15.01.23 // Elijah, Prayer, and Puppets


Today's photo is of me and one of my closest friends, Rafa, working on his senior thesis, a play caled Elijah. When I was a senior in college, Rafa asked me to do something for which I was wildly unqualified. That's how most great projects start, I think. That's how I ended up assistant directing Elijah.

Elijah is a long and bizarre play written by Martin Buber, the famous Jewish philosopher about Elijah, the famous Jewish prophet. The project started with a grueling read through and eventually led to the episode pictured here: Rafa and I dying dozens and dozens of yards of muslin in the middle of the night.

Elijah, like most plays I've worked on, was one of those projects that gradually grew in priority until it was genuinely competing for top billing with formerly-considered-necessary activities like eating and sleeping. There something purifying about letting one objective consumer every hour of my life. I agree with Simone Weil: this kids of absolutely unmixed attention is, in fact, a form of prayer.

This photo emerged from the deep dark corners of my Dropbox archive a few weeks ago when I was looking for scanned images from my own thesis project. It was such a delight to see our goofy faces staring back at me.

Rafa: thank you for including me in this adventure four years ago. Thank you for stretching me, in this project and in so many ways since then. Thank you for being my friend. I can't wait for our next opportunity to share unmixed attention with you (or, if that's not available - to stay up all night building 12 foot puppets together).