Here we are, almost two weeks out from the great event and it occurs to me that, surely, something should be recorded on this blog about how it all worked out. Let it be said then that:
- We had a full house, 150 people, most of whom came for the full day.
- All the work and nail-biting that went into the preparation came together in ways beyond our wildest dreams. The voices of the tellers rose clear and strong, catching to the full the horror and the pathos, the courage; the moments of tenderness, moments of terror, moments of exhilaration, of fear, of indecision, of scheming and strategizing, of acting in wisdom and in frailty.
- We did it! We brought not only the humans but the gods to life -- complex creations conjured in all their mystery, their majesty and their emotional scope.
- The listeners were with us from the very first moments. They never wavered in their commitment to the tale.
- The twelve hour Iliad brought a day that was unforgettable, a day when we gave ourselves over to a great work of literature and let it carry us. The applause at the end said everything. We had found transcendence as Homer had intended that we should.
I’ve read the story many times now, listened in the rehearsals over and over. Still something new leapt forth. It came in Book 24, in the voice of Apollo who speaks of how there is suffering on earth but how it is manageable because “the fates have endowed mankind with enduring hearts.” If ever there are words to live by, those are the words for me. I’m pretty sure they’ll stand me in good stead.