This afternoon in the Diamond Head Theatre deep into the middle of the first act of "Jesus Christ Superstar" (my first time to see it), with a five-year-old directly behind my left ear asking question after question of her mother about each event in the show (disconcerting at first but then I noticed she was asking very astute and pertinent questions worthy of any of us), and the band is directly to my right, jamming away (it was the last show of a held-over run and as the trumpet/wind synth player told me during intermission, they've absolutely enjoyed it), somewhere between a dance number and an interlude between Mary Magdalene and Jesus Christ I am beyond thinking. For that moment the connections become clear, that is, between, around and through the actors acting the parts on the stage, the audience acting our part, each of us breathing and fulfilling the moment together. There was a larger sense of the moment, beyond thinking, in the context of the intimate Diamond Head Theatre, Kahala area of Honolulu, early August, 2004, the middle of the Pacific, through the thick of childhood and old age. How to describe it? An awareness, laid bare in rhythm of music, of the yearning of us humans to break through our small and immense betrayals. There is a Judas in each of us and a Jesus. Perhaps this is the double helix of DNA. There's duality, or there would be no drama, no story. And then there's a Mary Magdalene, a King Herod, a young dancer, a jeering crowd member. We play each part, though here, now, we are assigned the one we are in. For a moment I saw the gleam of meaning, like the blue of a spirit traveling in a lane nearby. And then there I was again, the yearning one: thinking about what I'd be eating for dinner, wondering where the bathroom was, concerned about a young up-and-coming native artist, reliving an old betrayal, and wrestling a ghost, far away from the moment in less than a snap of finger of time.
c Joy Harjo Reporting from the Front (or the Back), late summer 2004