Friday, August 28, 2009

New Horizons by David Gray

I heard this song on Pandora this morning and I just had to share the lyrics.....they touch my inner being so much and are just so true for me.....

I love the dichotomy of love.....or maybe more specifically, the dichotomy of self.

My favorite part....

So I'm gathering all the remnants of beauty
From this wilderness in spin
And now I'm gonna light my own flame
'cause I'm charged with the radiance of the dawn
That's been so long breaking

I love the phrase, "remnants of beauty..." it's like one of the beautiful quilts my grandma and great aunts make......remnants cut into flowers, stars, and little Dutch girls.....elaborately sewn together with a beautiful colorful thread......placed on top of a muslin sheet....and wonderful secondary designs quilted over them by hand with small, deliberate stitches.....designs that can only be seen from the otherside...the side not usually seen by the initial look....designs that can only be seen underneath......that is my life.....remnants of beauty from hurt, disappointment, words......they are shards of hope left in the aftermath....some big...some small.....but beauty nonetheless....remnants sewn together to create who I am.....a beautiful, imperfect work of art.

Enjoy the lyrics...

"New Horizons"

Weight on my shoulders
But I'm walking so tall
Out into the new horizon
Wonder in everything
No matter how great or small
Howlin' like the midnight
Howlin' like the midnight sun
And this ain't no pale reflection
This is the real thing
New horizon
New horizon within

And your heart ain't yours to control
No matter how tight the reigns
Love will find it's own direction
A time to reap, a time to sow
And many a time to cry in vain
But now the time to celebrate
The glory of this imperfection
Same thing that's scrawled across the stars
Is written under our skin
New horizon
New horizon within

Things come too easy, I get suspicious
Things come too slow, I get bored
If it don't work out I get superstitious
But if it does, oh my word

So I'm gathering all the remnants of beauty
From this wilderness in spin
And now I'm gonna light my own flame
'cause I'm charged with the radiance of the dawn
That's been so long breaking
Now there ain't nowhere
There ain't nowhere I won't write your name
There's a time to search for understanding
Sometime you just gotta sing
New horizon
New horizon within

Baby there's no need to get precious
When you know that everything must change
Complacency, it can be so vicious
Turn this love into a cage

Same thing that's scrawled across the stars
Is written under our skin
New horizon
New horizon within

Monday, August 24, 2009

Indy Fringe Festival Reviews

As Posted on Smaller Indiana:

Indy Fringe Day 1

The Cask of Amontillado

Wine…..revenge…..intrigue…..opera…..costumes….Edgar Allen Poe…..what more could a girl want in a Fringe Festival show?? The Cask of Amontillado promised to be a fun diversion for the Man and me on a Saturday afternoon.

It’s interesting to me that operas are one of my favorite things….although they are typically somewhat tragic. The Man and I have the discussion often about tragic music (which he likes) and happy music (which is my preference). I once asked him to sing a happy song for me at Karaoke to which he sang Nirvana. Gotta love a witty man!!

This was The Man’s first opera and our first Indy Fringe show. I was both a little nervous and a little excited to try something this much out of the box.

The opera started with a couple of fun arias written (I suspect) to use more time and to allow stragglers to wander in without disrupting the show. The cast was talented and the opera followed Poe’s story almost to a “T” (I looked it up when I got home). The singers were engaging and believable as their characters.

Wine….wine…wine……a gentleman knows his wine….

The story is about a man, Montressor (don’t you just love that name….it sounds just like a villain of an 80’s hero cartoon) who was slighted by the proud, popular wine loving Fortunado and plots to avenge himself while acting as Fortunado’s friend. Montressor plots to lure Fortunado to his wine cellar with a promise of a rare find….a fine, fine sherry….Amontillado.

Montressor being the sly dog that he is, uses Fortunado’s pride in distinguishing wine and competitive spirit to get him to leave his friends during Carnival to come to his home. He hinted that he knew nothing about the wine, but had foolishly paid full price and mentioned that another friend had unsuccessfully tried to determine the wine. Whenever he spoke of whether the wine was authentic, Montressor would sing, “…doubts.” Fortunado, of course, jumped at the chance to taste the unusual wine.

Down in the cellar, Montressor proceeds to trick Fortunado…chains him up in the corner…..and lays brick after brick…row after row… essence burying him alive.

While I would love to judge Fortunado harshly for changing his plans simply to taste a wine……I can recall several moments in recent history where I was ready to leave a party and my good friend, W, would say….”but I was going to open an A. Rafanelli”…..and all caution was thrown to the wind. Like Fortunado, wine can be my downfall.

Being an opera lover, the performance was entertaining. As a matter of fact, I started thinking it is a wonder that more Edgar A. Poe’s writings don’t make it to operatic form…..the elements are all there…..but…..whether or not The Man truly enjoyed it, I can’t lie…..”I….have…my….doubts…..”

Nonetheless, it is a worthy show with talented artists! Check it out at


Indy Fringe, Day 2

The Man and I head down to Mass Ave to check out something a little different than Saturday’s Edgar Allen Poe Opera, The Cask of Amontillado. We decided that the end of the weekend and the quickly approaching Monday needed a good shot of laughter and Tortillo was just what the doctor ordered.

Scooby Doo meets the snack food industry…….meets Batman and Robin…..including a quirky but hilarious “guest star appearance” of a psychedelic English rock star janitor.

I was expecting light fare….a comedy…..but the incredible wit in the script took me by surprise. See…..I’m not usually much of a comedy girl…..seriously. Put me in front of a popular comedy, Madea Goes to Jail, Police Academy, whatever, and I squirm like a redeck in an Opera House. It just doesn’t jive with me…’s not my style. It’s not that I don’t like to laugh……it’s just that I usually don’t in this type of entertainment. That said…..I laughed…and laughed….and laughed. I peeked over my shoulder at The Man and he was absolutely cracking up!

Maybe it was the similarity to my beloved Scooby Doo Mysteries (with a little adult humor….well…a LOT of adult humor)…the snacks….the goofs…..the over the top villans….the surprise “pulling off the hat” endings…..the guest star. Whatever it was…it added together to make a delightfully witty feature.

The guest star was my favorite! The Man and I spent most of the time admiring his shirt…and watching his sideline antics.

All in all, I would recommend Tortillo….it’s a great laugh….and, in my opinion, a great Fringe show to bring a date.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Preparing for Disappointment

What If? By Coldplay

What if there was no light.
Nothing wrong, nothing right.
What if there was no time?
And no reason or rhyme?
What if you should decide
That you don't want me there by your side.
That you don't want me there in your life.

What if I got it wrong?
And no poem or song..
Could put right what I got wrong,
Or make you feel I belong?

Let's take a breath, jump over the side.
How can you know it if you don't even try?

Every step that you take
Could be your biggest mistake
It could bend or it could break
But that's the risk that you take.
What if you should decide
That you don't want me there in your life.
That you don't want me there by your side.

What if? What if my heart gets broken? What if I fail? If I “buy into the magic,” I will be more hurt if it doesn’t work out. The heart has to be protected…… reasoned…… desire for something amazing has to be held at bay until we are “sure.”

When my kids were little, we took them to Disney for a week. Being somewhat skeptical by nature, the X and I made a decision to “buy into the magic,” to allow ourselves to get excited about all that is Disney for our kids’ sake. So…..we looked for every character, wore mouse ears, skipped down the sidewalk and otherwise embarrassed our kids. You know what….we had a BLAST!! You know what else……Disney without the “magic” can be it’s own level of hell in Dante’s Inferno……lines, silly music, grouchy people. Allowing ourselves to be a kid again and to feel excitement set the tone for the entire trip.

Relationships are that way. Divorced people have a tendency to hold back emotionally (and honestly, so do a lot of single people). Although we may, “commit” to a relationship (and maybe even WAY too soon) we are still preparing ourselves to be disappointed. We were in love once and it hurt a heck of a lot……so love has somehow lost its luster….lost its shine….lost its magic. We are sometimes unwilling to let the relationship move at its own pace without feeling like we have to plan and control every move…every step. We cannot seem to “buy into” the thought that the other person is really “into” us without wondering at every step if there are signs that we aren’t seeing….reasons why we are not right for each other……preliminary yellow caution flags that may or may not precede a red relationship-ending flag.

What would it hurt to allow yourself to embrace the romantic….the magic…the feelings that go deep?? Do we honestly think that if we hold back and the relationship ends that it won’t hurt?? Really?? It’s gonna hurt……it’s gonna hurt more being in a relationship devoid of desire - - the desire of the heart.

John Eldridge writes this in his book Desire:

Most of you will by this time have lost a parent, a spouse, even a child. Your hopes for your career have not panned out. Your health has given way. Relationships have turned sour. We all know the dilemma of desire, how awful it feels to open our hearts to joy, only to have grief come in. They go together. We know that. What we don’t know is what to do with it, how to live in this world with desire so deep in us and disappointment lurking behind every corner. After we’ve taken a few Arrows, dare we even desire? Something in me knows that to kill desire is to kill my heart altogether.

Desire is the source of our most noble aspirations and our deepest sorrows. The pleasure and the pain go together; indeed, they emanate from the same region in our hearts. We cannot live without the yearning, and yet the yearning sets us up for disappointment—sometimes deep and devastating disappointment. One storm claimed the lives of eight of Krakauer’s companions in the Everest disaster of 1996. Should they not have tried? Many have said they were foolish even to begin. Do we reach for nothing in life because our reaching opens us up to tragedy? Because of its vulnerable nature, desire begins to feel like our worst enemy.

Desire…..allowing yourself to desire…to be vulnerable….to invest in the lives of others…truly invest. It’s much like being a kid again. Children have the innate ability to imagine the possibilities… experience great joy… run with no holds barred. What happens when Peter Pan grows up?? He forgets….he explains away…..he is skeptical.

So….what does that mean for me?? It means buying into the “magic” of life…of relationships…allowing my heart to grow….to love genuinely….to be “all in…”

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Rescue Me....Nah!!

Growing up in Arkansas, I was enthralled with the story of Petit Jean Mountain - - of how the mountain got its name. Grandma had an old Arkansas history book on her bookshelf and on those hot, muggy summer days, I would pull out the book and read the story over and over again.

There was a French nobleman, Chavet, who gained permission from the king to explore the new world in the 1700’s in order to stake a claim to the land for himself. Chavet was engaged to a young woman named Adrienne Dumont (who is a kindred spirit!!). When Chavet told Adrienne he was off on this new adventure, Adrienne asked that they be married immediately so she could go with him. Worried about her safety and comfort, Chavet told her that he wanted to check out the New World first and if it was safe, they would come back together and be married in the New World.

So……Adrienne cut her hair, dressed up as a boy and gained employment on her fiancĂ©e’s ship as a cabin boy. She gave herself the name of Jean. Jean soon won over the hearts of the shiphands with his(her) sunny disposition and they affectionately called him(her) petit Jean.

The ship traveled up the Mississippi and up the Arkansas River to the foot of the mountain. Native Americans met the ship and welcomed the visitors. They invited them to stay atop the beautiful mountain all summer long. The Native Americans fell in love with petit Jean with his(her) spirit and joy for life.

At the end of summer, the ship was preparing to depart for France. The night before departure, petit Jean fell ill. His(her) body was wrecked with fever, convulsions, and sometimes delirium. Jean’s true identity was discovered and she begged for Chavet’s forgiveness. The departure was delayed and the nobleman, shiphands, and Native Americans did everything they could do to help Adrienne, but her sickness became more and more grave. Adrienne asked to go to the top of the mountain where she liked to sit and look over the river. The Native Americans built a stretcher out of deerskins and bore her to the top - to her favorite place. She died at sundown. Her grave still sits in my favorite place on the mountain. As a kid, I loved to sit there on top of the rocks and look over the whole world.

Adventure…………importance……..these are things that stir my heart. Female characters such as Eowyn, Cora in Last of the Mohicans, Sacagawea, Queen Elizabeth inspired me - - they were both beautiful, capable and oh so wonderful.

When I was young, I wanted to either marry Bo Duke (sigh), Tarzan (Johnny Weissmuller of course) or Little Joe Cartwright (yes, it’s true). I wanted a part in their great adventure……in their life….in their family. Every day seemed to bring great adventure. I would practice my skills climbing trees, swinging from branch to branch…..rolling down the car windows and jumping through them….moving cattle from one place to another. As a teenager, I learned to drive on an old dirt road and loved nothing more than to fishtail up a hill in my Ford Galaxy 500 pretending that getting up that hill in lightning speed was of the utmost importance (sorry Dad!).

Where did that girl go?? I think I lost her for a while…..but she’s baaack!!!

The X and I had a different sort of relationship. I would characterize it as more of the Desi/Lucy show. I would get myself in all sorts of mischief and complicated situations and the X would enter the scene and in frustration and exasperation, holler “Lucy!!!.” (I think he actually did use that name from time to time)….. He would come home, flour all over the kitchen from the food processor……..animals would be out……paint would be in my hair….whatever. I would look a bit sheepish and apologize……bat my eyes and promise to do better and he would forgive me…..roll his eyes at my tendency for the complicated…..and know that I would never change. The X came to my rescue many, many times from my adventures……

BUT……looking at my life now….do I really WANT to be rescued?? Really?? Do I want a man who will come running in and save me at the last minute (while I am kicking myself for getting in this predicament….again)?? Really??

What I want is not a rescuer - - I want a partner in crime…..someone to have my back while we storm the gates of hell with a water pistol…..someone whose eyes will brighten at a crazy idea and say, “let’s do it…” I want someone who will declare at 11:00 at night that he really wants to cook some wonderful creation with our bounty from the garden…..right now!! Someone who will listen to the sounds of my heart…the desires of my heart and not think they are silly or unattainable. I want adventure----even in the mundane.

Rescue me?? Nah…..let's get out of our predicaments together!