Tuesday, May 25, 2010

"We all deserve to have fun, live large, and be ridiculed by less imaginative people existing under the erroneous assumption they get extra credit for being prudent and safe."
~~~ Patti Digh

Monday, May 24, 2010


At the dance recital last night the emcee asked for all noise-makers to be silenced. "Because of the blue-screen epidemic I'm asking that everything be turned off and left off for the entire program. I don't want anyone to have the stage be blocked by a blue screen, even if it's just you looking to see who called."

I was so proud of her! Sticking up for her dancers and all the work they'd put into the night's program.

What effect does this have on our brains, I wonder, this constant need to communicate even the most inane things? What is this inability to remember, to have to make note or immediately relay this or that? Where is the uninterrupted contemplative time? Why has serenity been so easily forsaken in favor of tyranny, the tyranny of the blue screen?

Even the sanctity of church is challenged by the distraction of people texting, getting up for coffee and other beverages, rejoining the congregation only to get up for more, or to head to the bathroom. The inability to be still. In body and brain. The perceived need for constant outside stimulation. What is so important that a person has to be communicating with others during church? If it's that dire then stay home as you'll just be distracted anyway and a distraction to others, too.

That's the thing, though. It's seldom dire. It's just blather, nothing that can't be either utterly ignored or accomplished with an appropriately timed text, email, phone call, or - gasp! - face-to-face conversation. What is the hurry? The urgency? What is more important than mindfulness which is the the victim in all of this? We're losing the ability to ponder, to mull, to grapple, to listen, to be still. To rest.

It's the Blue Screen Epidemic.

If it hasn't already infected you, beware, it's coming. And it's highly contagious.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

'The Comedy of Errors'

Cassie and Caroline performed in The Comedy of Errors, by William Shakespeare over the weekend. Three big shows. Each was FABULOUS!

Tom waits for Opening Night to begin, flowers for the actresses - his daughters - at the ready.

In the first scene Cassie played a pirate Sea Captain. Her hearty pirate voice with its elongated vowels and r's gave authenticity and hilarity to the mood. (Thanks go to my friend, Alyssa Van Den Elzen for sending me these two photos of Cassie in the pirate scenes. Thank you!!)

Cassie gives a helpful word of caution to Antipholus and Dromio (Kevin and Levi).

All smiles and energy after Opening Night. (Jaren, Cassie, Heather, and Caroline)

Bestest, giggliest friends!

In the second half of the play Cassie played the creepy Madame Doctor Pinch. She had the crowd howling every night.

Caroline played the lovely, warm-hearted, curious Lady to the Dutchess of Ephesus. Her lovely vivaciousness shone through her presence, her words, and her perfect gestures. The girl had a BLAST!!

Christy (The Dutchess of Ephesus), Cassie, Christian, and Caroline. Fast friends. Christian lent his support in the audience for two of the nights.

In character - a little. So happy.

The entire cast of The Comedy of Errors. The Executioner - in full black garb - was played by Micah Stratton in the last scene only. He cracked me up!


The smiles tell the tale.

Big brother Ben joins us for Closing Night thrilling his little sisters with his presence, laughter, and hugs. The flowers the girls are holding in this photo were from big brother Joe who had to work that night but attended the first night with me. In a sense we were all together.

These flowers are from one show only. There are three large vases full of flowers in our home. The girls have two in their room, and one in the living room. The sweet aroma of a job well done, of joy, and mostly of love.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Imagination and Courage

"Be daring, be different, be impractical; be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary." ~~ Cecil Beaton

"Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music." ~~ Angela Monet

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Little Petty

This little video - please endure the short ad at the beginning - saved me today. Thanks, Tommy

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Back to Beauty

Cauterized yesterday's wounds. Healing begins today. Forgiving myself as I forgive others.

Beauty reveals itself to awakening senses.

It's been here all along.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Mean Mrs. Mustard

Here I sit poised to write a pithy post about a woman who is wreaking havoc in my social life, the life of my kids, my friends, my associates.

But the girls are playing The Beatles.

"All you need is love."

"Give peace a chance."

"Have you heard? The word is love."

Where's Mean Mr. Mustard when you need him?

I want to defend. I want justice.

How can I feel this passionate frustration and at the same time find I don't have it in me to sustain a fight? I want peace most of all. So uncomfortable feeling this way. Awful.

She called me at home. I haven't spoken personally with her before today. Things are done in meetings and over e-mail. And in her case behind backs.

Suffice to say I am not Jesus but I think she may be the devil. Got it? I do feel like there is an evil presence that dwells in and around her, a presence that provokes anger, upset, and confusion. Sound familiar? She lies. She manipulates. She's mean. She's selfish. She's insecure. She's unhappy.

She's not like the rest of the people in my life. She's, well, let's be nice and say she's 'special.' (Yeah, Cherie, you pretty much called her Satan in the last paragraph, and now you say you're being nice to call her 'special.' Sheesh. "Twist and Shout!!")

What is her family-life like? Her past? What sort of sadness has she endured? What kind of pain? Who has failed her?

Wouldn't it be horrible to live like that? Yes. Yes it would. I forgive her.

And I want to choke her.

And so do a lot of other people. "Shake it shake it shake it, baby, now!"

While I am feeling a simmering turbulence there is something inside that reminds me that we all do ugly things. Important to remember that. She's me. She's you. "Try to realize it's all within yourself, no one else can make you change."

No, she's worse! She's Mean Mrs. Mustard, just a selfish, mean woman.

Now now, she's human and she's hurting somewhere just as you, I tell myself. Be angry at the sin.

See? Conflict. "I read the news today, oh boy."

Time to put my beliefs into practice.

"I've got a feeling, a feeling deep inside, oh yeah. I've got a feeling, a feeling I can't hide, oh no. Oh no. Yeah YEAH!"

While I struggle I must remember it's important that I fight the good fight, not the bad fight. Giving in to my baser instincts - the choking - would be wrong. Struggling to quit feeling that way is right. "Seek peace and pursue it." Not a Beatles' lyric, that one. Someone wiser.

For now, well, "I am the walrus."