I was beginning to feel like I was holding back from sending you my emails. Part of me couldn’t bring myself to think, “Dear Anne, You probably see everything.” I’d let some nice things slip through over the last couple of months, and I didn’t want to upset you by letting all my grand ideas go to waste. The new music by Philip Glass was too deep, too complicated, too late.
But then I looked at the emails you’ve received over the last couple weeks. I wanted to share a few with you, just so you know some of what we’ve been up to. And to be honest, I don’t think I could have sent them to you privately if I knew how much you appreciated hearing from me.
When I first came up with the idea for a new Glass opera, I wrote it down and saved it on a sheet of paper on my office wall. I framed the page in black marker for good luck. I told myself to write it down because it had to get done, I wouldn’t have any other way to go through it all myself. I was busy, frustrated, scared, frustrated, scared, frustrated, hungry, hungry, tired, and hungry. There was a lot of big dreaming, lots of tiny going back and forth, lots of uncertain thinking, and lots of praying. I had only three emails to show for it: “I’m trying” and “Okay.” Then my deadline came and I started writing.
It began with the scene where Eurydice has a dream in which she dances with a group of people in front of a crowd of people.
These are the moments of freedom, the moments in the beginning where the action takes on a different kind of life. The action is alive and alive and alive, and Eurydice embraces the moment, these moments of freedom. We begin to see her sense of freedom growing and spreading and growing into the human world, growing and becoming louder and louder.
This is what I was trying to tell you in the email that I sent today. In that scene, there is lots of dancing. There is lots of freedom. When Eurydice dances, she has an expectation and she needs to be happy. This freedom means she can’t be sure that she will be in harmony with the world or with the people around her. And that freedom is not a passive feeling, it is a feeling that moves in the direction of her movements, it is also a sense of entitlement, that she should be happy now. She is trying her hardest to be happy. That is one important idea I wanted to share with you.
I knew that I needed to share these feelings with you. This was, or at least has become, a really big deal for me. I couldn’t think of a better way for me to express myself, to say to you, “You probably see everything.” And, “Being happy is a decision. It comes from our place of choice. It is not someone else’s whim.”
It would be so easy for me to feel guilty for sending emails like these. In retrospect, I should have had you sign them “from you, Anne.” I wanted to push yourself. To say, I’m here and I’m going to work on these things, to say that your advice was so valuable and that you have such an amazing listening ear. And to tell you, “I’m not done yet.” But I knew that, emotionally, that would not have been right either. That would have felt like telling you to go ahead and tell me.
The other thing that comes out in the emails is a sense of faith. I don’t know if you heard, but we lost someone special in our life yesterday, and this has been a week filled with sadness. But I hope that you can help me find hope in this. That you have a comfort that makes you believe in me and in my dreams. And in these beautiful scenes, when the people seem to be moving and dancing, when they are dancing to music, I am overwhelmed with hope that I, too, can become happy.