The Magical Portal of Glenelg
Glenelg is a magical portal. It carries magic in every blade of grass and every legend passed down. The highlands are the embodiment of escape, the heart of the story.
I’ve spent much of my life with my head stuck in a book and my mind absorbed by the most fantastical stories, trying to escape reality. Especially, during the pandemic, it seemed all I could do was re-read books about spells and adventure.
Now, in Glenelg, we’ve actually gotten to live it. No more zoom screens. There’s only magic and adventure as we admire the sheep, listen to stories of Cúchuhlainn, and trek across thick forests and rivers. And as real and amazing as it is, this portal to Scotland does feel like an escape.
I’m about to go to grad school at Yale. And that comes with a thousand new stressors and things to be done. Things I’d never thought about. Fear that I’m not enough. But in Glenelg, that’s put on hold. All I have to worry about is the dirt on my new shoes and getting caught in the rain for the 10th time in 3 days – which means my only thoughts are of the rainbows.
We’re in Scotland to do a show. It’s a show about gun violence. It evaluates the worst plague of America and how younger generations are affected by it. Uvalde happened right before we left. Buffalo not long before. And in Glenelg, we sing these songs for the show, and they are horrible and violent. But right now, all I think about is how beautiful they sound. The meaning is detached in this land where everything is pretty.
Glenelg is limbo. It feels like an in-between for a few of us who have had the graduation ceremony. But here we are on an almost-vacation. But when we leave Glenelg, it means we start classes. How do you prep and go to class when you’ve already graduated? Shouldn’t I be doing something more productive to the whole of society? Like joining the workforce? In Glenelg, I room with Lauren and Haley who have also graduated. And I wonder if they also feel the odd pull to identify with the next stage of their life, while also fitting in to the familiar comfort of being in Pepperdine Theatre. Maybe I’m a little stuck.
Glenelg is a transition. It may make us forget our dreadful fears. But it too has a violent past. The people of The Highlands’ have fought the oppressive hand and they have persevered. So our journey here may be purposeful. We get to talk to the locals who all know each other and their families’ histories. We can learn what it took to keep the highlands. Glenelg is more than an escape it’s a transition.