I learned how to use a whip today. This may be the only time in my life I get to write that sentence. I also want to say, if you EVER get the chance to do so, take whip-cracking lessons. I mean it. It’s been a long, long time since i had this much fun.
I’m in a play called Waiting For Godot, and I play a guy, Pozzo, who cracks a mean whip.
It’s not as easy as it looks. So we arranged lessons.
Luckily, I hadn’t given it any thought, so I hadn’t accumulated any reservations about it.
The whip guy was excellent. He teaches weaponry and stage antics (there is probably a more technical word than “antics”, but I don’t know it) full-time as a career. This, by itself, comes as a shock to me. When I was growing up, no one ever said, would you like to be a whip-cracking teacher? Would you like to teach people to fall down stairs without hurting themselves? Does that sound like fun?
Well it’s fun on the learning end.
I can’t take you through the steps. Don’t even ask. I’d have to kill you if you tried it at home.
In about two hours I progressed from a kind of “thwit” sound followed by the whip wrapping circles around my ankles, to a stronger “thwack” which hit my bum and legs as often as not, to an incredibly satisfying, full crack which apparently is the end of the whip creating a sonic boom.
I learned to circle it over my head like a lasso before the crack, and then to do an impossible-to-describe move used by Michelle Pfeiffer in Cat Woman.
My face was ready to crack from smiling by the end.
Later, i thought, what is it? Why so much happiness? I didn’t win a Nobel Peace Prize or save any rainforest by doing it, but I do feel about forty years younger, now, than i felt this morning.
Maybe that’s the point. Forty years younger makes me eight years old. There’s something fantastically healthy about being eight years old in a 48-year-old body, in a 48-year-old mind. For an hour, i was eight, i was Cat Woman, i was Indiana Jones, i was Zorro. I was The Force.
I played with all my might at something that doesn’t earn a paycheque, doesn’t take better care of my kids, and doesn’t address the meaning of my life. Maybe.
I think that’s great health care. What do you think? What would do this for you?
I’d love to hear.
Thanks for the conversation.