Tom Block on the Knife’s Edge Between Creation and Destruction

Through my nearly three decades as a playwright, author and artist, I have thought deeply about human origins.  That moment when Being flared from nothingness.  The LABA Fellowship has provided a vessel within which to create a specific work of art that brings together various artistic media – centered on the stage – not to answer this question.  But to ask it in an emotional, beautiful and searing manner.

Creation cannot exist
without destruction.

A universal truth
delicious in its simplicity.

La Bestia: Sweet Mother explores the knife’s edge between creation and destruction.  Basing the multi-media work – a theatrical exploration which includes my visual art, original musical scores by a cellist and an acapella singer and a modern dance element – on the earliest texts of Genesis, in addition to precursor creation myths from the Babylonians, Egyptians, Zoroastrians, Hindus and Greeks, I weave a tale of three mothers who are also, due to their personal circumstances, forced to become destroyers.

For isn’t this what happened when God created the universe?  Through the creation of something, God destroyed the original perfection of “no thing,” “created” death and decay, and obliterated eternity.

These themes – centered on the original desperation and loneliness which must have driven an uncreated creator to abandon “watery quietude” for a universe of strife and opposition – underpin this work.

What you took from us,
You took by giving.

Who can escape the trap
of being
You set in your desperation
To be free.