February 26, 2021


Los Angeles, CA

Co-produced with Kindred Gottlieb
Directed and performed by Kindred Gottlieb
Camera by Roberta Shaw
Edited by Jessie Lenderman
Text by Kindred Gottlieb

I go to the river and place my ear within her. I listen for her heart, the beating heart of the river, wise from the stones and the reeds and the perseverance. I bow my head and listen for what role I should play-- listen for instructions. Before long, I receive them. “Help me to run free,” she says. “Help me to run free.”

Plastic. Like cancer. Like the unspoken incident in every family nobody wants to talk about. Like the ugliness, the underbelly. More prevalent than oil, flowing into our houses and clogging up drawers with uselessness and eternal fragility. Pieces becoming smaller pieces, becoming smaller pieces. So we all share this collective grief, this fear. The balls of string that aren’t string at all but grass from a child’s Easter basket. The birds can tell the difference. Rarely does plastic show up in their nests, yet the seabirds eat it and the fish do too. We eat it too, but too small to realize. The slip that falls off the lid of the water bottle, collecting cells around a problem area, like we collect around a hot topic in the news that shouldn’t be a big deal but becomes so with stressful falling. falling. falling. falling. Our little planet and all that trash, paving the roads with plastic wrappers and plastic bottles, and, and, and… The need for sterility has driven the plastic to an all-time high. Testing twice per week some places-- kids, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions. Testing with plastic. With nowhere for it to go. I’m not sure if plastic is causing global warming but it causes as much grief. A rainstorm of plastic, showering us daily, hopeless and defeated. I ask for the plastic to be removed from a to-go bag yet and find five packs of plastic silverware there when I get home, wrapped in a napkin, wrapped in plastic, wrapped in more plastic. I feel ill. I know we all do. Hoarders hoard plastic first, having too much heart to send it to wherever it doesn’t go.

I go to the river and I listen. What can I do? What message do you have for me today? Let me hear you. Let me clean you. One little person against a tidal wave, but I will do what I can. We all can do what we can.