We wait patiently in the intimate Walter Kerr theater as the seats around us fill - my husband and I early for a change. We don't want to miss a thing. Behind my eyes, faces are swirling from my 3 weeks in Central Asia - new friends whose robust lives I have witnessed, all in the act of creating. With each encounter came new possibilities for collaborating, which is why my imagination is lit this evening, just one day after my return, memories blazing, so many it is impossible to rest upon any one. I feel enormously lucky to witness such genuine lives and generosity of spirit, I can hardly still my thoughts, switched on bright.
But now the house lights darken, the crowd roars, The Boss quietly enters the stage. 5 months ago, my husband's rowing partner surprised us with the gift of two sought-after tickets to Springsteen on Broadway. Having just listened to Bruce read his lyrical, insightful autobiography, not once but twice, we were flat-out jubilant.
This is not just another concert. This is Springsteen's life on stage bearing witness to those who have shaped him and his questing soul: his proud mother, disapproving father, his saxophone-playing partner Clarence, his cherished wife Patty, his childhood friends from the Jersey shore. Those long gone are recalled, one by one, in memory and honest affection. He bows before them each in song. Even this quiet story-telling is electric.
Toward the end of the show, Springsteen seems to stand still watching the river of his life flow before him. He is counting the faces that swirl in his memory, he is marveling at the magic made with each. "At some point," he says, "when the world is at its best, when we are at our best, when life feels fullest, one plus one equals three.”
Now, that is math I can understand. I am adding up all of my encounters in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan and Turkey and feel the magic in them that makes of each meeting something more. One plus one equals three, and one plus one plus one plus one plus one equals a movement to which we all belong. I'm home and here to bear witness to those faces, now friends, who have come into my life to make something happen. I don't know where these moments will take me, but I know that each time I meet with another to create, there is magic is in it. There is art in it. There is movement.
And that is all I need to know. I think that's all that is asked of us - to show up - just one, just me. And to wait for another to join me in the mystery, and another and another and another. . . till the whole of us together is living a different kind of math.
All the Best,
Susan Hull Walker