Friday, March 19, 2010

Grateful to Be a Vehicle

Life has been keeping me extremely busy and away from this blog. The ideas for writing topics have been piling up faster than I can keep up with them! I'm learning so many things that I can't wait to blog about, just haven't had the chance. . .

At any rate, last night I did a performance of "The Monkey and the Crocodile." There was a young boy in the audience, I'd estimate him to be about 11. I got him to play the crocodile in the show. At first, he seemed reluctant to come up, but the more the story went along, the more engaged he became. When it was over, he said to me, "That was great. It made me remember what it was like to be a child." I was delighted with his response to the show and with his honesty in sharing it. It was so endearing.

It may sound kind of funny -- those words coming from an 11 year old. But kids grow up so fast these days. . . TV, internet, and so many other things replace the joy of using your imagination. When he said those words, I thought about my own childhood. I was always making up scenes and acting them out to pass the time -- I was an only child and moved often, so I had a lot of time to pass! :) Then the young boy said, "You're coming back, right? When are you coming back?" Of course, it's not in my control whether I come back or not -- but I told him about the other nearby libraries I'd be going to and he asked the librarian for a listing with dates and locations. It may sound funny, but he looked as if he were glowing! There was a change in him, something different from the beginning of the performance to the end of it. He just seemed to light up as if he'd discovered something he'd forgotten about himself, or perhaps that he never knew, and it was magnificent.

The day before I made a break-through with another student -- a kind-spirited young girl with special needs. She was part of a four week afterschool program I was doing. For three consecutive Wednesdays I'd worked with her and she'd never volunteered to take part in any of the shows. But on Wednesday, during week four, before the show had a chance to begin, she took me by the hand and dragged me across the room to show me something that she had found. With that gesture, I knew she was showing trust in me. Later during the show, she volunteered to come up and shined in each way that she participated. I was so proud of her. I had witnessed so much growth in her from week 1 to week 4, and it was amazing!

These are the significant moments for me. These are the moments that keep me doing what I do. These moments are worth more to me than any paycheck. These are the moments that remind me that there is something going on each time I perform that is much bigger than me telling a story; and I'm just grateful that my work can be a vehicle for that, a vehicle that opens up the immense possibilities inherent in every child.

Certainly I don't recognize or get those moments every time I perform, but I'm always thankful when I do. And I hope that on my bad days, or the days where it seems like no one gets what I do or why I do it, I can remember them.

No comments:

Post a Comment