Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Ready to Stand

These hands have held babies in three different countries, they have been thrust into the snow and the mud, these hands have guided pens and pencils and gave food to the hungry, they have been scraped and cracked but still continue on.

These eyes have seen rain, sun, fog, snow and sleet, they have seen huge cities and tiny villages, these eyes have seen people and seen into them, they have seen a lust for life and a struggle to go on, they have seen pure joy and devastating sorrow.

With these hands and eyes I take a stand. I stand for what I believe is right, those that can't and equality for all. I stand for hope in the future, for loving your neighbor and change.

I stand with my brothers and sisters, all over the world, with those who speak truth, fight for freedom and pray for peace. I stand with those who stand beside me, in front of me, and behind, with men and women who recognize they have a purpose, use their voice, respect those around them and embrace who they are.

I stand on the shoulders of the courageous, the bold and the strong. The shoulders of leaders and followers, teachers and learners, speakers and listeners. I stand on the inspiration of those before me; the perseverance of MLK, the teachings of Gandhi, the compassion of Nelson Mandela, the loyalty of Peter, the sacrifice of Mother Teresa, the drive of Micheal Gallagher.

With these hands and these eyes, in this moment and the next, I will stand and say “ I seek not a long life, but a full one.”

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The show must go on

Push through. Tough it out. The show must go on. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I feel like these phrases, and phrases like them are tossed around often, I know I've used them in the past, but recently they found a new meaning with me.
I was so lucky and excited to be cast as the female lead in my school's winter production. Ma Joad in the Grapes of Wrath, but about a week before we opened I started to get sick. It felt worse than any cold or virus I had ever had. My throat was in so much pain whenever I would swallow anything, even my own saliva that at times I would drop to the floor, and barley ate. My throat was the real issue, but my voice came and went, and I occasionally had a cough or runny nose.  I missed school but couldn't miss rehearsal. The weekend before we opened I found myself crying on my bed, worried I wouldn't be able to perform.

Opening day came, and I was feeling better, but not healthy. I cheated as much as I could. I hid cough drops in my apron, bottles of hot water on both sides on the stage and a handkerchief to make any coughing on stage look in-character. Each day of the show I felt a little better, but didn't fully recover until after the show was over. I was worried being sick would ruin the experience for me, but I feel that it taught me something.

It didn't matter that I wasn't feeling up to snuff, I couldn't let my director, cast members or audience down. I had to rally whatever energy I had, and give the best possible show I could. And to be honest, we put on one heck of a show.

I'm almost glad that happened to me. I've always wondered what would happen if I got sick before a show, and questioned if I'd be tough enough to push through. This experience allowed me to realize I'm stronger than I realize, and that no matter what... The show must go on.