Thursday, November 18, 2010

to be moved

move, v.
classical Latin movere to enter into motion, to proceed, depart, to change the position of, to move (the bowels), to move the limbs in dancing, to excite, stir up, to influence, affect, to propose, to initiate a legal action, to ponder, in post-classical Latin also (of property) to be held in fief, to derive as inheritance

I had the pleasure of seeing Elisa Gabbert last night in the flesh, and she read a great poem I will proceed to paraphrase, the way my mom does, when she hears great poems on NPR she just HAS to tell me about. Basically, it was about being moved, or not. Is anyone moved by photography exhibits? Do we have to look back for past triggers to find the appropriate emotion to fit the moment?

When I was in acting school, I cried all the time. Every day. Sometimes I would imagine my mom or sister dying, and that usually got me going. Sometimes I thought about the last scene of West Side Story. The only "prep" that worked 100% of the time was a fact I learned that year I was in school, that Timothy McVeigh's last meal was two pints of mint chocolate chip ice cream. "That's what I would eat," I would think to myself, while weeping. My roommate thought I was crazy, but she was crazy, too. She never once washed her bedsheets.

Elisa thought this was a funny story. "Last meals are sad," she agreed.

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