“You know what to say and you say it. You know the rules and you obey them, But I know you are alone. No structure feels like home to you” (Cary Judd).
Last night I saw the dress rehearsal for BYU’s production of Chekhov’s The Seagull. It was pretty good. There were two major themes that I and others saw in the play that I would like to blog about. One is the conflicts between artistic pursuits and family life. On my straight blog I used to blog about that conflict a lot. (I am an art major working towards a BFA)
The other theme was that the characters all want what they can’t have, and the result is their unhappiness. The play uses realism to show the way people naturally want what they can’t have and the pain that results from that. After the play, we all stayed for a conversation with the cast, and this theme seemed to dominate the conversation. Many commented that if only the characters would have changed their desires, then they could have been happy.
My first reaction was sarcastic, right, just switch what you want— it’s so easy. Just don’t want what you can’t have. But the more I was thinking about it, the more I have been trying to figure out what it is that we can’t have. I used to think that an open relationship with a guy was something I couldn’t have. The reality is, though, that I can have it. I can have a gay relationship. I don’t want a sexual relationship with a man though. I want what I can’t have.
So what are the things that I can’t have? I can’t have the attractions magically disappear. I can’t have a gay relationship that is condoned by the Church. I can’t have a gay relationship and hold a temple recommend. I can’t expect to be happy living a double life. These are things that I literally can’t do. I think that maybe there is some merit to what the play was showing then. Inasmuch as I want these things that I can’t have, I can change what I want. I have done so with the first, so I can do so with the rest.
The question that remains then, is what can I have? Perhaps once I know what I can have, I will be able to intentionally start wanting it.
“But you’re perfect tonight, captured by satellite. Perfect tonight, in silent waves of electric light. You are perfect tonight. You look for ghosts in empty basements, though real people are more amazing, Cause we all have something to touch even if it isn’t much, not too much” (Cary Judd).