“And his meal has just unsuspectingly walked up to his front door. The Haddayr is larger and stronger, but no match for the more agile Bob. Even though Haddayrs are meat-eaters, more than twice Bobs’ size, and prey on Bobs, he is not going down without a fight. When he grabs on, there is almost no escape. She puts up a fearsome defense with her strong arms, but she is no match for this vicious creature. Turning the tables completely, he strikes. She is subdued and stunned from each one of his strikes. He strikes again and again until she is finally dead. Then, the Bob can feast on her flesh.”
I do not believe that God has a plan for me. I do not believe in fate. I do not believe that I am some kind of special creature the universe is trying to teach a lesson. I think if there is a god she cares about and nurtures my potential as much as she cares about and nurtures a gnat’s potential.
But I can choose to take lessons from the patterns around me.
I am currently in EMDR therapy for PTSD. I have been very frustrated after my concussion with the fact that I could not continue the EMDR until I recovered some. “The whole schedule is off,” I’ve scolded. “I was supposed to be fixed by June.”
So, now that I’m healed and can do some EMDR, we worked, instead of on a particular memory, on the idea that I don’t have to see delaying of therapy as a failure of some sort, or even as a setback. I don’t have to be so damn goal oriented, constantly frustrated that I am not all fixed. I can take some pleasure in getting to know myself better, in experiencing self-care, in investigating what makes me tick as much as I would take pleasure in revising an essay, short story, or novel.
I LOVE revising. There’s no reason why I can’t enjoy revising the story of my life and the story of who I am, just for the sake of revising.
Right after the session, I and my boys went to a seder at a friend’s house, and this passage from the haggadah struck me like a gong — I actually felt myself vibrate with it; felt my eyes fill with tears of recognition:
What does this mean, “Dayenu — it would have been enough”? Surely if God had brought us out of Egypt but not divided the Red Sea for us or sustained us in the desert, it would not have been enough. Dayenu means to celebrate each step toward freedom as if it were enough, then to start out on the next step. Dayenu means that if we reject each
step because it is not the whole liberation, we will never be able to achieve the whole liberation. Dayenu means to sing each verse as if it were the whole song — and then sing the next verse!
While I got my own personal message about my experience in therapy, my friend who read it also was in tears. For her, it was the struggle for gay civil rights.
I don’t think God was trying to send either of us a message; I just think some ideas are so universal that we can all find the messages we need to hear inside of them.
ME: AJ, I think you’re handling this disappointment really well — without yelling or freaking out or whining.
AJ: I am doing a HORRIBLE job! Listen to me! I’m whining right NOW!
The women holding the audition were lovely. Because my piece had to do with disability, they assigned me to specific place that was more accessible than the original audition space that was in a warehouse up two flights of stairs. I was so appreciative.
Then I got to the room.
People, I have what one might charitably call a Large Personality. I don’t wave my hands around. I Wave My Hands Around. I don’t speak up; I bellow. And when I an performing a piece, just turn the volume up to 11.
The room seemed an odd one for my performance; I left feeling as I so often do here in Minnesota: too loud, too brash, too TOO.
Hopefully they saw that a personality like mine translates well in a large venue such as the Riverview; we’ll see.
I haven’t auditioned for anything in years and years. Not having to sing makes it so much less nerve-wracking.
On my way to the library where they held the audition I remembered all of the previous auditions I’ve been on: school musicals, college plays, swing choirs, church choirs, dance performances. I remembered the silly numbers one place made us wear to seem more ‘professional,’ and how my own dance teacher looked at me coldly and said: “Thank you, number 47, we’ll let you know,” how sick to my stomach I felt the first time I sang by myself to audition for choir and how absolutely stunned I was to discover that the sound coming out of me was actually pretty good.
It’s a very good thing I never went into theater. But I am so glad I had the experiences of all of those auditions. There is something about them that knit into my bones and made me who I am, and I remember all of the other kids who were with me in that anxious place with enormous affection and gratitude.
Break a leg! You are beautiful.
Goodness it was fun to see my kids geek out at the Klingons who menaced the entrance and play MTG and stare open-mouthed at the 3D printer and giggle at the air cannon and sit bored through my panel, taking the talk of kissing in stride.
It was not fun to have food poisoning make me unavailable for the party portion of the evenings, but fuckif dorkdom isn’t more fun with family.