There is nothing joyous about losing a son, friend, sibling, or community member. However, I believe that it is important to come together as friends, family, and community to remember and share stories of those loved ones as a way to help us all heal and process.
Having lost two close friends as a young teen, I realized after losing Roy, that I too, like so many, had put their memories and faces in a box and stored it where ever that place is that we do that. Today, their faces are back in my weekly visions along with the times I spent with them, and feel better for it. Remembering loved ones through stories is one of the best ways we can keep memories alive and help us all process on a daily basis. Processing their loss as well as their new life in heaven.
A few years ago, after having written the book “The Painted Turtle”, a way to honor and remember Greggs’s brother Roy Franklin Varney, I bumped into Michael Cooper. Michael was a classmate of Gregg and his brothers and had gone off to become one of the greatest mimes in the country; traveling the world and performing his art. Performances filled with stories from his childhood with his Veterinarian father, Doc Cooper, life around farms in a country setting, as well as whimsical stories adorned with costumes and characters he is so well known for.
When planning a gathering to remember our son Roy, it only made sense to ask Michael to be the one to help bring to life the stories of Roy. A performance style that leaves all with lasting impressions of the recreated stories he performs.
Joining Michael will be Oren Stevens and a small group of friends. Oren came into my circle through his partner Dana, a dear friend and weaver instructor. Oren and his friend’s performance is based on the idea of “PlayBack Theatre” A performance based on hearing stories from the audience, coming together for a few moments as a group, and recreating the shared story through a performance style they feel best suited for each story.
When I sat with both gentlemen, the butterfly kept popping up in my mind. My son Roy was not so much a turtle in character, but a butterfly. Constant motion, flitting here and there, moving wherever the wind blew. So, it was determined that Oren be given the task of creating a performance around Butterfly while Michaels being around Turtle and farm life.
In four weeks, we hope that you will join us at the M.O.W.C. (The Maine Outdoor Wellness Center) located on one of our sister farms, The North Farm, in North Turner as these two gentlemen perform “Turtle Meets Butterfly” in the new, and currently, open-air barn structure on site.
All proceeds and donations from ticket sales will go towards the development of trails and outbuildings associated with the Nordic ski program as well as enhancing biking and hiking trails for the off-season.
We encourage all wanting to attend to register online so that we can better plan for numbers