© Chloe Johnston (May 2011)
CJ onstage along with a glass of water. Maybe in a practical light that she turns on at the beginning.
There was a brief period of my life when I thought I might be a Quaker and I was taking a class in Quakerism. In this class, the teachers told us a story about a young woman who was murdered by an acquaintance. (CJ pours some water on the floor, from a glass) When the trial came to an end, and the prosecution was seeking the death penalty, the family of the murdered woman, who were Quakers, pleaded with the court to spare the life of the murderer. I think they told us this story as a way to illustrate the concept of non-violence and though the story has stayed with me for many years, I can’t say it turned me into a pacifist. To me, the story is just about the finality of death, and parents who understood that finality in their bones, who understood that nothing brings the dead back to life, nothing unspills blood, and life goes on. The Quakers are also very into moments of silence.
(CJ just sits in silence for 10 seconds or so, then tries to pick up the water from the floor with her fingers and put it back in the cups, after a few tries, the light goes out.)