I heard a comment on CBC Radio yesterday from an interview with performer/singer Brandon Flowers.
He commented that he avoided public speaking as much as possible because in public speaking, he has to be himself, and he finds it so much easier to perform -- because then, he's not really presenting himself, he's presenting the person he's being in the performance.
I went in search of Flowers music after that -- and he's good. I really like his voice. But, his words got me thinking.
I prefer to speak in public than perform. I know how to be me. I don't know how to be someone else -- even when that someone else is a character I'm learning to perform.
Yesterday, when we ran the rehearsal for A DI Wedding: The Musical, I was in awe of the beauty and wonder of the human spirit. There were no performers there. Just real, live, humanely honest people being themselves.
It was stunning.
Firstly, what Onalea Gilbertson, our Director, has done with all the writings -- from scribbled notes and scratched out prose written in ten minute intervals as part of the groups process -- is amazing. She has created a piece that flows -- effortlessly weaving in a love story that touches deeply into hearts, stirring the mind with questions and feeding the spirit's craving for answers.
Can love survive in a homeless shelter? one man asks before throwing his notebook on the floor. No. He screams.
Bullshit, answers a woman.
And a young man stands up. He is nineteen. Struggling to find himself after a lifetime of abuse. "Why? Why would you say it can't," he says to the first man as he walks to the podium to read his notes. "This is the first place I've ever been where I've truly known love," he says. "It had to be here for me to find it."
And the play moves on.
It is stirring and funny and witty and clever and it is all real. No performances of someone else here. Just real people speaking of what is real for them.
John, an older man who plays a wicked guitar, wrote a song called, Get a Room. It's a common saying around the shelter when two people connect -- Get a Room.
See, there's no place for intimacy in a homeless shelter. No place for privacy, for couples to be together.
Get a Room, people say.
And often, they can't because, for whatever reason, they don't have money. They don't have a job. They don't have anything they can see as possibility. And if they can, Get a Room, they take the money they may have been saving to move on out, and use it for one night, or maybe two, of privacy. And then, they're right back at where they were, struggling once again to put together the needed cash to move on out. Struggling to get rid of their addiction. Struggling to make sense of the nonsense of their lives.
And sometimes, it is love that gives them the impetus to find their senses, to find the courage and strength to move on out. To get more than, a room. To get a place to call home.
And sometimes, that place to call home is someone else's heart, if only for awhile. Someone else to share the journey, if only for the time being. And in that sharing, in that little while, they find peace, and a sense of joy, of wonder, of Love.
Can love survive in a shelter -- it never died.
It was a great morning. A morning of wonder and spirits soaring and ideas flying freely through the minds of all of us gathered together. Taking shape, filling out.
And then, I worked with twelve women as they moved through The Passion Test, identifying what makes their hearts tick, what makes their lives rich.
When I got home, my daughter Alexis and I watched a movie and ate popcorn. We laughed and joked and spent a beautiful evening together. A storm has blown in from the north bringing with it frigid temperatures and blowing snow. And there we were, mother and daughter, just the two of us, making it without trying, into a perfect evening,
It was a day of pure magic.
I am blessed.
May you be blessed today in everything you do and experience. May your heart be filled with joy, may your mind be filled with wonder, may your spirit soar.