Yesterday just happened to be one of those days that are so incongruous and strange they are a challenge to understand, let alone write down. But it was the kind of day that I believe will shift me and take me down an unexpected path of my journey.
Let me try. Big Friendly is out of town so my day started early, walking, feeding and watering the animals. My first appointment was in Wynberg, to meet with the CJSA (Cape Jewish Seniors Association) for an interesting chat/session. I met with a different branch in Milnerton in July and it had been a success and then I was asked to do the Wynberg one. I am not naive. I was asked because I said yes to the first one. Almost 30 ladies of a certain age (no men this time) were there to find out more about me, and resist playing improv games like I did the last time! I was as prepared as I always am. No idea about what I was going to do or say until I got there.
And then something amazing happened. In my introduction, and emboldened by the clarity Robin DiAngelo has given me about who I am and the enormous edge my White Privilege (not to mention the addition of Jewish Privilege) gives me, I said, by way of introducing myself, “My name is Megan Furniss. I used to be Megan Choritz (nods and sighs of recognition here). I am a writer, actor, director, improvisor. I am Jewish, anti religious, and very political. I want to state here, for the record and so you know, I am anti-Zionist and pro-Palestine.” Can you imagine? There was a massive communal gasp. One brave lady finally swallowed and said, “We don’t have to go there.” There was a shocked and relieved murmur of agreement.
A lot happened in that session. A lot.We jumped through my family and ancestry, flew through my career highlights, touched on Cape Town history, and family, and District Six and Woodstock. We joined dots, dived deep, and even ‘went there’ politically. There were many details, and many moments, and hard questions, and hilarious interludes. There were feelings hurt, and hearts won over. In the group was a shiny, funny, clever, vocal powerhouse of a woman with a lot to say. I haven’t asked her permission to use her name publicly so I won’t, but we got each other. She was excited by me and my points of view, and I was thrilled by her tenacity, and cleverness, and out-there-ness. She was my tribe. I left that time there shifted. As much as I had come to share my stuff with them I felt differently seen by a community that I have constant struggles with. I had to dash, with promises to return.
Then I flew over to the Golden Acre to take part in an hour long interactive improvisation performance called Film Me In as part of Infecting the City. Honestly, from the ridiculous to the incomprehensible. It’s been a while since I performed in the Golden Acre and I had forgotten what an awesome space it is. I was standing there, in the big open space we were performing in, trying to encourage people to participate, when I felt a tap on my head. My new friend from the CJSA meeting had taken a trip to town to see what I was up to! This woman had brought herself to the Golden Acre, a place I can guarantee her fellow community members hadn’t visited in years, to come an check us out. I love her.
My day ended with me falling asleep in front of the insane, hideous and demented impeachment hearings where Americans tore into each other and behaved like lunatics in support of chief batshit crazy, psycho, abuser Donald J. Trump.