June 17th, 2021 | Vladislav Nenchev2 mins read
It was only a tiny draft when it first saw light. So small.
Just a short story featuring a single confession scene, with some twists and turns. Then it grew, both in size and in curiosity for the world, and as every little story that has a single scene and consists mainly of dialogue – it wanted, no it stomped and screamed and begged to be a play script. Not an epic poem or a novel mind you. A play script. Kids! What can you do?
Then… then the unmentionable happened and playing outside was not allowed anymore. No fun in rehearsals, no running at a good ol’ physical stage. Only lockdown and the emptiness of virtual space.
I couldn’t leave it like that, not when it’s one of my own. But how to help the critter grow into a fully developed play in these conditions? Zoom backgrounds and make-believe did not seem nourishing enough.
Thankfully, people helped me by finding all kinds of ways to continue life, even in these quarantined times. Priests in England conducted sermons online, vis Skype, via Zoom, and all the other googly video apps. Yeah true, sometimes with comical outcomes, but still they managed.
So did the characters in the story. Father Griff went online too, greeting people in his living room, on his laptop, rather than in the church confession booth. Angela’s old trade found its virtual reincarnation as well. They all succeeded into making this transition, they made the journey from the old Newtonian world into the digital one.
Their life predicaments made the journey too. It doesn’t matter how virtual you go, it turns out, some parts of life will always follow you.
Traits can run. Emotions run as well, did you know that?
Yes, none of them possess any legs to stand on, but oh boy can they run. Some are speedy little racers that blaze through a person, leaving scorched tracks. Others are experts in marathon, spanning the entirety of a life. Some do not stop even at death’s door and like a relay baton are passed on from one generation to the next.
Where? you ask. In us. In all of us, in society… in families.
Families are the ultimate running grounds, perfect for relays. Be they large or small, healthy or dysfunctional, they set the terrain according to their own nature - from cool jogs alongside the beach to hurdles and wolf pits.
So, the relay is on. It started long ago, when no one knew who or what the contestants are, and will be going on forever perhaps. In track one, safety overtakes despair. Joy will storm the open space, without a care for lanes or corridors, util misery cuts everyone off. They are all sprinting, spiralling, and striding, and no one asks: Where from? Where to?
Do you see them? I know, sometimes it’s hard to notice the tracks inside, or to spot the busy runners, but I am sure you sense their flux. I am sure you feel the burn.
If you’re doubtful still, look around. Look at Father Griff. Look at Angela. Soon the two of them will face some of the feelings racing through their lives. The fates running in their families.
Keep looking, and don’t forget: Any relay can go off-track.