La Renaissance

Coal mine theatre, the best kept secret in Toronto for professional productions in an unassuming amateuresque space, has returned with the production of Yerma, a tragic play about a woman struggling to conceive and how it eventually destroys her. It was a sleek and sexy production with a starry, gorgeous cast, a smart set design and a strong score. It was nice to be back among the theatre lovers, people who tirelessly devote their time and energy and resources to supporting art and the conversation and discussion and normalisation it brings to subjects so difficult to broach that my own mother only peripherally mentioned her experience with it once. Several of my closest friends have been struggling with IVF and other solutions for years, I’ve been asked personally on one desperate occasion if I would consider being a surrogate, I’ve seen over time what the failure in these attempts can do to a person emotionally, financially and spiritually. The woman that I saw the play with shared with me that she herself was going through the same situation, and that next week could be her last chance. She didn’t have any more money, and at this point, she decided to give it one more go. Her eyes focussed in the distance on something I couldn’t see. “It’s a lot like gambling” she said to me. “Except that you can’t ever really break even. You have to win the whole jackpot or just walk away absolutely ruined”.

I felt grateful that I was still in a place in my life where people felt like they could open up to me about things so personal and so private. I promised her that I will be thinking about her come next week, and sending all the good juju out in the air, and gave her a hug as we parted.

On my way home, in a moment of absolute celestial poetry, I received a message from my close friend that he and his partner were expecting a baby. I love him dearly and have been grateful for his friendship for so many years. They will make the most wonderful parents, and when they told me casually that Auntie Sandy had to visit soon, I started crying and grinned like an absolute nutcase all the way home.

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