Mille regrets de vous abandonner
Et d’être éloigné de votre visage amoureuse
J’ai si grand deuil et peine douloureuse
Qu’on me verra vite mourir.
When you breath I die.
I die a little inside.
I wrote this piece in June of 2020, during the end of the first lockdown (corona). Originally, it was intentioned to capture the emotional conflicts of confining the elderly in retirement homes for their own safety. The old French texts are contrasted with the dissonant English ones. The virus announces its arrival like a persistent thorn.
However, I have been delving deeper into my own past, thinking back to a mother who would have now been elderly, had she lived. These texts are particularly relevant to the remorse I feel about my role in her last years, about how she ended. It was my telephone call during my yearly visit, about her seeing and hearing people in the room that weren’t there, that lead to her hospital “imprisonment.” The texts that I use in this video come from a few important moments out of her (unpublished) memoirs. They are a priceless view into a creative and vital, yet tragic mind. How her life ended in lonely tragedy Is a symbol for how I see to what direction humanity is heading. The needs of one usurps the life of another. How can we combat the emptiness of plenty? How can we repair all of the broken relationships that cause such pain and suffering?
Here is the English translation the Dutch texts
Man must follow his fate.
I am dead inside, now just the casing (shell) must follow.
I would rather die amongst my own people on the ground where I was raised.
It is evening in New Orleans and I am playing in Footfalls. Beckett’s Footfalls.
I dying of nerves, but inwardly I know that if the first word is right, it will be ok.
I know that it will be allright. I know what I am doing.
After that it’s just a matter of discipline and reserve.
Contain those emotions until the last syllable.
There are fifteen people in the audience.
I am playing the role of my life, and there are fifteen people in the audience.
Hilarious. To die for.
“Daddy, she keeps falling asleep. She can’t hold her head up anymore.
And she sees people in the room that aren’t there.”
There are many interpretations of Beckett’s work.
I don’t care about them.
I know what this work is about.
Io know every millimeter of this strange mother-daughter relationship, even though it doesn’t even remotely resemble that of mine with my own mother.
Therefore I trust in my intuition and fantasie.
The light goes out. A last wave. It’s going begin.
Slowly and precisely I drag my footsteps. And far, very far away, I hear my first two words.
It is just as if a piece of my body is gone.
The memories of us…
It crushes me.