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Settling In

I am a huge fan of crosswords – not the cryptics but the other kind.  I especially like the Saturday New York Times one because it always seems to have some extra level of challenge. The thing that always amazes me is how so often I don’t know the answers and don’t know the answers and then suddenly do. I’ll go to bed at night baffled and wake up in the morning to “Yeeeees!”

I’m thinking about that because I’m fascinated with the fact that sometimes the brain has to be left to its own devices. It seems to need time to head off and work out a few things for itself – quietly, without any overt interference on my part. I came on a brilliant example of that last week when I went to Kim Kilpatrick’s reprise of her one woman show Flying in the Dark. A Blind Woman’s Story (

Anyone who was reading this blog last year will remember the intense and difficult work Kim did to find her way to shaping the second half of the piece. I think we all knew we’d gone as far as we could when the tour began. We also knew the place we’d got to was good but not quite as good as it could be. Now, there’s the remount – by Ottawa Storytellers in its regular season venue at the Fourth Stage of the NAC.

As Kim was preparing, she wrote to me. “I just can’t do the second half the way I did it. It doesn’t seem right,” she said. Off she went on another journey. The result was truly an improvement – steadier more natural – but what caught my attention particularly was the fact that really all the previous elements were there. They had just needed time to settle and become more integrated into her being so that she could bring them forth anew. Not only that, through the process, the whole evening had become richer. The first half was almost unchanged but it came to its listeners more clearly – stronger; Kim’s voice was different, more grounded, deeper as if that was more settled too.

So there it is – a call to patience; to know that sometimes we simply have to give ourselves space. We go as far as we can. We want to go further but we have to wait, live more, before we can. I’ve always loved the following quote from Shakespeare In Love for just this reason:

Mr. Fennyman, allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster.

So what do we do?

Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well.


I don't know. It's a mystery.

I think mystery is important. I think we have to trust its power.

At the Fourth Stage performance, Pat Holloway OST’s trusty publicity manager was heard to say, “This show has legs.” Kim is, of course, eager to be performing it widely. Contact us at for more information about that. Also catch news about Kim’s doings at Great Things About Being Blind.

Bright, bright cold here. Winter in all its harshness and its splendour.  One of the wonders of the earth.

Jan Gregory is back with us this weekend for final touches to Ask No Questions. Watch this space.


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