It’s All in the Perspective

“I can’t believe we have a summer home!” Sarah KramerLee

Nathan and I couldn’t help but laugh at Sarah’s perspective on our summer lives. While my idea of a summer home might be more like this:

A dream home by the lake in Okoboji, IA

with the ability to do this on a regular basis:

Heading back to the dock to hang out after a lovely boat ride.

to Sarah that doesn’t matter. In her mind, and her perspective, this simple little cabin is our “summer home.”

At the cabin at Okoboji Summer Theatre 2010.

To Nathan this place is

“like going back for a family reunion after not seeing them for a while.”

It is a place to focus purely on doing good theater and quality work without other things interfering. In some ways, then, to Nathan it is a home, but it is also a job and an experience that he values every year.

My perspective becomes a little more complicated. If this is a family reunion, then I am the awkward black sheep relative–the one who wants to make her way into the family circle and does not know how.  I recognize and value the wonderful creative atmosphere of this place, as well as the work ethic. I crave to be allowed to contribute to this work using the skills I bring with me, because I do have the talent to participate on an equal level.  But, for a number of complicated reasons, I don’t feel that I have a role or a position to play here, beyond being part of this extended family. So, from my perspective, I can’t quite call it a summer home of my own–rather it is closer to the summer home that I hold in my dreams but have yet to really achieve.

I know that I’ll never achieve the true dream summer home, which requires an inflow of money that could only happen if I win the lottery. But I wonder if, with a slight change of perspective, I can begin to see this place as simply OUR SUMMER HOME.

Only time will tell.

What kinds of things do you think change depending on the perspective?


Today’s Quote:

“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” Marcus Aurelius 

The Storyteller: Pictures in the Flames

Note: As many of you have pointed out or noticed, I seem to have a story project novel nebulous creation coming out of me lately–one that links the value of story with the lines connect and divide us, one that comes from someplace I have yet to understand. I don’t know what will come of it, but I have to go with the images and words that insist on pouring themselves onto the screen. So far, however, I haven’t found the body of the story, only the links between. The Storyteller. The camp fire. The dark woods. The Others. Sparks in the sky. These are the images that tie this project together, in whatever form it ultimately takes. So, giving into the whims of the creative forces guiding me, I’ve trotted myself over to my favorite coffee shop work space of this summer (pictured below) and share the meager offerings with you, my fellow travelers on this journey of words.

I find it helpful to write in a place filled with fun creativity. Prairie Chick in Okoboji, IA suits the bill, especially since I just discovered they have Chai!

Pictures in the Flames

Heart Beat! Drum Beat! Heart Beat! Drum Beat!

The people gather round the camp fire, swaying to the beat of the drums. As a unit, their hearts fall into rhythm together.

Ba dum! Ba dum! Ba dum!

They begin to hum a wordless chord that blends to create a harmony that bounces off the earth and flies into the universe.

Mmmmm! Aaaaa! AAaaaaaaaaaahhh!

Ba dum! Ba dum! Ba dum!

The Storyteller joins her voice to the song. At first she blends with the chord,  but then her hum turns into words.

Let me share the stories of human kind
Listen children, with heart and mind.
Learn the lessons that I must share
and from my stories you shall learn to care.

Her song continues with many versus, but the listeners fall into silence. A silence so deep one can hear the beating of their hearts.

Ba dum! Ba dum! Ba dum!

As her voice raises in glory, sparks fly from the fire, swirling and twirling into the dark sky. At first the sparks seem to join the stars, but then the stars and sparks come together in a complex dance of creation. Pictures join and depart for fleeting moments.

Each person around the camp fire sees something different. A hushed murmur builds as they point these visions out to one another.

” Look, a mother holding her child,” says the woman who had lost many children and yet holds a gleaming hope inside her womb.

“Three men pointing rifles at another man,” says the gruff man, carrying in hidden in his pocket a medal that represents his deep  sorrow. A son killed in war.

“A clown juggling balls,” giggles a group of children, who then began to toss small rocks in the air.

“Hush,” the women near them say, “Listen to the Storyteller.” The children obey.

The stars and sparks continue to dance, until they merge together to form the giant image of a woman hiding in the shadow of the trees, where no one ever ventures.

Silence descends again on the clearing, until a young girl speaks in a voice both sweet and confused, “That’s an Other woman, and I think she’s smiling. I didn’t know Others could smile.”

The Storyteller glides over to the young girl and places her hand on her head. “Of course they can smile. They can cry. They can scream. They can do anything you can do,” she says “and I shall tell you why. . . “


Today’s Quote

The process of creating is related to the process of dreaming although when you are writing you’re doing it and when you’re dreaming, it’s doing you. Robert Stone

Ending, Pauses, and New Beginnings

June 30, 2011.

The last day of a jam-packed month that flew by at the speed of light while crawling at a turtle’s pace.

How did it manage to do that? I have no idea, one of those tricks of time where you live simultaneously in two dimensions–or something like that.

Perhaps if I sum up the month of Lisa you will understand more:

  • At the end of May I drove Nathan up to Okoboji, IA where he is working for a Summer Theatre Company. Sarah did not come, as she wanted to stay for the last few days of school. So, after an 8 hour drive up I stayed for a day and then drove 8 hours back to begin my stint of single parenting.
  • The last week of May also included a crazy session of planning for two on-line classes, neither of which I had taught before. Both started on June 1st.
  • The end of May also brought the beginning of Jungle Book rehearsals, the results of which I’ve written about in several posts, most recently this one.
  • With the advent of Jungle Book rehearsals came the great Kaa making project.
  • During the first weeks of June, Sarah still had piano lessons, and I had a few makeup lessons as well.
  • Sarah also took a book making workshop once a week.
  • We began helping to clear out (a little) the house we will be moving into at the end of the summer. I promised Sarah she could paint her new room, and that project started this past week.
  • Twice a week I met with the CLASS LTD group in a project that became exciting, challenging, frustrating, exhausting, and rewarding all rolled into one. That project ended today, in a Art/Drama extravaganza in the park. I don’t have any pictures (yet) of our “performance” but here are some shots of the fun had by this wonderful group of people.

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  • After the festivities, I had a final lunch with my friend Heather from Little Red Henry who will be deserting me moving from Kansas some time this summer.
  • In the midst of all this, I made the decision to self-publish and began laying out the manuscript. I’m waiting on some cover art, and then I’m good to go. (This is what I consider my new beginning)
  • We also, finally, closed on the house and I dealt with all the weird financial stuff and paperwork involved.
  • Finally, Sarah and I loaded up the car for our 14 hour journey to Durango, CO to visit friends and have a mini-vacation. We are currently paused in Best Western in Garden City, KS because I could not drive anymore, and I didn’t have the energy to find a less expensive option. At least it has a pool, which was much needed after a morning in the sun of a 100+ degree day.

Does that list clarify the time confusion? Have you ever had one of those months?

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