Friday, February 16, 2007

The Fever

We went to see a play called The Fever, that was written and performed by Wallace Shawn. It was a monologue. As he spoke in his most intense voice about poor people and material goods and the way we live, my mind raced. I cant remember all the things I was thinking about, but suffice it to say that it was thought provoking. Here are two things that I would like to mention:

One is a concept that was written in the play, not something I thought of. He said that all of his thoughts about things throughout the years could fill volumes of heavy leather bound books, but his actions were a mere thin paperback. It made me think about how if you turned off all of the sound in the world and stepped outside of it, like an objective giant, and you looked down at yourself and your daily activities on earth, what would you see? Walking a bit, getting the train, or driving your car, getting out, sitting, walking, going home and repeating. Now I know that people are capable of doing many wonderful things in that time that looks like a silent nothing, they may be saving the world person by person, but I just thought about focusing exclusively on action instead of words and how different things would seem.

He mentioned a lot about the poor. And I thought of how poor is such a negative word, and I know it is meant to be. But I wondered as he spoke of the anger of the poor, are their poor people who are content, I think their might be, but we will still call them poor. Maybe we should adjust our wording to say “no money” without saying poor. I also thought what if money was not such a divider in society, what if it was health instead. There are healthy poor people and unhealthy wealthy ones, so the hierarchy would scattered remains of its former structure. Because isnt health the measure of all things in this life anyway?


  1. "are their poor people who are content"

    DH and I went to St. Thomas on vacation last year. We saved up all year to be able to afford this trip and had an amazing time. We met a Rasta man at one of the beaches who met us at our taxi, found, walked us to a great spot on the beach and proceeded to charge us $5 each for the rental of two lounge chairs and $10 for a beach umbrella.

    He had actually lived in NYC briefly but was back home in St. Thomas. We had a great conversation with him. At first blush our thought was that he was poor. He wore no shoes, and had faded, torn shorts and tee shirt on.

    We realized quickly that he was the rich one. We work in offices all year round to be able to afford a week and a half in paradise. He lives and works here all year round, has a sunny disposition and will probably never see that amount of money we make. Now who is the poor person?

  2. sil you are right.

    he is the rich one.

    even though he doesnt live on a resort and doesnt get to eat at the best island restaurants every night, he lives in a place that is filled with people who are happy with what they have and are thankful for it.

    and he sees and talks to people who are desperate for a vacation and a break from their monotonous stressful life in the states.

    in my next life i want to be an islander.