Celebrating Higher Numbers

As the numbers get higher, the words come more slowly.

I don’t know if that’s because I have to reach farther back into memory, or because the celebratory moments are less obvious.

Whatever the reason, I am determined to make it to 45, so here we go . . .

27. In high school I played flute and bassoon.

28. I sang in my synagogue choir when I was young. I took voice lessons as my first challenge to myself after I got my doctorate. I’d really like to join a woman’s a cappella group if I can ever get the courage.

29. When I went on a vacation trip to Bali/Hong Kong, I spoke in Japanese almost the entire time. I was travelling with a Japanese friend of mine, and she wanted to do the tour thing. Our tour guide in Bali didn’t speak much English, so Japanese it was (luckily on that part it was the two of us and the adorable guide). When we got to Hong Kong, and our tour grew to 30+ Japanese and myself, I spoke English at first until my friend let it slip that I could speak Japanese. That was when I knew I had a handle of the language . . . wish I remembered more than just a few phrases now.

30. Once upon a time I had a dream of being an actress. I never pursued that dream because I let fear and doubt get in my way. However, I do occasionally make appearances on the stage. My most memorable role in the early days was, perhaps, was an ancient Japanese woman in Teahouse of the August Moon, when I got to act as a goat. As an adult, I played the Nurse from Romeo and Juliet in a bizarre little summer Shakespeare show that took scenes from several plays. The nurse is lots of fun.Tea House of the August Moon

I just got an idea for the next one, which may take an entire post o fits own. Stay tuned . . .

 

All We Need to Know About Life

I don’t know where this originated but I stole . . . um borrowed this from my friend’s Facebook page because I found it full of inspiration and truth.

Here’s the thing, life is not worth living if we spend all our time worrying and stressing over things beyond our control.  Life should be something we embrace every day with passion and joy.

I am hereby making a promise to myself to live my life as joyously as possible. I’m going to trust the universe to provide what I need, and meanwhile I am going to continue to work towards achieving the dreams and goals that I have for my life.

What exactly are those dreams and goals? Well they seem to be every-changing, but that’s okay. I happened to read a quote today from Martha Steward (not one of my usual sources, I admit). She said,

“My new motto is: When you’re through changing, you’re through. “

Changing dreams and goals is part of living. Learning how to embrace those changes to live a fulfilled and happy life is perhaps the most important thing we can do as individuals.

Again, I ask myself, what are my dreams and goals? I can only answer for this moment in time, but here is my list in no particular order of importance:

  • Give Sarah a life full of opportunity, learning, and travel.
  • Travel myself to visit all the places I still dream of heading (including England, Ireland, Nepal, Australia, New Zealand, Greece, Alaska, revisiting Bali and Japan, and many places I haven’t even thought of yet).
  • Write several books that actually get read, some for young adults, some non-fiction, some for adults.
  • Direct some more professional productions for adults.
  • Direct some more professional productions for children.
  • Actually make a living as an independent, freelance writer/theater educator/theater artist
  • Develop arts programming that makes a difference in people’s lives.
  • Have a home that is my own. It doesn’t have to be huge, but something comfortable where we can live, create, and grow together as a family.
  • Write a script and create a puppet show with/for Nathan.
  • Find a way to merge my love of teaching/mentoring young women with all of the other passions of my life.
  • Meet some of my favorite blogging buddies live and in person. 😉
  • Become healthy in body, mind and soul.

The list is long but not impossible. It is also a list that can last years, or change with time. I think for me it is not about achieving goals in a specific time period, but enjoying the journey as I work toward those goals.

All we need to know about life, then, is that life is worth living as passionately and beautifully as possible.

The Search for True Beauty

beau·ty

–noun, plural -ties.

1. the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest).(dictionary.com)
We can find beauty in nature if we keep our eyes open and look. We can hear beauty in music or in nature if we allow ourselves to truly listen. We can sense beauty in the delicate aromas of flowers or the scintillating taste of spices. All of this beauty is available to us if we only open ourselves to the search.

Underwater beauty

 

But true beauty in a human being seems to be a rare commodity.
I’m not talking about the perfection of appearance that can be defined as beautiful depending on “the eye of the beholder.” That form of beauty changes at the whim of a photographer, a culture, a style, or a personality.
True beauty that emanates from the heart and soul is the rarest form of beauty to find. I don’t have it. Deep inside me there is a ball of ugly–a place that holds hate, anger, frustration, jealousy and any other negative emotions that add ugliness to this world. I would like nothing more than to lose that inner ugliness and become a truly beautiful soul.
I have only met a few people who carry that inner beauty with them in such a way that it emanates outwards gracing all the people they touch. Sometimes, or perhaps most of the time, these people don’t even recognize their own beauty. I met one of these people several years ago, and learned of her true beauty as she battled breast cancer while she lost her daughter to another, even more aggressive, form of cancer. The following is a poem I wrote about them and posted on my other (ignored) blog, Life Without Tenure:

MOTHER AND DAUGHTER FACING THE BEAST

(TO CATHIE AND SAM)

Mother strength

Daughter wisdom

Woman/girl

Motherwisdomdaughterstrength.

Facing malignancy

Life mounds attacked

Throat constricted.

Consuming cells, consuming all, but . . .

strength, wisdom

power, purpose

Pain-filled power.

Knowledge-power

Love-power.

Mother strength

Daughter wisdom

Mother/Daughter wisdom/strength.

They are one.

(lak 6/13/07)

Despite the fact that this beauty is so rare, it is possible to find people with true beauty.  I have met them in the strangest places: at a hotel in Bali many years ago, in a Hebrew School classroom as a child, and even through the words of a fellow blogger  over the past through months. I’ve never met Sara or Kathy, but, with every word Kathy writes I recognize two truly beautiful women. (NOTE: I have since had the honor of meeting these two wonderful women, and they are indeed truly beautiful.

Have you ever met someone who is truly beautiful?

This is my response the The Weekend Theme at Viewfromtheinside’s blog.

Connections

Japanese cherry trees (Sakura), a gift from Ja...

Image via Wikipedia

I remember a woman wilting in line, wondering when her prescription would be filled.  The man on the bus home, with words of honey, captured a piece of me and took it with him.  The Russian women, wild orchids in Bali, offered me words to adventure with.  The cherry blossoms of Japan shared laughter and tears.  A new driver, I watched in sadness and frustration as a boy’s skull broke like a pomegranate, hit by a car I could not catch.  Growing milkweed girls gave me gifts of disgusting bits of goo.  Mrs. Sekler, who shared her special story with me alone, revealed the numerical tattoo fading on her arm, like the remnants of a vicious wasp attack.  The clinging vine I stopped calling because I became a snob taught me humility.  A group of five roommates struggled to survive and create, living like ants in an anthill.  My Canadian friend, another seed on the wind, is my lifeline to the world.  And I recall the little dog, attached to me like a burr, who had an overnight adventure.

Did I give them anything in return?  Have I nurtured and fed?  Have I harmed and destroyed?  Are some hoping to be in my garden?  Do others simply want to be free?

Lines of energy, purple as the landing strips in geraniums guiding bees to nectar, connect all, past and present.  Thick lines are strongest.  Thin lines stretch into the distance, never breaking.  If I could see them from the universe, would the earth become a spider’s web stretching from people I’ve touched to people they’ve touched to people . . .?

Lisa A. Kramer, 8/27/2005

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