Saturday, March 29, 2014

October 2012 - Almost 18 months ago

So tired.
So sad.
Indescribable grief.  
I’m not there.  I’m here.
About to walk into a room full of people and explain why I’m exhausted.
Why I’m not smiling.
Why I can barely talk.

I’m prepared.
The music stops. They all turn.
Twenty-two pairs of eyes land on me, standing at the door, clutching my notebook.  
I wonder if I look as bad as I feel.  I’m not hiding it well.  I can’t leave it at the door. 
God knows I've tried.

I give my notes.

Then, I pause.  I breathe. I can do this.
Heart hammering, I start.
I try to explain that he is dying. 

In the hospital.
As I stand here.
At work.  

I think I get three words out before my throat constricts and I have no words.

Defeated, my eyes close and someone steps up and finishes telling them why I’m falling apart.
I open my eyes, take a deep breath and look around.
My eyes catch on someone at the back of the room, standing perfectly still. 
not moving.
concerned. sad. silent.

Another sad face in a sea of sad faces.

There.  It’s done.
I turn and leave the room.
Quickly, I pace up the stairs, turning the corner before anyone can catch me to offer support and make it worse.

Later that night. 
Someone brought me nuggets and fries.
Food I can eat without tasting. 
At break I take the small white paper sack to the back hall.

Slowly, purposefully, I set my phone on the steps.
Slowly, purposefully, I put my pencil on top of it, and my notepad next to it.
Slowly, purposefully, I set myself next to my pile of possessions.

I am freezing.
So. very. cold.
Will I ever be warm again?

The fries are hot and salty. They should taste good, but they turn to a gelatinous mess in my mouth. 

Chew. Swallow.
Chew. Swallow.

Don’t think. Just eat. Thinking will make it worse.

It is so quiet. So still. 
I hear laughter behind the closed doors.
I hear conversations around the corner.
I hear footsteps.

I don’t move.  I close my eyes.
The soft footsteps pause.
The swish of slacks.

I am no longer alone.

I look over.  He is sitting next to me. 
on the step, his chin on his knees.
Watching me.
silently, watching.

The concern radiates off of him.
Engulfing me in an unexpected wash of warm compassion. 
There is no noise.  Conversations have stopped.
We sit. 

I push my nuggets toward him.  “I’m not going to eat them.  You should.”
Without a word he takes one. We sit in silence.

Time stretches on indefinitely.  Side by side, we sit.
With no words.  And no tears.

My mind has been in a fog for days.
I look at him, I see him.
His eyes downcast, his hair slicked back.
In a suit.

“Don’t let Wardrobe see you eating in costume,” I say, with a small smile.

He starts at the sound of my voice and turns toward me.
His eyes speak volumes of words I don't comprehend.

Slowly standing, I brush off my jeans.
My whole body hurts with a deep, bone-breaking ache I cannot describe.  

Now I’m standing below him, at the base of the stairs.
He’s still sitting on the top step, silently looking up at me, with those eyes.

I turn and walk away. Quietly I whisper, “Thank you.”
Back to work.

In the days that follow my eyes look for him.
He is safe, quiet.
A good place to rest my sadness. 

How he knows, how he gives support I didn't know I needed -  I'll never know.
He sees me, lost in grief he can’t touch.

Quietly I whisper, “Thank you.”

He doesn't hear me.  
He doesn't hear me because I whisper it at night when I am huddled in my bed. 
Curled in a ball, eyes squeezed shut seeking for that calm place we sat in on the stairs. 
Desperately struggling to recreate that peace inside me.

Finding it, I pull myself into it, hiding away from the world.
I sleep.  I sleep the sleep of the exhausted.

I wake, rested for the first time in days.

Thank you.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Twenty Truths

I finished stage managing my first opera almost two weeks ago. I learned so much. Not surprisingly, not much of it was directly related to opera. I struggled with how to share it all. After hours of typing and deleting I figured it out.  I can’t write about it. Rather, I can’t write in-depth about it.  Too much of the story isn't solely mine, too much of the story isn't over….there’s just too much.

So, I narrowed it down to twenty truths that stand out.
  1. First impressions matter. Boots make a good first impression.
  2. It is possible to learn to read music in twenty-one days.
  3. Coffee.   I’m totally adding a coffee pot to my SM kit. For me.  Not the cast.  me.
  4. Don’t trust what anyone says to you. Get it in writing. Save every text and email.
  5. Italian isn't too terribly different from Spanish and French.
  6. Men can, in fact, be grouped into categories based on their vocal range.  Me?  I seem to prefer baritones.
  7. Saturday morning rehearsals are stupid. 
  8. Staying out late before the aforementioned Saturday morning - just as stupid. But completely worth it.
  9. Everyone has a line.  Know where yours is and be prepared to defend it.
  10. No feedback is just that, no feedback.  No feedback isn't an indicator that you’re doing a great job or a piss-poor job.  It’s just silence.
  11. New is not always scary.
  12. Treat them like lemmings, and they will act like lemmings.
  13. Needing a protector? Blows.  Having someone want to be the protector? Awesome.
  14. People are nosy and gossipy.
  15. It’s okay to call a woman a girl but call a man a boy and he’s not a happy man.
  16. What “they” think? Not important.  The truth? Important.  Happiness?  Important.
  17. The same words spoken from two different people – two completely different feelings.
  18. Crude is not impressive.  Ever.
  19. Trust is hard. Trust is scary. Trust is necessary.
  20. There is still only one who can make me blush like that. and he knows it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Unconventional Hero Assignment

My eldest is in 6th grade.
Her assignment was to write a paper on an unconventional hero. She mentioned it to me in passing, and I didn't think anything else of it.

Below is her paper. Unedited, as she submitted it.

I love her.

My mom is my unconventional hero because she does things I can’t even do. My mom, Kristin, is a stage-manager. My mom is a stage manager for the opera, goes to school, and is my mom, all at the same time!!! She is my unconventional hero because doing three things at once, I can’t even do that, blows my mind. This essay is about my unconventional hero of a mom.
My mom shines. Here is why I think that. One of her quotes is, “Always be yourself unless you can be a unicorn. Then always be a Unicorn.” One thing I see from that quote is always be yourself unless you can shine. My mom has reddish-blonde hair, green eyes, a tattoo of a rose on her wrist, sparkly red glasses, and she is 5’ 4”. My mom is amazing.She still works for the opera, still is my mom, still does school, and now runs a farm. These are more facts about my mom.  Because she believes in herself, she is an unconventional hero.
My mom is a doer. That means she does things that are kind of hard. She once said, “They can take your sparkle, but they can’t take your glitter.” That means they can take all of your stuff, but they can’t take who you are. My mom works for the Shedd, the Opera (the hardest company to stage manage), goes to school ONLINE, and is my mom. That means she does all she can to do a good job at everything she does. A moral I can learn from my mom is; if you follow your dreams, you can do any thing. She had dreamed of becoming a stage manager since she was little, and she did it. Because she does things other people call hard, she is an unconventional hero.

I want you to know about my mom’s past. When she was little, she always wanted to be an assistant stage manager. Now she is a full stage manager, and she has her own assistant. This shows she followed her dreams from the very beginning. When I told her she was my unconventional hero she said, “I never thought my kid would ever look up to me as their hero.” This shows when she was little she didn’t want fame as well as now. Because my mom has never wanted fame and she followed her dream, she is an unconventional hero.
Now we come to the end. Here’s some reasons why, again, my mom is a hero. She stage manages for the hardest thing to stage manage. That means she does the hard and ‘impossible’. She also doesn’t want fame. That’s practically the meaning of an unconventional hero. My mom is amazing, and I hope yours are as well. Because she follows her dreams by doing the ‘impossible,’ she is an unconventional hero.
In the end my mom is my hero. She does what she wants, she’s a doer, and she works hard. All this time she’s been my mom. This is why she is my hero.
By;  Hannah

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Fly on My Wall - today is not tomorrow

today, I don’t need you
today, I don’t crave you
today, I don’t want to be your sun and stars

today is not that day.
but tomorrow...

…tomorrow is not today.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Fly on My Wall - playing with pronouns.

he holds all my secrets, my hidden dark spots, the blinding brightness in my soul.
he holds it all.  he sees it.  he knows.

more importantly,
he cares.


hold all my secrets, my hidden dark spots, the blinding brightness in my soul. 
hold it all.  see it.  know.

more importantly, 


Amazing, the power of a pronoun.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Fly on My Wall - a quiet word in a crowded room

Been super busy with my newest adventure - stage managing an opera.
Crazy busy.
Not a whole lot of reflecting and writing happening.

Lots happening.
when the dust settles, lots to write about.

Just, not now.

But, sharable thoughts still bubble up.  They're not full essays, but more like a snapshot of a specific moment in time.

Short little bits.

As if you were a fly on the wall of my mind.....not sure I like that image, but you get the point.

A quiet word in a crowded room.

What are you doing?

Writing a post for my blog.

What do you write about?

Me. My life.  Dealing with random crap.

How often do you post?

                        I aim for once a week.  Usually ends up being about three or four times a month.


Am I in any of it?

Uh….Well, yes…actually....…This one.  You’re in this one.

 ….This….this is good.

No, seriously....The way you've broken it up…it’s…it’s poetry...

                        It’s just how I think, put in print.

Well.  I like it.  It’s you.

Seriously.  Best compliment ever.