Thursday, June 26, 2014

Bittersweet

I don’t really know where to start. Usually when I have this problem, I mumble roundabout phrases that lack little sense, and I end up never really getting around to it. “Uhhh.. so I have something important to say… but the weather is nice today… and how are the kids? And I know you weren’t expecting this… and I don’t really know how to say this, but…” My sister is usually on the other end of the phone line yelling, “Abbey! Spit it out!” I figure maybe her technique will suit me best here.
Max and I would like to share that I have accepted a position in Las Vegas at O. My contract begins in August; therefore, Buenos Aires, our current city, will be my last city on tour with Corteo. Max and I know this is best for our family, and as much as we would like to say that it should be an easy transition, we know all too well that new changes always come with new challenges. This time for us is simply bittersweet.

We are thrilled for new opportunity, but we are also devastated to leave our family at Corteo. While I’ve only been working for Corteo for just under a year, we have developed a special kind of love in our hearts for the adventure of traveling, the people we have come to know and love, and of course, maid service twice a week. ;)

I’ve been a bit sensitive about our situation lately, and although Vova K (my paradis coach) will definitely blame this on the fact that I’m American, I know it lies deeper than my cultural affiliation with dramatics, OMG-ing, and excuses for bingeing. This opportunity has been handed over to me on a golden platter. It has been handed to me like a free gift, as if God is just whispering in my ear, “This is for you, Abbey. Just take it.”

Meanwhile, my friend suffered from a C7 fracture in his neck last week after landing on his head during Teeterboard training. Days later, he is already back in England, home for him, where he will spend the next several months recovering. Even he trusts that this difficult time will lead him somewhere great, but as I make this announcement, I can’t help but feel a sting of guilt as he faces new heartache and I  delight in new opportunity. We are all on a different road, and I trust that our paths guide us toward a place of rebuilding and restoration.

With all of that being said, I still have five weeks left on Corteo. My focus will be here, and I will be spending every opportunity to cherish my time left on this show. Corteo has brought me so many gifts- relationships, art, adventure- I can’t express how grateful I am to have had this opportunity.
Corteo has required that Max and I be long distance during the months that he plays professional lacrosse, and this time has only made us give more attention and nourishment to our time together. O will enable Max and I to live our lives as one, in the same location, without 14+ hours of traveling that separates us.

Corteo has taught me Russian cradle and roué cyr, new circus arts that will forever remind me of special people, Vova and Stephane, and their patience as I made (make) mistake after mistake. O is an opportunity to learn more, nourish my art, and forward my career.

Corteo has given me international friendships, which includes appreciation for other cultural values and the ability to say just about every bad word in Russian. Spacibo, Genya! A stationery life in Vegas requires that Max and I make new friends and build a new community, but I’m guessing I can still use those words every once in awhile.

Corteo has required us to be far from our immediate families, and we are so looking forward to being a quick plane ride away from our loved ones in Texas and Ohio and, even shorter, drive to San Diego.
My costume will change from Angel to Zebra, from a woman of the late 1800s to a Flayed One above water. My makeup will change from an average human appearance to exaggerated show makeup, and my hair will no longer be my own, but a cap or a wig’s. Our home will change from hotel to house, and our belongings will move from suitcases to shelves. One is not better than the other, solely different. We realize it is time to move on, and in our fear, we realize that courage is fear that has been prayed upon.

We trust that change, when nurtured, fostered, and cherished, unfolds comfort.

So to my Corteo family, thank you for blessing Max and I with your talents, personalities, and encouragement. We never doubted our acceptance on Corteo; you have opened your lives to us and welcomed us since day one in Belo Horizonte. I know any form of whistling will bring me right back to being annoyed in my loge and the sight of wooden sticks will make me cringe in fear, but I will always smile back on these memories… on the funeral that is Corteo. <3

We build sandcastles next to the water realizing that the tide will come in and wash our work away. We push for things in our lives that God does not allow to remain permanent, but I do know that He does remain. He is. We will carry these days in our hearts; they will be treasured deep in the pages of my stories of Corteo.

 “He was making art because he has to, and because he’s brave enough to try and make contact, right there on the edge of madness, where he dreams.”

“It’s like: We made it, we love it – oops, it’s gone. But the best part is still here.”

-Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies

See you soon, USA.

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