On rereading Tonseisha


Tonseisha is a play written by Erik Patterson. saltpeter is producing a new version of the piece as Tonseisha – The Man Who Abandoned the World and is calling it an opera.

These are some things that spring to mind and make me shiver with terror and excitement: lies, danger and risk, being lost, tripping over your running legs, the sense of falling, desire for things that hurt you, pain that reminds you that you’re alive, images burnt onto your eyes and soul, how you can never really abandon the world, can you?, how language gets in the way, how writing gets in the way, when acting gets in the way of the text/story, eternal life and how it’s not always desirable, how our desires lead us places, and some of these places aren’t good for us, or comfortable, how desire gives us wings and the feeling of flying, what sex is like, what striving is like, how an orgasm is described as a mini death, how we don’t really want to die, out of body experiences occur in our preservation of sanity but also are a sign of “insanity”, how we do and don’t want to need and be needed, how our personal history accumulates meaning which smears each new person, thing or experiences with our own sense of meaning and reality.

I once talked about my broken heart as me experiencing bereavement. Someone poured scorn all over the loss I felt. Granted, I have not experienced much death in my life. Does this matter? I am on page 16 and my heart is breaking. Loss is loss, right? It’s incomprehensible.

And love is not enough. Or is it?

I have been reading In the Miso Soup by Ryu Murakami. This is an interesting passage on loss:

“I remember very clearly what it was like getting lost,” he went on. “The circumstances varied, but the moment I realized I was lost was always the same. No kid ever got lost gradually. Suddenly you find yourself in unfamiliar surroundings, and that’s it, you’re lost. You’ve been walking along past familiar houses and parks and streets, and then you turn a corner and the scenery changes completely. I remember being very scared when that happened but also really liking it.”

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