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      FINDING 'HER HEART' IN THE TIME OF PANDEMIC by Michelle Lockwood


      miche

      Hindsight is 20/20 they say.

      I guess there is no more appropriate time for this phrase than right now.
      The year 2020 – it held so much anticipation, and so much promise. In its perfect symmetry, it was to be a milestone – a marker of accomplishment and success, a reason for celebration and renewal, and a coming together of community and country.

      Hindsight. (noun)
      Understanding of a situation or event only after it has happened or developed:
      with hindsight, I should never have gone.

      We all have our 2020 pandemic stories, or partial stories, as this continues to evolve. Personally, I’m thankful that a large portion of mine has included a small, imaginary town in Northern Maine, called Almost.

      Of course, I didn’t know when I agreed to play the role of Glory, in the scene, ‘Her Heart,’ that my involvement would begin in February and not end until the middle of July. In hindsight, had I known that fact, I would have never agreed to participate.

      And, of course, I didn’t know when I left to see my family in Florida, during the first week in March, that I would come home to a different world, a different way of working, of relating, and of living. A way of being that has isolated me from seeing even a single family member since. A way of being that has forced my circle of friends down to a very select few. (For the past five months, I have had contact with more animals than people.) In hindsight, had I known that fact, I would have been filled with dread, and a fear of loneliness.

      Finally, of course, I didn’t know that living the way I do, traipsing here and there, through field and stream, would catapult me into an unexplainable list of symptoms and experiences, render me unconscious, and eventually, land me in the hospital for a week-long stay. In hindsight, had I known that fact, I might have been more careful, worn long pants, scoured my body for evidence of the evil insect, or worst of all, not taken the opportunity to live life fully, and experience nature in the way I appreciate it most – all around me.

      The last of my hindsight revelations ties back to the first, in that I did contract Lyme Disease, sometime this Spring or Summer, and that it has affected me quite severely. In terms of my participation in ‘Her Heart,’ it left me afraid that my inability to concentrate or focus… that the words I was unable to connect from my brain to my mouth… would leave me unable to repeat my lines and perform my role in ALMOST, MAINE.

      This is why hindsight is 20/20.

      In hindsight, the duration of my involvement in the play, from February to July, was the perfect distraction, outlet for creativity, and connection to people that I so needed.

      In hindsight, I have developed deeper relationships with family members, because of the time we have spent talking, messaging, and Zooming, with a more profound sense of care and compassion for each other’s situations and experiences.

      In hindsight, the struggle I have been through with Lyme, and the pain it has caused, has allowed me to fully see and acknowledge the love and support all around me, from family and friends.

      In ALMOST, MAINE, Glory carried her heart around in a paper bag, because it was broken. In hindsight, I have found mine, right here, in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania.

      Hindsight really is 20/20.

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