So I haven’t written much lately. You may have noticed. You may not have noticed. But oh well, here I am again.
Last week I went to see a production my friend was in of In The Heights. I have to tell you I was completely unprepared for my experience. My one regret is that I didn’t see it earlier in the run so I could urge more friends to go see it. As it would happen lovelies, we went to the very last performance. It was at the Rose Marine Theater in Fort Worth and it was stunning.
Before the performance the Artistic director came out and welcomed us home. He invited us to a place where we were all welcomed. We were all celebrated. We all belonged. And then, he said this, “You have friends who become family, and though you may not always be friends you will always be family.” I have rolled this around and around. And I totally get it. I was in theater and chamber singers in high school and I experienced this in that context. When you perform with people, when you pour your heart and soul into a shared emotional experiences you give and take little pieces of each other and they change you. You become family. And though I am not really day to day friends with many of these folks anymore, they are still my family. They are part of me.
Isn’t that how it is with life? We give and we take pieces of others and exchange them for pieces of ourselves and like chemistry, we become something different. When we give ourselves fully to the art of life and the sharing of that art, that life… we change each other for the best. When we rip and tear off pieces of the other and give back pieces of hate, or bitterness or judgement we change each other as well but in a very different way.
We must learn, as these performers did, to hold our heart outstretched in our palms and offer it unselfishly, gloriously to the other. I beg you, I need the beauty you are. When I am able to take hold of it, it makes me freer to hold my soul out to another. It changes the very cells of my body.
As we were riding home, Kent and I were trying to describe the feelings we were having. And we talked about Litmuss Lozenges. If you have not read Because of Winn-Dixie, go do it. What are you waiting for? Anyway, Litmuss Lozenges…
” . . . I lay there and I thought about how life was like a Littmus Lozenge, how the sweet and the sad were all mixed up together and how hard it was to separate them out.” –Because of Winn Dixie by Katie DiCamillio