Saturday, May 16, 2015

directable intractables

You may find yourself squished between two people that you'd rather were on the opposite ends of the world from you.
In that case, just strike up conversation with the nice old lady in front of you.
Don't look to either side. Keep your eyes fixed ahead.


Directing a show, for example, is like an exercise in motherhood.
The show is your child.
The week before opening, your child is in that sort of monstrous toddler stage where you have to drop everything and devote your entire attention to them, and any reserve energy you have on the back burner is spent distracting them so they won't throw a temper tantrum at the grocery store.

As you struggle to keep the small whirling dervish from running away from you in the department store, you think how nice it would be if this child were already ten or eight or seven, even, and a bit more reasonable and less of a wild thing.
And you eagerly wait for the day the child is fifteen and can diagram sentences and solve algebraic equations all on her own.
And you think of when she'll be eighteen and can have conversations of real interest and will start to analytically discuss Things That Matter. One day, you think with eagerness, there won't be baby toys booby-trapping the stairs, and you won't have to put baby-blocking-gates in front of the family room's entrance, and diaper disposals will be a thing of the past.
Because sometimes, having a small child is strenuous, smelly, and inconvenient.
But here's the rub: [There's always a rub. I don't know why. Why does there always have to be a rub?]
You know as soon as the child gets to be a teenager, you're going to miss the terrible threes.
They are not going to have tiny little miniature shoes to put on tiny miniature feet.
They will not play with their toy horses with unselfconscious abandon.
They will not look at your with their big, sincere child eyes.
Because each stage of childhood is different, that makes each one unique and utterly irreplaceable.
You have to share teenagers with the world.
You don't have to share three-year-olds with the world.
Three-year-olds get to stay safely in the incubator of your home.
They are yours--all yours.
And that is a laughable thought.
But not an endearing laughable like the small children.
Laughable like the naked emperor, prancing around in invisible clothes.

The saddest of all graces is to read a story that is not yours that gets your heart a-beating and a-fire.
But it is not your story.

Having a puppy has taught me to look at the world afresh.
Not only is each little leaf ripe for investigation Human beings are at their most beautiful when they think no one's watching. The cool boy who thinks that no one's watching him as he laugh to himself over a stupid joke.
The woman who has it all, who stops to look in the mirror and examine her chin hairs.
The boy creating a story with stuffed animals on your bed.
The children who create stories with their Playmobile figures, who act out stories of drama and intrigue and princesses and farmers. 
Who, in their games of pretend, like to imagine catastrophes and tragedies, to act out some of the greatest struggles of our lives
When the small little human walking in front of you turns to look at you and smiles.
They see the world afresh.


Andy said to Choir One, ‘My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours.
But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because Choir two was oversleeping, but has come to choir right before mass; his binders were all lost and have been found.’”

Last Saturday or the Saturday before, I watched a husband and a wife get married.
The bride wore no veil, just a stunning silver headband, like a flapper from the Roaring '20s. It sparkled delicately against the silky chestnut brown of her swooping bobbed hair.
She wore a simple dress. Almost child-like in its simplicity. Like Belle, her dress sat delicately on the outer curve of her shoulders, and covered them in ruffles and ruffles of creamy white. Flowers decorated the bodice of the dress liberally. The skirt was simple. So simple. A flowing a-line skirt, that just barely grazed the floor. Sometimes her bare feet would peep out from under the skirt.
Her sash and hem were trimmed with pink ribbon. This little touch of color was a bold dash of girliness. But it wasn't cheap or childish. It was child-like.
She bounced down the aisle with assurance and confidence.
She was full of joy.
And she held her head like a queen.
The bride floated down the aisle.
With assurance
with confidence
with poise and aplomb.

She wore such a simple dress, and she looked so like a child.
We will never be able to fully ever satisfy any desire on this earth.

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