and after we got off the train we walked in the brisk wind off the lake to the chicago auditorium. a stunningly beautiful landmark theatre, it was established in 1889, around the time my grandparents were born. the arches and tile floor and gilding tell over a century of stories. a joy to be in such an old house.
the first national geographic live event we went to was in breckenridge, colorado. the cinematographer and extreme adventurer bryan smith had breathtaking footage descending over waterfalls and climbing mountains. we sat next to the guy who owned the scrumptious soup shop in town (the one to which we quickly became addicted) and ooh-ed and ahh-ed in unison. we were hooked.
david doubilet and jennifer hayes were the speakers at this event – coral kingdom and empires of ice – and to watch the photographic essay of their work was to marvel at the life this 24/7-together-married-couple live. multiple times they encouraged people to contact them, to ask questions or ask for help. brilliant change-agent scientists. generosity and humility.
as two people who are together 24/7 we know the perils of such togetherness. artists have a wiiiiide spectrum of emotions and this can be detrimental at times, so i wondered about two explorers. david and jennifer poked fun at each other while honoring each other’s work; the dance seemed balanced. working with your life partner requires a good sense of humor and a good life raft. sometimes, getting in the river on the rapids is the only way forward. that and laughter.
the hardest time we ever had working on a project was during our rehearsals for the lost boy. a two person play written by david and inspired by his mentor tom’s family history, we were preparing it for the premier performance on stage in california. prepping was a little like two pieces of sandpaper rubbing together. the rough kind. not the fine sandpaper you use for finishing work. nope. the roughest sandy sandpaper you could pretty much find. somehow, and i’m not sure how, we made it through the memorization, the blocking, the nuances and weeks of rehearsing onto the plane to california. and mike – our director – took it from there.
at the end of the first performance we jumped and danced in the hallway, twirling around in the aftermath glee of success. i imagine this to be much like david and jennifer having made it back to the surface after sharing oceanic waters with sharks and crocodiles. the time when david – in the minutes of giant jaws within inches of jennifer – took photographs. i’m thinking they likely danced in the boat. in the category of 24/7 moments, some are better than others. they didn’t mention the “whatthehellwereyouTHINKING?!!” moments. but you know they’re there. we can attest to them.
i can imagine – one of these days – subscribing to natgeo live. there are usually three or four events a season and, in combination with the magazine that arrives every month and the tv channel we mostly land on, they would round out these opportunities to keep learning.
my sweet poppo received national geographic magazine for as long as i can remember. he’d immerse in it. just like my newer intense desire to know all the birds – like my parents – i find myself holding national geographic in high regard. my dad would have loved being in the same room as all of these explorers, sharing their adventures and discoveries. his wall-to-wall bookshelf of yellow magazine spines all lined up would vouch for that.
i guess i’ll just carry it on from here.
read DAVID’S thoughts this NOT-SO-FLAWED WEDNESDAY
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