My career divides in two: before and after 9/11. In the first part I was trying to show that Islam is relevant to political concerns. If you want to understand Muslims, I argued, you need to understand the role of Islam in their lives. Now that seems obvious.
Before and after practicing Judo or engaging in a match, opponents bow to each other. Bowing is an expression of gratitude and respect. In effect, you are thanking your opponent for giving you the opportunity to improve your technique.
Wars make history seem deceptively simple. They provide clear turning points, easy distinctions.: before and after, winner and loser, right and wrong. True history, the past, is not like that. It isn't flat or linear. It has no outline. It is slippery, like liquid; infinite and unknowable, like space. And it is changeable: just when you think you see a pattern, perspective shifts, an alternate version is proffered, a long-forgotten memory resurfaces.
Wheather it is conscious or not, you eventually make the decision to divide your life in half - before and after - with loss being that tight bubble in the middle. You can move around in spite of it; you can laugh and smile and carry on with your life, but all it takes is one slow range of motion, a doubling over, to be fully aware of the empty space at your center.
The tribal community lived in the totality of circular time; the farmers of God's universe understood before and after; workers of the clockwork universe lived by the tick; and we creatures of the digital era must relate to the pulse.
I spent a month in India and where I learnt an important word for me, for everything that had come before and after, and the was the word 'seva' - the work you do without wanting reward, simply for the work itself, for the spiritual, for the practice and the experience it gives you by doing that work. I began to realise it was something I was searching for all my life, that I was doing theatre not for myself but for something for a search, for a seeking for something that is behind that, to find a truth somewhere... Read more »
What is a man, if his chief good and market of his time be but to sleep and feed? a beast, no more. Sure he that made us with such large discourse, looking before and after, gave us not that capability and god-like reason to fust in us unused.
Most of the time, not all of the time, but most of time, when I'm singing and playing music, I feel in my heart, that the ego issues of the heart and mind aren't there, or maybe they're there, but they're not bugging. Before and after they are.