I did not look it up. To me circular narrative means a return of some sort.  It could be a return to an idea, conversation, place, way of thinking. Whatever it is, it comes back. I know I have been asked to look at what we know of the play and speak about circular narrative but instead I feel compelled to write down the hour long conversation I ended up having with R about Canadian theatrical conventions, (assumptions about) indigenous storytelling methods, self-reflective art practices, exposing form in the content and…residential school experiences. (and June beating up her husband – because he drinks too much?)

I am grappling with form. I read the play  fragments and  I liked the untidiness of the content. The dialogue, the ambiguity of the relationships, the lack of resolution appeals to me because I don’t think life is tidy and I don’t like being seduced by simple stories. (I do like being seduced, but I like it to be complex.) However a play at the National Theatre Centre packages things in a certain way that, perhaps because I am so familiar with it, I resist. And I resist not just as a single audience member but as a mother too. I worry that if my kids see complex issues presented in highly aestheticized ways that somehow they will not engage in the material. And when I read the resource material I worry that the teachers would chose the least troublesome projects such as “create your own myth in the style of a First Nations story,” instead of asking the difficult questions raised in the play. Why do I want that for my children? Because I think there are plenty of ways to disengage in the world and fewer ways of articulating the things we need to discuss – like how the injuries of a previous generation carry through into the experiences of future generations. There is my understanding of a circular narrative within and beyond the play.

What is my story? Who do I think I am? Old. Right now I feel old. I am not saying this to receive feedback but as a way of describing my experience. I feel like I want more time, like I have so much to learn, to teach, to do and not enough of me to do it. I am still in a state of worry/shock about our planet and as I sit in that feeling, more keeps happening.

Maybe circular narrative refers to how things circle around a central axis. And maybe I am circling too.