September 17, 2008
Let Me Down Easy....What is Grace?
What is grace?...That is the overarching theme and question that resonates in Anna Deavere Smith's new one woman dramatic work Let Me Down Easy: a play in evolution currently being performed through October 11 at the American Repertory Theatre (Loeb Drama Center Harvard Square) in Cambridge, MA. I had the incredible experience of being in the audience on September 16 to witness and share in the journey Anna leads us through during the two hour performance. Through the stories and voices as varied as Ann Richards, former governor of Texas to Matthieu Ricard, a Buddhist Monk; from Jean Damascene Uwikijie, a Hutu prisoner in Rwanda to Dr. Phil Pizzo, Dean of Stanford Medical School; we are confronted with looking at ways in which our bodies and souls are both resilient and vulnerable. A sense of wonder, beauty, stamina, fear, grief and courage shine through all the vignettes...a snapshot into simply being human. "The only whole heart is a broken one, it lets the light in..."says the voice of Rabbi David Wolpe in Let Me Down Easy. Perhaps this is the essence of grace, to open oneself to the frailty and resilience of the human spirit with compassion and awe. What does grace mean to you? I would love to hear from you!