How a Tree Fell
3 December 2022
Courage makes man beautiful, strength persistent, conviction calm.
The time we live in seems to be characterized mainly by an unprecedented and anxiety-ridden simultaneity of two assertions. »The system we live in, and – consequently – our way of life is no good, it is not sustainable; not only does it fail to lead us to a bright future, but is conducive to a definite collapse of human civilisation and the planet as we know it today.« The other one being: »I feel as if nothing can be done, nothing can be changed, I feel completely helpless as an individual.« These two beliefs generate a very specific feeling of angst, much worse than anxiety, a sense of concurrent burning and quenching, screaming and whispering, rushing and standing still. Each day we find ourselves in situations in which we as individuals should perhaps speak up, take sides, stand up for something, maybe simply open up a bit, share a little, try to understand, not to judge, to condemn perhaps, reassure, take some time, calm down a bit…. But we don’t, because we feel that nothing can be done; we are too insignificant, too tired, too inexperienced, too unimportant, poorly educated and informed, too unfit, too inarticulate. For fear of conflict, for fear of exposure, for fear of meddling in other people’s affairs, for fear of disappointment, for fear of life itself, we deny ourselves the totality of existence achieved only when one lives according to one’s beliefs and heart.
TAMARA: »But that feeling, you know, when you’re on your bike, and you think, bloody hell, these mad car drivers, the way they drive, and then when you’re in the car going somewhere, and you think bloody hell, these mad cyclists, the way they ride the bikes. Yeah, this feeling … lately I got a bit scared of it.«
This feeling is the point of departure of How a Tree Fell.
In the play, we follow scenes from everyday life of a not-so-special family whose members, each in their own way, try to navigate their busy schedules and amassed burdens they have accumulated while trying to make their way in the hours, days, years of drifting towards some kind of ever receding clarity. Caught up in their worries, they face the fact that life is passing them by anyway, whether they deal with it or not. And while they can only look out for themselves, things are happening in the world and are getting increasingly irreversible with each passing day. This point may have been reached already: »Who am I to interfere?« But then again – who am I, if I don’t? And if I don’t, will anyone at all?
Katarina Morano, Žiga Divjak
53rd Week of Slovenian Drama, Kranj