- : an ending part of a piece of music or a work of literature or drama that is separate from the earlier parts
- : something that ends and completes something else
On the final page of Melinda Lopez’s manuscript for Mala, is the following note to the production:
“(coda—the coda doesn’t have to be anything. Or maybe it’s a projection in the dark. Or just an idea in the mind of Mala.)” It is followed by Rumi’s beautiful poem, The Guest House.
We include it here because many of you may not have seen it or read it at the theater and we feel certain she’s right that it is related to the experience of the play. We toyed with a variety of ways to include it inside the experience and all felt heavy handed. (On the first page of the manuscript, Melinda wrote, “Everything needs a light touch. Super, super light.” So something that felt heavy at the end of all the light was very unsatisfying. We landed on the idea of projecting the poem as the final moment of the talkbacks which follow each performance. So, it’s included in the event, but not inside the story.
Read the poem and contemplate it a bit. You’ll see how right Melinda was about it belonging with the journey of Mala.
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.