Tennessee Williams and DESIRE
I’ve gained new (or perhaps renewed) respect for Tennessee Williams of late, as I enmesh myself with his worldview in A Streetcar Named Desire. He is so right on when he argues, through Blanche and really the whole play, that Desire is the opposite of Death. I know for certain that various forms and manifestations of desire motivate much of my life, from the more obvious to the more implicit. Sex, theater, teaching, writing, activism, parenting: so much in life is so much about Desire. And the more Death you see, the more Desire you need to muster to keep feeling alive -- and as safe as a very unsafe existence can allow. The distinction helps me understand a lot about myself, the risks I take – wise and unwise, the multitasking I do, the constant need to fulfill a drive that seems inexhaustible: no amount of publications, no number of shows, no high enough teaching evaluations, no ample enough times of saying or hearing “I love you”… I just need more more more to feel good about myself, to feel safe, to feel alive. So, bravo Tennessee Williams: your words and being Blanche have helped me uncover another layer of myself and this crazy species we are.