Have you heard singer Kate Rusby? : Underneath the Stars

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Last night, well, actually non stop during the last few months of snatched moments to sit…I keep thinking about our family life eighteen years ago.

And then my heart rate goes up.  I get clogged with thoughts of even the next eighteen days or months to come in our family.

Typically, unless I am listening to a Kate Rusby song, I quickly either

1: yell at the dogs or

2: start to cry or

3: become giddy with pride

 

This is generally followed by something really mature like:

a. misplacing my glasses

                           again.

b. starting a new (full disclosure, perhaps the 10th) calender or to do list which I then of course,

                            misplace.

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  All three of my sons are now,

and were, the kinds of boys who I’d want to hang out with if I’d have met them in a classroom or watched them misbehave at a grocery store.

But, if I had a magic wand, I’d find the words that are impossible to say or write. Words about what a calm and shockingly peaceful July and August I experienced eighteen years ago. It made no sense then, and makes less sense now. I can’t put words to it, and decided last week at the beach to stop fretting over the poems I wrote and subsequently lost ten and fifteen years ago.

They were good words at the time. If they turn up, so they do.

If they don’t…I’ll just find a new rodeo which hasn’t any words that tell.

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Forgiveness Friday: Faith is Suspension of Disbelief

My Dad. Actor, director, tech guy and teacher.

Transcendent faith only works when we willingly suspend our disbelief.

That is why God invented a lot of things, but I’m on a Maurice Sendak roll, so today I am celebrating charcoal pencils, watercolors and the printed book industry.

The suspension of disbelief is a theater term. According to my father, who is King of all that is Drama,  entertainment should be the obvious goal of a show. Not all directors or actors agree with him, but they should. He is King.

A good show suspends our disbelief that, whatever. That our bills will get paid, our kids will ever grow up, that our nation will thrive despite ourselves. If a show is done right, even the intermission is a buzz of non-rememberance that the snow piling up outside the box office door is anything but that: just snow. But inside, a real or fanatical story is put to stage by real people, and hopefully, the audience is engaged in most anything but their worries and doubts. For a few minutes anyway. It is a few hours of possibility.

Maybe an interesting lesson is taught in the meantime, or a cool story is told – but for me, the gift of that time in the dark for the audience is that we are forcefully faithful. Why else pay the ticket price if you aren’t going to try to believe in something? For a while anyway.

Okay, I guess this post actually is about theater, and that’s okay. Maybe some other day I will draw out (pun intended) why I put the work of Sendak in my same personal category file of favorites which includes Samuel Beckett, Alvin Ailey and Juliet Child.

Instead I’m going to hunt up a photo of my second favorite actor, who I can only guess agrees with my sermon of the day. Here he is suspending your disbelief, if you care to have it gone for a short time:

Whoopsie. I can’t find my photos of Bud Thorpe, my father’s student who went on to study and act with Samuel Beckett. The Count works just as well I hope.

And here is a quote to keep it real:

“The tears of the world are a constant quantity. For each one who begins to weep somewhere else another stops. The same is true of the laugh. Let us not then speak ill of our generation, it is not any unhappier than its predecessors. Let us not speak well of it either. Let us not speak of it at all. It is true the population has increased.”
– Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot