Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Thursday 20th August

I am coming to the conclusion that there is little in life that doesn’t have a ‘the way you look at it’ aspect to it.

Today Bridget had her surgery. On the one hand, this can be seen as a horrible, huge event that affects the patient enormously, causing pain, discomfort and inconvenience. On another hand, though, it can also be seen as a bit of a relief – a target obtained after a long, hard road and a highly important blow against the enemy in her battle against cancer.

Everything is about perspective.

My play opens on Tuesday. That gives us four days in which to get things right etc etc. It also means we only have 4 rehearsals left, which just seems to be so much less time and to demand much more attention and work.

It will all work out well, though – as everything really does tend to in the end.

Today we had a rather chaotic rehearsal in some ways, but the play flowed and everyone is doing their part well and is eager to develop.

To me, that is what doing a production is all about. At heart, I am, after all, an educator and there is so much learning happening for all of us as we go.

I was co-facilitating a workshop this week and we always begin by asking what each participant thinks they can contribute to the process and what they hope to get out of it. My answer to the latter is inevitably that I want to learn.

And learn, I did. The participants on our workshop were the most lovely, outspoken, strong women and each had something to teach the rest of us. It was a remarkable experience and highly rewarding on many levels.

I think that’s what I love about all new experiences – they offer opportunities like that: to learn from others as well as to give something myself. It is like that with the play. I have a lot to give and it has been my journey to conceive of the product, put it in place and to guide the process of production. Without every individual involved, though, nothing would have come to fruition.

The cancer journey is something like that, too. At the centre of the whole process is the sufferer / patient (person with cancer). Around you are so many different individuals – ranging from family and friends for support to the number of professionals who each do their job, filling in particular pieces of the puzzle to make sure that the enemy is eradicated.

Bridget’s journey, my journey with cancer – these are not productions, nor are they workshops, but they are both experiences to which we have each contributed more than our bodies that have been invaded by the hidden enemy; and from which we have both learnt and gained so much, as we continue  to do so all the time.

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