Wednesday, April 29, 2009
For Mark: All is Everything (Nothing Stops...Ever)
This is going to be a smattering of emotional colours delivered with the passion of a thousand court jesters on the dawn of a new king.
Four years ago today I moved back to Arkansas to start over.
I let a slab of Manhattan cement with a cornucopia of people dictate my worth.
What the frack?
I let myself believe I was unattractive because I did not fit into a mold of what "sexy" is.
I am currently awake in a hotel in Blytheville, AR. I have a show in a little more than seven hours and should be exhausted after a three show day, but am wide awake listening to various youtube videos of Sandi, Wicked, Shoshana Bean, etc.
Thanks to the technological wizards that invented the miracle that is youtube. I am not waltzing in Hyperboleland, I feel it is a miracle. Goodness, the performances that you can hear and see on there. It astounds the senses, it does. Wow!
After writing the journey of grief over Dad, I have come to a very important truth that I could never have known without seeing the depths of darkness:
It is our responsibility, our goal, our calling, our mission, our life's song to find the moment, live in it, bathe in it and find the joy, the truth, and share that with others and connect in the carnival ride that is this life.
I loved my Dad, but I did not know that his death would signify all my beginnings. I will FOREVER thank him for this. I made the active decisions to change and ingest the tragedy and learn from it, but his life is not over for it fuels me in ways I cannot ever fully describe. I used to think that writing about this or even sharing the story of my Dad and how his "end" ended me was self-indulgent and that it could not possibly be of any interest to others.
Nothing could be further from the truth of the story.
I feel LEAD to share how I learned from this, how I changed, how, finally, I found that I CREATE me, I create the life I want, I am the creator of my path, my destiny, and that I can help others if I align with my gifts and courageously lift my voice in song and lullaby the world with the notes of my passions and fears.
I am not scared of the ultimate end... death. It is merely a middle chapter in the novel of our tale. If I were to die tomorrow, I would not regret anything. I have lived such a full life... been blessed...
I wish I could give those who feel unloved or feel like they are giftless a portion of my life and experiences. I can look at just a few moments of my life and think:
How did I get so lucky?
Hell, today alone I did the following:
Performed three shows in which I made children laugh from the belly of fundoms... the best sound ever,
Met some wonderful people from the theatre that took us out to eat after show one,
Got to bring a funny feller of a cowboy alive again...
I DRINK THE STAGE LIKE A DAMN DR. PEPPER. And it is a good year. :-)
Who knows where my career will go?
But, I carry Broadway in EVERY show... I am my own Broadway. If I never make it to that physical destination, I have achieved it in my spirit and how I approach each show and each character. Every performance is a blessing. I am a working actor and am getting to spread the sunshine that has made my photosynthesis happen.
Theatrical Photosynthesis bitches, I guess I did learn something in Science class after all.
Does that mean I have it all figured out?
The more years I live and stories I hear and create, the more I realize the moment you think you are at a stopping point or the mastery of anything, a newity shall unfold for which you possess little to no frame of reference.
I am joyous, but my credit looks like the inside of a goat's intestines. That is something to correct. School: YUK! I would rather have four root canals and a strip tease by a smelly woman whilst working on a car than attend a class.
So, I have my issues, but even those make life interesting and are fodder for songs, talks, and drinky drink dialogues.
Everything can lead to good. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G!
If I want it to be, each moment in and of itself is a glorious three act play, perfect in its simplicity and timing, even the ones I want to hit with a car antenna.
On my ride home from Chicago I was stopped for speeding. I was not trying to exceed the speed parameters. I wish there was a soul gauge that cops could use to see if you meant to perpetrate the crime. If so, I would have been given a reprieve. However, the popo gave me a ticket and this one was not golden and did not foreshadow a magical chocolate factory. After the ticket incident, I looked down and saw that I was almost out of gas. Now I know my gas tank well and this was wrong. It was almost 1 am and I was in the middle of NOWHERE. I searched feverishly for a gas station, but to no avail. I was forced to pull over and stay at a Day's Inn. I talked with Jojo and she mentioned how we had been discussing spirituality and how maybe I was not "supposed" to drive home.
The next day my brother Brandon left me a voicemail saying he was glad I had not driven home for there was a wreck in Brinkley, AR that had caused fatalities. I would have been driving through that town at that precise time.
The hairs stood up on my arm. Something in me told me I would not have made it through Brinkley. Really. I cried and called my Mom and Jer and others letting them know how much I loved them.
In an instant, I could have been gone... if not for a mischievous gas tank and a copper topper. Well, it appears it was a golden ticket after all.
I am alive and still thinking about what COULD have happened.
I heard a story today about a high school senior named Mark that was killed on a drive to pick up his date for his senior prom. In an instant a life with infinite possibilities was GONE.
He thought he was driving to a rite of passage and to have a fun senior night. And that was IT...
He made such an impact on the people I have met today in Blytheville... only 18. I am almost 31. The things I have experienced that Mark will never taste, see, hear, dream, love...
My heart aches for this young man I never met and for his family, but for Mark, for Dad, and for everyone I love and who loves me, for the songs that have made me live less burdened, for my Sandi, for my "Friends", for my Mama, my Jer, my family, for LIFE, I lift my voice and sing a song that I will forever repeat until the end:
Grateful am I for you,
Not even death will end me,
All are beginnings,
All is in my hands,
I am all,
All is everything,
Nothing stops, Ever...
I shall keep moving,
there are no untils
I am a joy boy
Never looking back in fear
But with tears of grateful souls
Who circle me
With the song:
All is everything
For Mark, I sing my song today.