Where is the beginning?

IMG_1134When do things exactly begin? When I perform an improvisation, when exactly does it begin. When somebody has said the time is running now? When I get up from my chair? When exactly!

I am not sure. It is not as clear cut as in a rehearsed theatre piece. I remember a participant in an improvisation workshop, who started her improvisation in her chair, off stage, asking exactly this question:

“Where is the beginning?”

It is an interesting one, the question when the beginning starts and when it ends.

When does spring start! 21. of March? But that’s a lie, last year we didn’t have any leaves on the trees well into April and according to the calendar they should have been there long time ago. This year I already can see the wild garlic everywhere, which is supposed to come out in spring and not in winter …

Nature doesn’t bother about dates in calendars, artificially drawn beginnings and endings. I have seen already buds on the trees and plants weeks and weeks ago. Is this the beginning of spring? A bud? How is it measured? When you start to see the unfolding of a green new leaf? When you can see flowers and wild garlic? If it is the flowers, we have spring all year round in Cornwall, since even in winter there are some flowers.

When is a baby exactly born? Who takes the time and when? Do you count, when you start to see the baby’s head? When the umbilical cord is cut through? Who got the idea in the first place to count the time, when a baby is born. I mean the hour, the minutes, the seconds. Do we need this, because we need to know what star sign we are and can’t survive without having one?

Back to spring! Yes, we have the four seasons at least in this part of the world. And they always come in the same order spring, summer, autumn, winter. And this doesn’t get messed around with. At least not yet. Who knows what happens if we keep on manipulating mother nature until everything is way out of balance …

One season merges into the next one … Everything else is artificial, the time, the calendar.

These set beginnings and endings are an illusion.

When something exactly starts is an illusion.

When something exactly ends is an illusion.

Is someone dead, when they have done their last breath or are they still here but aren’t breathing anymore. This can be argued indefinitely, especially when near death experiences are taken into account.

Back to the beginning, back to my improvisation. In theatre the beginning seems to be quite clear. When the curtain opens, when the light goes on, or when the actor enters the stage. But even then you can ask whether it has not started already long before, at least for the actor, waiting behind the curtain to come on stage.

Definitely this can be also called an artificial beginning and ending, like the time we spend in school has also an artificial beginning and ending, as many other things have in our modern day world.
We fragment life into many beginnings and endings. When I look at nature I can’t see any clear beginnings and endings, but more a continuous evolving from one state to another. Like a circle without a beginning and an end. In this sense improvisation doesn’t really have a beginning and ending either. It is a continuum from one moment to the next, to the next and so on …

How would life look like, if we didn’t divide it into beginnings and endings, but viewed it rather as a circle? Would we live it differently? Surely beginnings and endings would lose their importance and seriousness, because they have no beginning and no end. No failure, no success!
When things have a clear beginning and a clear ending they are a line, either descending or ascending. They are a line but not a circle.

I think a circle life would be much more peaceful and enchanting.

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Katie

Beginnings and endings are full of expectation. Expectations are either met or not. I love your idea about circle life. Imagine if we decorated the house in greenery, gave presents and so on, not because it was Christmas but because we wanted to at a certain time. It would be so spontaneous and I believe come from a better place too. No expectations on what other people would or would not give us. We have, as human beings, make up so many rituals in life. So many beginnings and endings and have filled them all up with expectations. In some… Read more »