People silently struggle from all kinds of terrible things. They suffer from depression, ambition, substance abuse, and pretension. They suffer from family tragedy, Ivy-League educations, and self-loathing. They suffer from failing marriages, physical pain, and publishing. The good thing about politeness is that you can treat these people exactly the same. And then wait to see what happens. You don’t have to have an opinion. You don’t need to make a judgment. I know that doesn’t sound like liberation, because we live and work in an opinion-based economy. But it is. Not having an opinion means not having an obligation. And not being obligated is one of the sweetest of life’s riches.
There is one other aspect of my politeness that I am reluctant to mention. But I will. I am often consumed with a sense of overwhelming love and empathy. I look at the other person and am overwhelmed with joy. (…) This is not a world where you can simply express love for other people, where you can praise them. Perhaps it should be. But it’s not. I’ve found that people will fear your enthusiasm and warmth, and wait to hear the price. Which is fair. We’ve all been drawn into someone’s love only to find out that we couldn’t afford it. A little distance buys everyone time.
It's also a gift, maybe bittersweet, to realize that we build our own Pantheons wherever we go. Everywhere has its opportunities and its limits. Perhaps the trick is to simply to stay put and enjoy the view, not to step and seek. Or maybe the stepping and seeking is the gift. That we can build again and again in many different places, endless masterpieces that we construct for ourselves, because we are what's vast and varied and wonderful.
(To begin. You're the one who said it, Ludmilla. But how to establish the exact moment in which a story begins? Everything has already begun before, the first line of the first page of every novel refers to something that has already happened outside the book. Or else the real story is the one that begins ten or a hundred pages further on, and everything that precedes it is only a prologue. The lives of individuals of the human race form a constant plot, in which every attempt to isolate one piece of living that has a meaning separate from the rest - for example. the meeting of two people, which will become decisive for both - must bear in mind that each of the two brings with himself a texture of events, environments, other people, and that from the meeting, in turn, other stories will be derived which will break off from their common story.)
I find nowadays more and more that I gravitate towards the practical, the tangible, the mundane. I read less. I talk less, and when I do talk, I do not think it through and must appear confused. Instead I laugh very loudly and too often. I drink cocoa and eat cheese sandwiches (limpmackor med ost). And at night, I dream of the stars.
"Vad är en grupp, ett sammanhang, en familj? Ibland kanske fantastiskt, ibland bara brötigt och kaotiskt. En samling människor som inte nödvändigtvis älskar varandra varje stund - men som hör ihop. Ofta komplexa grupperingar skapade av livets skiftande växlingar. Aldrig färdiga, aldrig helt utredda. Att leva i en familj är att leva i komplicerade kompromisser.
Hur slutar en komedi? Så levde de lyckliga i alla sina dagar? Nja. Olikheterna blir väl aldrig helt utslätade eller missförstånden helt uppklarade. Men kanske att samtalet får fortsätta? Att det finns tid och rum att träta, förklara, mötas, försonas. Att det finns plats vid bordet. Att få vara tillsammans - trots allt. Kanske innehåller "det lyckliga slutet" en insikt om att inte klamra sig fast vid sin ensamhet och känsla av att inte vara hel. Att våga stanna upp i jakten på status och ägodelar som vi hoppas ska bekräfta vilka vi är, och se att vi faktiskt ingår i ett gäng. En stökig och krånglig och jobbig familj.
Koreografen Denise Holland sa till mig en gång att hon gjort det till sin livsuppgift att skapa gemenskap - "create community". Att skapa sammanhang där gemenskap kan uppstå, där främlingar kan mötas och samlas kring någonting - en upplevelse, en berättelse kanske - som gör dem lite mer beredda att förlåta. Kanske har teatern, i sin mångtusenåriga historia, alltid varit en sådan arena, där publiken kan möta inte bara berättelsen utan också varandra. Kanske kan teatern hjälpa oss att väva ihop alla våra kriser, dramer, konflikter, tragedier och misstag till någon sorts - komedi?"
- Stefan Marling, regissör
från programtexten till Komedi av Misstag, 2014, Romateatern Gotland
I really tend to consider the planet as one city or one house with many rooms. People who actually believe that Morocco is Morocco only, or that Belgium is Belgium only, well, they are wrong. Just imagine that people invented passports. That means that, before that, you could just walk. I mean, the planet is round, so you can turn right around it. The only thing that limits you, then, is a river or a mountain range or an absence of courage. Airplanes don’t help us see the world as an undivided space; we see it as a schizophrenic environment, almost like different planets in one. But while travelling so much and being in three different places in one week – like Bamako, Brussels, and Bangkok – I saw the world as it is, moving simultaneously.
You know that machine, the ancestor of the cinema? This machine has one lens with maybe 50 individual pictures of a horse running at different stages on a disc, and when you spin that disc, all the different images animate so that it looks like one single instance of the horse running. It’s like that; you realize suddenly that, if you move between places that are not really the same, and you spin fast, suddenly you understand the movement of trade and the dynamics of the world. Instead of seeing different fixed pictures of a horse, you see a horse running.