sadness

Congratulations cast of Miracle on 34th Street

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Congratulations to my wonderful cast members and production staff of Miracle on 34th Street!

I remember as a kid, going out to see the Nutcracker, on such a wonderful December day as this, and the memory and experience had always stuck with me. After seeing that show I had always felt the pull of fate, much like the moon on the ocean, to do a Christmas play.

Fortunately, the theater stars aligned and Miracle on 34th was my chance. From my audition where I stuffed a pillow in my button down shirt, to the “hell-week”  where we were working out the kinks (big and small). All of these will no doubt have cherished moments with the wonderful people in my cast. In my opinion; getting to know and build the foundations of friendship.

Those wonderful people, that I am now happy to call friends, are amazing human beings as well as actors. Indeed community theater fosters a loving and passionate community. Every night of performances they impressed me with their talent and passion. This show would be nothing without all of you and all of the talents that they brought to it.

With more than 3 sold out shows, let that be a testament to all of the hard work. Not only that but you created something amazing.

 I will miss all of you. And I want to wish you all of the best and a very merry Christmas.

As always its not goodbye its see you later.

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Boats, Relationships, and a little Bible for Spice

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I do not own this picture. belongs to walope.com
I do not own this picture. belongs to walope.com

Smooth sailing. The waves of gentle romance splash gently on loves boat, and you drift gently asleep… CRACK! A second later; you are faced with a Pirates of the Caribbean type whirlpool with lightning bolts as far reaching as the sky itself. What happened; just a second ago you were on the Love Boat, but now it has turned into the Titanic!

Okay, okay so I am being a little melodramatic, but I am an artist darn it all! Anyways, the ship that I am referring to is quite simply the “relation-ship” (pun intended), and the ocean is inevitably the forward progress of time, which is sometimes very coarse and other times peaceful. The person who doesn’t expect to get his/her feet wet in all of these romantic endeavors is foolish. The person who believes they will never be hurt, and won’t hurt, another is just as well. If love was as easy to love our brother and sister what need would we have for laws and principalities? No. The emotions that come all too easy for us are the emotions that are mill-stones around our necks in deep waters. It is: anger, resentment, cynicism, skepticism, melancholy and the other abusive feelings that pass over us like waves.

The wind and waves are rough teachers, but again, life and Mother Nature are not without their timeless advice. The waves are trials that should strengthen the hulls of our love for our significant other, and not weaken that love until our ship springs a fatal leak. The wind of adversity can topple us to one side, but can also be used to power us in any direction we choose so long as we respect its power. The creatures below the sea wait in the darkness for a meal, and they are the lechers that lust after our partners. Warning: do not feed the animals. You see they are there for a reason as well. By keeping our competition in the back of our minds that keeps us sharp for our loved ones, and keep the fire burning within us. Lest we fall asleep at the wheel and be swallowed up like Jonah!

I have a confession to make, and I like Jonah, had to face down my own fears. I recently had to tell my ex-girlfriend a very difficult truth. I felt as if my heart was being pulled towards another woman. I suppose this was a wave crashing into my very own HMS Bad News. I had been battling the winds of these feelings for some weeks, and upon the urging of a friend, I summoned up my courage and said the six words that any sea faring man or woman dread to hear: we need to have a talk. For the longest time before hand; I had wished my feelings to be non-existent for the other person. It was as if I was looking for a life preserver in the face of the incoming tidal wave. I had no idea of the other person liked me or not, and no way to deal with the storm that raged inside of me. So, as the captain of my ship, I did what I needed to do. I told my girlfriend I needed a break to sort out my feelings for the other woman.

Of course, our “relation-ship” hit consequently hit a reef, and all life aboard was banished except two life boats that went their separate ways. She called me later that night to tell me it was over. She didn’t want to, in her words, “play second fiddle” to another woman. I of course apologized profusely, and didn’t fault her for her feelings. Heck, I would have done the same thing in her shoes. I suppose in my heart you can never conquer the very nature of your heart. It wants what it wants and I suppose my ship is still awash in this ghastly river. The point I am making is this: honesty in a relationship and to you is paramount. If there is only one side of oars working then you will only be guided into a discombobulated spin. But the feeling of honesty is comparable to a feeling of lightness after the yoke has been lifted. Both of us have by now moved on, so I think, to safer waters.

I have now harbored my heart back at home where it needs to be, and had this profound time of reflection. It saddens me to know that journey of our relationship is over, but the ripples in the water behind me still remain, and for that I am happy. Only a bitter man looks back on the journey and hates where he has been when he has led a good life. As the Bible tells us; no matter what: love they neighbor. That has taken me a few years to fully understand, but with this most recent parting of sea-farers, I have learned to forgive myself and others much more fully. Like, I told my good friend, whose ship fell on bad weather, do not hate her or poison her memory but love her and the memories you shared. Human nature would dictate that as a Herculean effort. Take the time to center your ship and get your head above water, but you need to let go of the pain you hold in order to forgive. You will be amazed at how wonderful the feeling is.

So, my Jesters and Harlequins, if I haven’t “sunk your Battleship” with all of these ocean metaphors, then I sincerely thank you. I would just encourage you today to center YOUR “relation-ship”, to reconsider one that will not suit your future journeys, and let go of a ship that has already left the port, and as God forgives so too should we. I hope you find yourself in open waters and with clear skies. God Speed.

PQD: Beauty and a Lie we tell.

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“People are like stained – glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
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Flowers.
What is the first word that you associated with flowers when you read the word? I’m sure  most of us thought: sweet-smelling, grand, beautiful, pretty, gorgeous, and other like words. They are simply beautiful to behold, and that beauty hasn’t changed since the day the first flower bloomed.
Today, our definition for beautiful, in context of our fellow human being, has become sadly warped.
The most endearing story of acceptance, in my eyes, has to be the Genesis story from the Bible. Of course, one can scoff at the comparison of today to a story over 2,000 years old, but the imagery is so raw it cannot be overlooked. It is symbolic for exposing our entire being in a true show of beauty, that the truth is plain and as open as our very skin, and an honest, true relationship. Yes, the two were naked, but they were born for each other, and only knew there love for one another. The argument could be made that they did not know any better, but if we are to believe this story we must then believe in true purpose. If we did have a beginning and a creator– would he create something ugly?
Would you create something ugly?
The flower is anything but ugly, which is the reason why  my home-made picture is what ventured to your screen today. You see; I was walking in my neighborhood enjoying the spring time air, and was struck by how amazingly beautiful the flowers were. I was drawn inexplicably to photograph some of them with my phone at close range. Although, I felt a little awkward about venturing on to someones lawn, but I simply had to capture this wonderful slice of nature.
And that’s one thing about nature: it is natural. It is real. There is nothing hidden about nature, and nothing disguising it. There is nothing that can be sold to nature. There is nothing to be surgically fixed. And that’s the lie that we let ourselves believe:
we need products, costumes, and apparel to make ourselves beautiful. 
My desire is for you to love yourself today for what lies beneath all of the price tags.
If God wanted you to be born with all the trappings of this world from the start… wouldn’t he have created you with them?
So look at yourself today and ask yourself: do I find beauty in myself (inwardly and outwardly), and do I find beauty in this world?
I actually own this picture
I actually own this picture

 

A PQD for my Music Theater friends

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“In music, the punctuation is absolutely strict, the bars and the rests are absolutely defined. But our punctuation cannot be quite strict because we have to relate it to the audience. In other words, we are continually changing the score.”
– Ralph Richardson
In life, and in theater, there are some production rules that must not be deviated from. In theater they are: lines must not be deviated from, genders of the characters cannot be changed, etc. And in our daily lives we must follow: social norms, rules of the road, following directions at work, etc. We live our lives according to rules that we must follow every day.  We cannot perform a play without becoming acquainted with the roles we must play.
In musical theater we must be even more strict with the rules. There are specific numbers of beats we must count out, listen for, and sing out. We must follow these to follow a vision of what the sing is and should be.
With that said; an exciting, incredible show is not made from merely following the rules. We must take these guide lines and make them into an even more beautiful creation. To me there is nothing more beautiful than creation, and creating beautiful music and acting is no different. You must create the magic of theater and the magic of life.
We follow the rules to have structure, but we make the music of a song our own. A song has no voice without an actor, and it has no soul without creativity. So too is our lives.
Best of luck to my music theater friends in the production of Les Miserables with Upper Room Theater Ministry.
belongs to wikipedia.org
belongs to wikipedia.org

PQD: Happiness within our Grasp

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Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.

Nathaniel Hawthorne

It is curious that Hawthorne chooses the butterfly for the center of his imagery. Of course, anyone who has experienced the glorious outdoors has probably had a chance to see these little dancers playing in open space. They are marvelously beautiful to behold, but fascinatingly difficult to catch.

I latched onto this quote because the quote states: “if you it quietly, may alight upon you”. That part of the quote meaning: sometimes you don’t have to conquer and fight for everything in this world. Sometimes we can acquire beautiful things simply by being calm and quiet.

For each person this could have a different meaning: inner peace, a possible relationship, closeness with nature (literally), etc.

The point is: out of the tumult that is our lives; find your inner peace. Search within yourself for the eye of the storm and let the beauty of this world passively pass over you. Experience. Feel. Love.

belongs to: viewallart.com
belongs to: viewallart.com

A Letter to Remember.

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To my Future Son,

Son, there will be times when you will be hurt, and it will seem like your heart has been cleaved from your chest. Pain is God’s way of reminding you to trust in him. Trust me; I’ve travelled many miles and done many a foolish deed to be with a woman, I thought, loved me. The distance in that example is symbolic for the length of time you would be willing to give or wait for another person, or what mountain you would be willing to climb for her. There will be women out there who use flattering words, look exquisite, and drawn you in one way or another, but in time you will learn just who is meant to be the woman you love for all that you are, and you her.

Women are God’s gifted companions to men. We fit together by design like a lock to a key. It is simply the way of the world. But in this wide world God has plans for his people and we cannot presume to know his plan. All the same; one day the path will be made clear for you, and one day you will know who you are meant to spend your life with. The woman your heart bleeds over now may not have been God’s plan for you, and that is why in prayer we seek guidance. I know you believe, and I am asking you to give your pain up to God. In the Bible we can find sound advice that stands the test of time: Jeremiah 29:11 – “I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD. They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope.” Thus he knows his plan for you, and the young lady who you feel is still the right one for you. I can appreciate your pain, and wish you did not have to experience it, but experience is the only way we learn. And I pray that young woman will learn from this experience as well.

“But, she was the one…” It may seem like that now, but like I mentioned God has his plans for who the one REALLY is. Let me also caution you against hardening your heart: especially to the person you loved. Forgiveness is the key. I don’t ask you to do that lightly, because I myself still find it very difficult to forgive. But, because God himself gave his only Son to forgive us our trespasses: so too will I ask of you the same. We rob ourselves of joy and live in the painful memory of the past if we let ourselves be caught in these thoughts. Take solace in the fact that you had the opportunity to make memories with a nice young woman, and don’t let that memory be poisoned. Where the world will advise you to close your heart; find the strength to open yours. Your spirit is strong, and your heart is filled with goodness. You are far too strong to have your heart caged by sorrow. Live for the glory of God and he will show you the way to a woman he has ordained for you.

I pray that you live without regrets and that you live without experiencing this pain once more. In summary: trust in God and let him guide you. In the end you will discern your path and be free from this pain. You are an amazing young man so please allow yourself to be open to forgiveness to find the right woman. Joshua 1:9 “…Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go”.

Sincerely,

Joshua

PQD: Hold the door!

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Happiness is something that comes into our lives through doors we don’t even remember leaving open.  

Rose Lane

Have you ever smiled at a stranger, given a tip to your local smoothie shop cashier, or even helped someone struggling to carry heavy boxes? It is the idea we leave a friendly door open to the world with positive thoughts behind positive action. In my experience leading a life without expectation of people are situations is the best way to live.

Think about it: how many times have you been disappointed by people because you expected ‘a little more’?

By putting forth a positive face to the world we are leaving that door open for the world’s positivity to enter through our door. It is as simple as the person who you helped returning the favor, “good karma” revisiting you with a $20 bill on the ground, or any example you can think of.

As the good book says “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth that which is evil: for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (KJV). So in order to fully leave our hearts door wide open we must rework our thoughts to exude positivity, and we just might be astounded on the good that enters through into our hearts.

So today:

leave your heart open to let the good pour out of you into this world, and let the love of true friends and family to enter in.

this picture owned by "wild goddess life"
this picture owned by “wild goddess life”