PÉTER Ladies and gentlemen! Dear Audience! Let's hear, as our last chance, the homily of Thomas and John about truth. Applause, whistling.
TAMÁS and JÁNOS About friendship, Peter, about friendship.
PÉTER About Friendship? Sorry, sorry, this is a surprise to me. I am now hearing this for the first time. Let me introduce the actors. Tus etc. Thomas Estragon! Applause, whistling. János Vladimir! Applause, whistling.
A swift move and the curtain is opened -
A glimpse of a sound cuts through the smoke:
Father calls his prodigal son.
(Gábor Tompa: Lélekvásár/Soul Fair )
The hands of time are turning, at the age of sixty, man steps upon a hanging bridge, with the unlived and entirely elusive depths and heights of time beneath and above him. In front of him, where the enigmatic end of his own time is hiding, a cloudy fog is wavering, echoing and reflecting, but not answering the question if our time is approaching redemption or disappearing without a trace.
I was expecting depression to engulf me by the age of 60, the bottomless depressio transsylvaniae, since, looking back, on the wider horizon of time I would see nothing but sand. For he who looks back it struck by a sharp and humorless judgment, being transformed into a salt pillar. It does not matter whether the time put on the balance is yours or someone else’s.
It did not happen this way; no depression.
Time has awarded me with the event of birth, the birth of my children's children, and there is no other more concentrated moment than that of a birth. The two endpoints - birth and the other hidden unknown which lies in front of us - are not two distinct points of intersection of the timeline, but the gift of time fulfilled within and with us.
The moment of birth; birth-day; birthday celebration.
Actors and directors, theatre people, know a great deal about birth, about the journey of coming into the world. One of the most preferred expressions in the theatrical jargon is birth/giving birth to a play, and I have just noticed that - while we refer to the whole performance, of course, the birth or abortion of a role - we mostly refer to our self-creation or our efforts that have remained meaningless. Burdensome knowledge. The most difficult moment of the rehearsal process is when the performance is "ready" but it cannot be born. It is alive, but does not come into the world. And if it does not appear amongst us, then it cannot mean anything. It means nothing.
I have mostly experienced these fragile moments of silence between reality and nothing in Gábor’s vicinity. It is a fact that the theater can give a communal shape to the descent and, if the performance comes into the world, to the more-than-human path of ascent. I've learned that this path - of descent, which, if you're lucky, is a fall and shortness of breath; and that of ascent, which, if you are lucky, is an unnoticeable, easy return - it is only worthwhile to be experienced through the radicality of love.
It is in this way that, for instance, loyalty gains meaning, because it is not one’s own belief or truth that is the element that is most important on the path of receiving meaning, but rather the event of creating an independent reality, which is immensely richer than those who created it. During the Cluj rehearsals of Tanítványok/Disciples - long after the actual creation of the text, I came to the understanding that the moment of truth, the truth that came into being and became reality - as well as the meaning connected to our immediate existence: justice, justification, true statement, reality, fact - it has nothing to do with our own self-realization by any means necessary. But what it is connected to is friendship.
And friendship is the most human time there is.
“What is time itself? If no one asks me, then I know the answer; but if I have to explain it to someone then I do not know.”
Nobody asked me: I know.
Happy Birthday, Gábor!