Walking the Sea

Walking the Sea: July 2009

Friday, July 31, 2009

Our House Manager-ett

Savannah, as her Pentacle name tag says, is the House Manager-ett. She is six years old and the daughter of the main House Manager. Savannah begs her dad to take her with him when he comes out to the theatre so she's been there several times now and has seen the show twice. She's a fun kid and really hams things up. Her favorite part of the show is Jacie's line near the end, "Leave em' laughing folks!" and she'll even do the body movement with when she says it.

Cheryl, who is really good with her, was helping Savannah with her hair and talking with her about acting. Kneeling down to her level, she confided in Savannah something about acting someone had once had told her. She explained how a catipillar becomes a butterfly and that, "You can only become a butterfly when you want to become a butterfly more than you want to stay a catipillar." I thought that was really profound and I'll be ruminating on it for a long time to come.

Here are some more pictures from the dressing room. Tomorrow is closing night!

I do Benny's makeup every night. The time it takes has become one of our favorite part of the evening.

365-09 #210

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Lead a Child in the Way She Should Go... Part 2 of 2

In the church I grew up in, not only were we encouraged to read the Bible on our own, but we were also encouraged to have a personal relationship with God that was vibrant and growing. Even if that relationship was struggling and we were wrestling with God, the struggle was welcome too. On Sunday nights after our high school choir, "One Heart", finished practicing, we would all troop over across the parking lot and attend the Sunday night services. We weren't pentecostal, but you could raise your hands when you sang and show your emotion. After the sermon, the pastor would sometimes invite anyone up who needed to talk something over with God up to the alter steps that lined the front. You could bring someone to pray with you or someone might even join you there. If you cried, no problem, there were Kleenexes waiting for you. On occasion, we would also have people in the service give their testimonies. In fact, when our choir went on tour every year, two different students would give their testimonies at every concert. We were taught to stand up and express our faith and that our relationship with God was a journey worth talking about.

So perhaps you can understand my confusion in a recent conversation when people were discussing that the reason for religion is to give people answers for the way things are. I grant you, they may have meant something entirely different by "religion" than I do, but is not the point of religion the belief in God himself? Isn't religion about knowing Him? In another conversation, someone said that the moral concepts of the religion he practiced growing up is so much a part of him that he doesn't participate anymore as if the moral concepts was what it was all about. How can we practice religion and entirely miss the whole point of coming to know God? Is that why so many people are spiritual but not religious? They want something to believe in, the unseen dimension if you will, but without the legalistic moral code and unsatisfying answers of theological judgement.

In my own walk with God, I have really struggled with the idea that if I stepped across some line, I would suddenly be out of favor with God. I was so concerned with how I lived my life, I forgot to live my life. I learned God gives freedom, not chains, love, not dogma. But while we walk free, we need to remember there are still hard places, dangers we could get ourselves into. The relationship is the entire point, but in that relationship, God is there beside us, helping us along, letting us know what to avoid, how to conduct ourselves so we can enjoy the really important and long lasting things in life. He guides for our good, not to make us conform so we all look the same. His instructions are for our benefit, they are not there to weigh us down but to lift us up. As humans, we see from such a small perspective and knowing God's is so much wider, we can rely on His/Her perspective to help us through where we might fall on our own. But we listen not to make it through life, but because we love God and God loves us. It's for that dynamic and growing relationship, the love shared that we breathe, and blink, and grow each day.

My suspicion is that some people look at the world from their beliefs and see it in black and white, sinner and saved and see the world in judgement. But I think a better way to see things is in color, through the eyes of God, over filling with love and passion for His people. Everything else comes after that. "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33).

365-09 #209

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Lead a Child in the Way She Should Go... Part 1 of 2

Many of you, I am sure, have heard the verse, "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." (Proverbs 22:6). I heard it as a child but it has only been as an adult when I have really understood it. As you know if you regularly read my blog, I have had difficulty attending church as I knew it with all the praise singing, the sermons, and the spoken prayers. And, I am sure, I still have some of those same issues. But, I have now surprised myself by turning back in that direction, needing to walk down that path and explore it with new eyes and a more developed voice.

This returning need has been brought about by not only the natural course of my journey, but by several experiences I have lately had. It seems our general culture has come to stand behind a phrase: "spiritual but not religious". They want something bigger than themselves but they don't want the discipline of religion or the box they feel religion will put them into. Or, maybe they want God without having to deal with God's children. They want their individualistic beliefs without having to work those beliefs out in community. Basically, they want it their way, freedom of choice. Isn't that what our culture is all about? Your way, all the time? No real commitment, no rules, a spirituality you can design and no one will tell you that you are wrong. Why? Because we have taken right and wrong and made much of it grey. Yes, we each have the light Quakers keep talking about but we also have the capacity to do evil too. I think we have taken what is in the Bible, cut out all that stuff about sinning and doing wrong, and only have kept that feel good, God is love, readings. We have forgotten our conviction.

Maybe it was a necessary part of my journey that I needed to let go of the idea of right and wrong and just explore for a while but I have come back to black and white knowing that even while the world is full of color, there are still morals, there are still right and wrong ways to behave and we have become so caught up in how we look, we have forgotten to pay attention to who we are. After all, it is not what goes into a person that makes them unclean, but what comes out. We have become so caught up in not offending someone, we have forgotten to lovingly call ourselves and each other back when we are doing something that God specifically told us not to. How can we be so afraid of what others think and ignore God?

For several years now, I have not read the Bible on a regular basis outside of seminary as I had been taught to do as a child. Lately though, I find I have really needed to pull it off the shelf, open it up, and take in what it says on those pages. At a time in my life when so much feels like shifting sand, I have needed the grounding, the truth, the Bible holds. I have needed to hear God's voice in its pages filled with directions, guidance, and love. We wonder what God wants us to do so many times and it's there, waiting to be read: don't be rude, seek understanding, watch what you say, love the Lord your God. While there are many questions yet unanswered in my life, I know that if I listen for God's voice and ground myself in his written word as I was taught, then at least I know I have sure footing as I seek what is to come.

365-09 #208

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Comic Potential in Their Dressing Room

One day, those cast members are going to learn to start monitoring what I post on my blog. Until then, I pretty much have free reign! Enjoy! This is Comic Potential down in the dressing room. There are four more shows on every night this week starting at 7:30pm in an air conditioned theatre. Why do you think I go so often? Come join me!

365-09 #207

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Photography at Bush Park

Yesterday morning my friend, Deborah, and I went down to Bush Park with our cameras and had a blast taking pictures. It's amazing what there is to take pictures of if you stop and really look around you. Photography is a lot like poetry. All kinds of material is around me, it's just a matter of paying attention to it.

365-09 #206

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Monday, July 27, 2009


As I am sure you are well aware if you live in the area, it is hot! I am one of those people that don't have air conditioning so I went downtown and hung out at the theatre office for a bit and then the tattoo parlor. I wonder, did people have techniques for surviving the heat before air conditioning? How did the pioneers handle it? Remind me I said this in a couple of days, but I think this is good for our bodies. Something tells me this is useful to us but I'm not sure how. Meanwhile, I'm trying not to move around a lot. It's my lesson in learning to appreciate something I may not necessarily like.

365-09 #205


Sunday, July 26, 2009

One of Those Nights...

Tonight is just one of those nights when I hope I will have a more positive outlook in the morning. I can't put my finger on any one thing, just a general sense of heavy, dark, humidity in the air. It's that time when I question if I really am making the right decisions. It feels like moving in the dark, I can't see where I'm going, I don't know how it will turn out, but at least I'm moving. Where to? I don't know. That's the question. I just hope, despite my feelings tonight, that it's somewhere good.

365-09 #204


A Moment

Tonight we went out to the Roadhouse after the show. I am proud of myself that I have the whole backstage routine down and that Act 2 went incredibly smooth. Act 2 is the really busy act for the stage crew. Tonight I was taking pictures of people getting ready, putting on Benny's makeup, and working backstage. Whew! We deserved to go out and had nearly the whole cast and crew there. Looking around the long table, (there was 20 of us), I thought, "This is one of those moments isn't it?" and I heard God reply, "Yes, it is." I love those moments I know I will treasure. I love them even more when I actually step back and enjoy them while I'm living them. Life is full of such moments, it's an important thing to remember.

365-09 #203

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Teacher Appears

My current book of choice is "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" which I checked out from the library. It's a good read. This morning I came across the phrase, "When a student is ready, a teacher appears." That struck me as very true.

When I have been ready for a new lesson in living, the perfect person to teach it to me comes into my life. In God's perfect plan, the people I come to know all hold gifts in their hands if I take the time to recognize them for who they are. For example, when I need to learn how to be frank and honest or to have an optimistic outlook, there have been people there modeling those qualities for me without them even knowing what they're doing. The Aboriginies in Australia believe that what we dislike about others is what we dislike in ourselves and what we admire in others are qualities we want in ourselves. They don't know they have these gifts, they are being themselves as I am being myself. Yet, I am not the same for having known them.

Sometimes, I don't recognize the gift bringers for who they are. They may be difficult to be in relationship with or they may hurt my feelings but they have gifts too and it is these gifts that usually make me tougher and able to withstand the waves ahead.

I wonder what gifts I bring to others? It's not something I have the answer for but the idea that I bring into someone else's life a lesson they need to hear makes me think of others and brings home the lesson of "our lives are not for ourselves alone" in a whole new way. Thank you God for all the beautiful gifts in my life.

365-09 #202

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Close the Door

I gave the dead guy my baggage tonight. He took it for me as he recovered from his death scene and I closed the doors. Then I flew out to the balcony in the back waving my arms like a maniac to where the stage manager was helping someone get dressed down below so she could cue the lights. Sometimes, the lights in life don't come on until we've closed a door or two. It takes a great deal of courage to close the doors in the dark and wait for the light, not really sure if it's going to come on or not. Just be careful when you're moving in the dark. Trust your intuition, more importantly trust God, and if you have to run across the stage to give the next light cue, just remember, you need to avoid that hospital table at the end of the bed. If you don't, you may have a bruise in the morning. But God can heal that too.

365-09 #201

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Moving the Baggage

Tonight while working backstage at "Comic Potential", I had a terrible time closing one of the accordion walls to the upper stage. Finally after it was closed, I learned there was a suitcase that needs to be moved first before I close the wall. I didn't see the suite case myself because it is completely black when we are out on the upper stage. It was a great reminder that when we try to open or close doors in our lives, it's best to remove our baggage first. And remember, it can be important to listen to trusted friends who can see our baggage when we can't. Do you want to know where to put that baggage? Do the same thing we do in the play. Leave your baggage with the dead.

365-09 #200

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Thank You Mr. Frank McCourt

While taking rehearsal shots for "My Fair Lady", I caught sight of a newspaper headline one of the cast members was reading and I involuntarily gasped for air as I asked her if I could borrow that section. Reading the article, I was near tears and would have cried if I wasn't already in a room with twenty other people, for Frank McCourt died of cancer last Sunday, July 19th. Even now, tears want to leap onto my cheeks. I feel as if the world has lost a light, something pricelessly precious and beautiful in his life. And I could say how no one is ever really lost and that his story will live on, but knowing that he is no longer living is hard.

For those of you who haven't read his books, he is the author of the auto-biographies, "Angela's Ashes", "Tis'", and "Teacher Man". They are stories of unbelievably difficult circumstances he overcame, of a life I can hardly imagine, or a person who is broken and real, who comes to life for the reader, and yet who finds a whole life on the other side. He is an encouragement to us all in so many ways and he will live on through his books, in those he loved and in who loved him, and especially in all the lives he touched through being courageous enough to share his story. Thank you Mr. Frank McCourt for your courage and for your words. You helped us find courage of our own. We will miss you and will honor your memory by living out what you taught us, "teacher man".

365-09 #199


Salem Art Fair "On Tap" Show

Here are some of those dance photos I promised you. :)

365-09 #198

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Monday, July 20, 2009

A Rich Life

No pictures today, sorry. I decided to stay with my friend, Julie, for the night here in Portland instead of driving back to Salem after small group tonight. With the dance shows and the shows at the theatre, I haven't had a lot of time for my friends who live in Portland. It was a good chance to visit while I'm already up here. No matter how busy I am though, it's very important to me that I take time to nourish my relationships with friends. A life without friends is just, well, not much of a life. It's the relationships we get to keep, it's relationships that make our lives rich.

365-09 #197


What a Great Day!

Today as I was on the stage dancing before the audience, looking out at all the faces before me, many smiling, my friend Julie grooving on the back of the bleachers, I felt God remind me to enjoy the moment. We build up to moments like that. In dance, we build for months with countless hours of rehearsal and then when we get there, it is over so quickly if we don't pay attention. It is important to pay attention. I like to smile and groove with the music. I try to enjoy it, which I know, also gets the audience to enjoy it too. We had fun. Stacey even bought us all ice cream afterwards as a treat- an incredibally kind gesture. All in all, it has been a fantastic time at the art fair for me filled with friends, new experiencs, good conversations, and a great show we can be proud of. I'll post pictures here tomorrow.

365-09 #196

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

What Life is Made Of

Often the best moments of the day are the seemingly small but deeply enriching and endearing ones of our life. Yesterday's was walking around the art fair with a friend and her family. It is so much more fun to walk around the fair with a friend, I see so much more than I otherwise would. Our interests in art are different and when I walk around with a friend, I stop to admire and gaze at art I otherwise would have passed by. I got to walk around with a different friend at least for a bit each day and I really enjoyed that.

Yesterday while we were walking around, my friend and I were ready for a break, so we laid in the grass by the main stage looking up at the trees and talking for a while. It was so nice. I rarely take the time to look up into the trees. It's a different world up there. It was especially nice to share the moment with a friend. This is what life is made of.

365-09 #195

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Don't Come Knocking!

"If the wagons a rockin, don't comma knockin'!" This is what Kelli proclaimed to the art fair goers as we rocked out to music coming from the main stage. We were taking a shift together at the Pentacle Theatre's gypsy wagon talking about the current show and the next season. It was fun and we stayed pretty busy during our two hour shift. We also had a lot of fun in between customers. After we performed our chair dancing show, the volunteers across the path at the Salem Repertory Theatre performed Act 2. We saw a lot of friends and it was a generally really fun day. I also loved taking pictures at the fair. It was so nice to take pictures for the pure joy of it again.

The backstage work at the theatre is getting better too. I'm learning the movements. Backstage work is really like the dance you don't see. It can be well choreographed and I'm learning the roles. I never realized all the little alcoves right off the stage the crew hides in during the show so they can easily change the scene. I like the experience and it's nice to see more of what goes into a show.

365-09 #194

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Once Upon a Time

"Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Sarah and there still is." This is the beginning to a story I wrote when I was eight. I found it tonight going through a packet of papers my mom gave me along with some other childhood relics. Like any childhood, there were some really happy parts and some really hard parts.

The crown from my 4th birthday reminded me of one of the really happy parts. I remember that birthday. I was wearing a red dress and my gift was a desk with a peg board under the lid you could put letters into. The desk was green and I remember sitting at it with relatives surrounding me.

Then there were school pictures from late elementary and junior high where I wasn't really smiling because I wasn't really happy. The numerous report cards I found from that period also reflect this. The low grades actually surprised me. I had forgotten I wasn't as good a student, shall we say, as I was in my college and graduate school years. I ranged in B's and C's with some A's and even a D. It goes to show, you never really know what kind of person someone will grow up to be. My marks in punctuation and capitalization were okay but anything but stellar and here I am, someone who loves to edit. I am glad those marks were transient and don't even matter anymore. People may judge us but in the end, it ain't worth beans.

Another item I found in the pile were IEP reports and meeting notices. A little known fact about me is that I was in speech therapy for ten years while growing up. We got it down to saying my r's correctly and I used to have to say r words over and over again. Sometimes, I still slip but it's rare. Figuring out what to say and how to say it is not as rare.

Among the pile of papers, I also found this. It was also written when I was eight and it is as true today as it was then. (Edited for capitalization and punctuation. Not so great at that then, remember?) "Writing is a very good thing. It makes me laugh. It makes me sing and so I'll share my writing with you because it's something I like to do." Truer words could not be said.

And so, "Once upon a time there was a little girl named Sarah and there still is."

365-09 #193

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009


What a night. We had tap rehearsal this afternoon in preparation for the show on Sunday. Then I came home, cleaned up, and headed out to an artist open house hosted by my friend Kathy with whom I acted in "Death of a Salesman". The artist was a spiritual impressionist and I enjoyed the depth of his work. He will be at the art fair this weekend and I told him I would stop by and say hello while I was there.

After most people left, he pulled out his guitar and sang for a while. While listening to the beautiful music I was looking at two shelves of books. There weren't any other modern books in the room with the exception of one underneath the coffee table. I wondered why she picked those, why those books on those shelves? Then I started to wonder, if I only had two shelves on which to put books from my library that have meant the most to me, which ones would I select? Books can have such a deep impact on our lives and the way we see the world. Some of the ones I thought of were "Mutant Message From Down Under", "The River Way", both volumes of Jane Austen, my copy of Jane Eyre, "The Four Agreements", "Hope For the Flowers", "Letters to a Young Poet", "The Prophet", "You are Special", "The Shack", "Kitchen Table Wisdom", "My Grandfather's Blessing", "Living Prayer" "A Testament of Devotion", "Secret Life of Bees", "Mechthild of Magdeburg", "Saint Therese of Liseaux", "Ishmeal", and "Glittering Images". I would also add "The Giver" if I had it in my library. This is not a definitive list but these are all books I could read again and again and come away richer every time. They have been paradigm shifts in my life, taught me to think from a much wider perspective. I am so grateful to their authors. It's amazing how you can touch someone you don't even know so deeply through words.

365-09 #192

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Symptom Prayer

Have you ever thought about the fact that we pray for the symptoms and not the problem? Thinking about this, I realized I often pray for the symptoms: relationships, career, the little things that while they are important, does not get to the heart of the problem. We pray for a sense of identity and neglect to pray for God to help us find that in our relationship with Him. We pray for relationships yet neglect the one we have with our Creator. We ask for a sense of purpose yet ignore the voice inside telling us what that is. What is more, is that the heart of the issues are things we can do something about. If I am lonely, I can go out and work on forming new relationships. If I want to further my career, then I need to work on how to do that. If I want to discover new life and find direction, then I need to be exploring different avenues I could take. While it is important to wait on God and there are times to do only that, there are also times to get up out of the pew and pick up the tools. I'm not saying we shouldn't pray about these things. The first thing we need to do is pray. But then we need to get up off our knees and do something about it. God gave us the brains we were born with. It is honoring to Him to use them.

365-09 #191

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Buildings Coming Down

For as long as I can remember, Boise Cascade has sat next to the river in the town where I live. Years ago, they removed a bunch of the buildings down by the river and created a beautiful park. Still, Boise Cascade was yet there to the left of the park, some buildings still being used, others abandoned and an eyesore in the downtown core. For the last month, a wrecking ball decided to change things. First they took down the eyesore and are selling the gravel. Next, the building that was being used was emptied and section by section, they are taking that one down as well.

This afternoon when I was driving, I saw the crane against the blue sky and realized my life is much like the process of those buildings coming down. Years ago, shortly after the park was built, came a lot of change in my life. What needed to be cleaned up was dealt with, beauty was made out of things I hadn't seen a use for, and space was created for fun and joy. Yet, there were still these buildings next door I wasn't ready to let go of yet. Some, I was still using. But now, I've realized how useless that abandoned building is and section by section, I've brought it down to gravel and am letting it be carted away. This is mostly the stuff I've kept because of emotional attachment. But then I realized, all that stuff from my life before is holding me back from the life I want. And like that building, it's blocking my view. So that is the first thing that came down.

Then there is the building I've actually been using. This has been the hardest to give up. But it's old and it's falling apart. On top of that, I've realized I no longer want it. What I have wanted in the past is no longer what I want now and what I was too fearful to go after before, I have no problem going after it now. I'm packing up the things I want to keep and saying goodbye to that building too. God is taking it all down. (Did I mention He is the driver of the wrecking ball after I gave my okay?) Space is being created. I'm not sure entirely for what, I have some immediate future ideas, but long term wise, just like the buildings downtown, I don't know what's going to take their place.

I think we have to realize at different parts in our lives that we've changed and we need to prune our lives to give space for new things to come in. Realizing I want the new things and not the old has been an important piece of the process for me.

365-09 #190


Sunday, July 12, 2009

What I've Been Up To

"So Sarah, what in the world have you been up to all week that you would neglect your blog?" I can hear you all saying that so I thought today I would show you what I have been up to. Every show is special to me for different reasons, the people, the story, what I learn about acting, others, myself, and life. This one I have really enjoyed because it makes me laugh a lot, I have become friends with some of the actors in the show, and for the lessons it's been teaching me. A review of the show will be showing up on my blog in the coming days.

365-09 #189

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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Busy Week

I let the blogging slide most of this week as I've spent every night out at the theatre working on the pictures for the show that opened last night. I don't need to be there tonight but am going anyway to put a nameplate with the picture as Pentacle usually does that and to bring brownies to the cast. I am hoping if I bring them chocolate, they won't look at me and think, "What are you doing here again?" But the cast likes me so I think they'll be okay with that, especially with the brownies.

I'm learning to not be afraid to do what I want. That sometimes, I have to realize what I wanted before is no longer what I want now and then figure out what I do want and have the courage to go after it.

365-09 #188

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Turns out, I'm Optimisitc

Tonight I went out with two friends after rehearsal where we talked about the show and what we thought of it. I truly think they are fantastic actors and both do an amazing job. Then we worked on one of the scenes and I made a startling discovery: I am an optimist. When did that happen? Was I always an optimist and just had to go through some healing to rediscover it or was I a pessimist who changed? Even as I ask the question, I have a picture in my head of me at one and a half years old, eyes shining, grin lighting up my face, rocking out on my rocking horse and giggling in the chair. I was a very happy youngster. Delighted with the world. Somewhere along there, I think some of that just shut down for a while and the last few years as junk has been cleaned away, my delight with the world has been cleaned and polished. It's not that I don't see the darker sides, it's what I choose to focus on, what I choose to register in my mind. After all, expressing the shadows, talking about them, makes for good poetry that will mean something to me and to you. But I don't want to live there in the dark all the time. I've been there and I didn't like it. There are still areas I struggle with and if you get me on certain topics, I am anything but optimistic, more like the critics in the Muppet Show, but I have learned that focusing on the positive is just so much better for my life. If I don't get caught up in all the drama, the negative until I really need to, I can put my energy to more useful things. I think my fear is that people will see my optimism and think of it as naive when it's not. I've seen the pain, I just chose not to stay there. I'm blaming it on Stacey who has taught me by example to look on the bright side of things. It's the balance between knowing reality and knowing what is even deeper than that.

365-09 #187


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Let Freedom Ring: A Day to Remember Part 2

The moon is so beautiful tonight. It's full and white with clouds passing by, occasionally reflecting that elusive rainbow ring of light around its orb. It looks on me from above, a friendly face in the night sky. The house is quiet tonight. Allie is at work and I am siting here in the dark, my yellow and blue quilt I made wrapped around me with the tea kettle on the stove. It's late, but I am in a thoughtful mood.

Driving home this afternoon from Deanna's, I thought more about what freedom means to me and what it looks like in my life. Years ago, when I first started spiritual direction, I had a belief that I was walking the narrow path and that if I moved away from it, I would break my relationship with God and be punished. God was in the right and I would be in the wrong. In some ways, it was all very black and white to me. My terror in crossing God's limits was disabling to say the least. One session I remember in particular, I was really frustrated about life and I exclaimed, "I wish it was all just black and white!" Adria took a good look at me and responded, "Sarah! Look around you! The world is full of color!" I will never forget that because that is what freedom is to me.

Life, and our spiritual journey, is not a narrow path through the woods where we will get eaten up by the wolf if we leave. No, life is open countryside with no path whatsoever. We are free to explore to our heart's delight. When this idea was first beginning to dawn on me, it terrified me. I still held onto the idea of limits and the punishment of crossing them. I was scaring myself with the journey I was taking, it was far beyond anything I had been brought up with and I thought I had crossed into heresy long ago. At that point, Adria asked me how I thought it would make her feel if when her son was young, she had filled a room with wonderful toys but instead of exploring them, her son just huddled in the corner afraid to move. I realized that no matter where I went, God had me in His view. I couldn't explore anywhere where He wasn't already. And, if I did go too far, which I can't see happening, He would be there to bring me back. But that isn't a worry of mine in the least. I know God in the core of my being and I can't separate from that. The only way I could ever go too far would be to go out of His hand and since I've already experienced God holding onto me when I couldn't even hold onto myself let alone Him, there is no problem.

You see, I know I can explore to my heart's content for the only one who can tell me to stop, never will. I know my value is already intrinsically there, always has, it's been exploding like fireworks from inside me since before I was born so no judgement of anyone is going to take that away. I am free, truly free. I think that is what God wants to give all of us. Real freedom. As I said in part 1, freedom is not being afraid, it's exploring, loving without limits, taking care of myself without guilt, having boundaries, and being myself with no apologies. And I'm still working on all of this, but, wow! Freedom feels good! There is responsibility too, of course. Freedom to love is caring for myself and others, respecting myself and others. But since I already know who I am and am not afraid of losing that or caught up in the hopeless cycle of defining my worth by what I do, I am free to help others with what they need when I can give it. I love the idea that my life has benefited more people than just myself. If I cannot give it away, what has my life really been for? It's hard to explain but it's the one thing that when you truly have it, you just want to give it away! Life and love are like a spring, I give it away and it just keeps flowing into and out of me. That is freedom at work in a life. It's freedom worth fighting for, seeking out, taking the journey to find.

A life that is free can only be found by letting go of limits that don't exist, knowing God has a hold on you wherever you go, and when you've found your life and nourish that life inside you, start giving it away to those with whom God has gifted you. Freedom, in the end, is how you live the journey.

Thank you, Adria, for giving me that legacy.

365-09 #186 (Part 3 tomorrow.)

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Let Freedom Ring: A Day to Remember Part 1

Happy 4th of July!

Yesterday was truly a day to remember. These last few days I have been a bit lethargic having a hard time getting things done, feeling unmotivated. I blame it on the heat. But yesterday morning, I woke up, found my way to the computer and added captions to all the photos from our On Tap show at the World Beat Festival. I posted a few on here, but if you want to see the other 35+, you can look here. An introduction will be added as soon as Stacey writes it.

After breakfast, (remember? Work some first, eat later?) I changed into painting clothes and headed to the theatre for a work party. The Comic Potential set is a work in progress and I enjoy throwing in a hand to build the set. As I was the only one with the paint brush and not scared of heights, I was the one nominated to be sent up the really high ladder to the set pieces at the top of the set. It was fun to talk with the director of the show as we painted and then to sing as I painted. Apparently, it wasn't as quietly singing as I thought I was. I love how they recycle set pieces from one show to another. It shows great management. When they were working on building this one, I caught sight of one of the pieces from Death of a Salesman so that's in their somewhere. It's fun to see how the sets come together.

Cheryl arrived while I was up the ladder and we spent the rest of the afternoon happily in an upper room on the set painting away. It made it so much fun painting with her, talking and getting to know one another. At first we were painting on opposite sides of the stage when she asked me what I wanted in a guy. Mind you, we were not alone so another man and woman heard the whole conversation as well. I know what I want, the deal-breakers if you will, and at one point, I think it was after "a sense of humor", the woman breaks in with, "You ask too much!" Now quite honestly folks, it is not too much. Isn't it better to know what you want and look for it then take anyone that comes along? Cheryl thought so too.

After leaving the theatre, I hurried home, packed an overnight bag, and headed up to Ridgefield, Washington, to spend July 4th with Deanna. As planned, we drove her car to the Delta Park park and ride to take the Max into Portland as parking would be horrifically hard to find. We got off in China Town and walked along the Riverfront with an excursion to a pub for a beer while we waited for the fireworks to start. The fireworks were really pretty. When I was growing up, we always visited the firework stands and lit off fireworks at home but what I really like are the big ones shot into the sky. We found our way to the amphitheater and watched them from there, packed in a crowd of people.

As we had been walking around, we had noticed a lot of different cultures represented and all different races. I thought about that as I stood in a park of wall to wall people. We were all so different yet as Americans, we were together in unity watching the bombs go off in the sky. What drew us there together? What is so attractive to all of us that we unite for one night? Those bombs were originally lit off in a fight for freedom, a fight to live as a free people. I wonder if we still fight for that freedom, if freedom is something we still seek out. I'm not talking about political or bodily freedom, but the freedom inside. For nearly a year, I have been thinking a lot about what freedom means and what a free life looks like. Freedom is making your own decisions apart from what the culture and media says. Freedom is even going past the religious rules and listening directly to God. Freedom is realizing the world is full of color and we are free to explore. Freedom is not being afraid. How many of us live in chains but don't know it? How many of us carry guilt and shame when we could be free? To some extent or another, the answer is all of us. But we can all be free, we can fight for it, we can break the chains. In America we celebrate our political and bodily freedom on Independence Day, or "Stick it to the British" as Deanna calls it. (We both love you British.) But we are still not free. Emotionally, spiritually, we still pay unfair taxes on our souls. Our forebears saw freedom and knew they wanted it. I have felt freedom and it has grown inside me and let me tell you folks, from what I've tasted so far, I know without a doubt, freedom is worth fighting for.

This video is out of focus at times, but it's the last part of the fireworks I saw last night and really cool.

365-09 #185

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Friday, July 3, 2009

I Have Called You By Name

Today has been one of those quieter days where I stayed home and relaxed. I even read a book, it was great. Went swimming too.

The other afternoon, I was at Becky's house helping her sort through some papers and I came across a card with the paraphrase of this verse on it. I borrowed it so I can share it with you.

"(Insert your name here), I have called you by name, from the very beginning. You are mine and I am yours. You are my beloved, on you my favor rest. I have molded you in the depths of the earth and knitted you together in your mother's womb. I have carved you in the palms of my hands and hidden you in the shadow of my embrace. I look at you with infinite tenderness and care for you with a care more intimate than that of a mother for her child. I have counted every hair on your and guided you at every step. Wherever you go, I will go with you and wherever you rest, I keep watch. I will give you food that will satisfy all your hunger and drink that will quench all your thirst. I will not hide my face from you. You know me as your own as I know you as my own. You belong to me. I am your father, mother, brother, sister, lover, child, friend. Wherever you are I will be there. Nothing will ever seperate us. We are one. I call you my beloved on you my favor rest."

365-09 #184

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Off Roading Through the Orchard

Earlier today I was thinking about blogging tonight with the title "Off Roading Through the Orchard". Deborah and I went berry picking at Olson farms this afternoon. Though I have seen very few u-pick farms, I have to say I love this one. It is so beautiful and has fantastic views overlooking the valley yet it's so close to town. It's positively fun to go out there. Today we picked strawberries and then moved on to the blueberries which are also now open. The strawberries I am going to mash up and freeze and the blueberries I am going to freeze whole. I love picking the berries myself. I like walking the rows, working for what I eat in a very real and direct way, and being out in nature is great too. After we finished picking, we decided to continue on the road instead of turning around the way we came. Though I am sure it was a bit stressful for Deborah, it was downright fun for me! We took the road less traveled and ended up on roads barely passable through the orchards. At one point, I just stuck my hand out and grabbed two cherries off a tree. Is that what you would call a drive by picking? Sometimes, the really fun memories are made when you take a chance and off road through the orchard.

Working so much on my computer and not getting out much, at least for me, I have been a bit lonely lately so when Randy called this morning asking if I could take a last minute head shot of a new cast member in "Comic Potential", I have to admit, I welcomed the task. I arrived shortly before they started the show and after finding the chips, soda, and pizza downstairs, felt revived and rejuvenated. The air conditioning didn't hurt either. After taking the two head shots I needed, I settled into the seats and enjoyed getting to finally see the second act. For over a week, I have been longing to find out what happens after Act 1. Like every other show I've photographed, this one has been steadily growing on me. Its so fun to watch and I loved watching what happens in the second act! Afterwards, three of the actors and I went out for something to eat and to go over two scenes. It was a great deal of fun to watch them perform the scenes and to help them with it a bit. For all it's strengths and faults, I love being a part of the Pentacle community and tonight was a perfect example of why. I have loved meeting all these fantastic and creative people, getting to create something wonderful with them, and enjoying our time together doing it. My heart beats for my writing yet at the same time, I feel like I have a place I belong to at the Pentacle. It's one of those orchard paths I wasn't planning on taking but wanted to see where it would go. And as I said, that's where some of the best memories are made. Take a chance, you never know what you'll find.

365-09 #183

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