead classic roles across the country and over five seasons at the Stratford Festival (The Front Page, King Lear, She Stoops to Conquer, School for Scandal). She is a Toronto Theatre Critics’ Award winner, three-time Dora Award winner and ten-time Dora nominee in both performance and writing, referred to as “the excellent Maev Beaty” by the New York Times. Her film debut (Mouthpiece) was a Special Presentations Opening Film at 2019 TIFF.