Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Little Plastic Castles

They say goldfish have no memory
I guess their lives are much like mine And the little plastic castle is a surprise every time
-Ani DiFranco

It is amazing to me what I remember and what I forget. But I never forget a kindness. And there is one tiny moment from my past that I've held onto for over 20 years. In high school I was in the musical Pippin. It was a happy moment because I was one of the youngest cast members and that year was a tour year - we spent Spring Break in England performing at various schools. It was a boon to get in. I worked hard. Learned the choreography. Sang my heart out. Mastered the make-up and the costume changes. And even managed to secure a line! But there was one scene that stressed me out. Every performance. The seduction of Pippin. I was never a skinny girl. Always a heavy girl. And while I am smart and funny and talented, I went to school with skinny girls - very skinny girls. So the seduction scene stressed me out. I had to lie on a box and undulate. And I did this after one of the skinnier of the skinny girls had grapes plucked from her bathing suit. I was in a corset and genie pants. More coverage that way. This scene always made me sweat but no more so than one performance at an all boy's school in England. I was off stage waiting for the grape girl to get plucked and I heard the raucous, construction site-like calls of the boys in the audience. I was next. And I remember the box getting pushed onto the stage and there I was undulating and the crowd went silent. Chirp Chirp Chirp. Now I have left out the fact that the grape girl was not just shapely she was blond - but truly I don't think that had anything to do with it. I think it was that she wasn't fat. I was mortified and I am quite sure that tears came to my eyes. And then it happened. Pippin. He pulled me off the box and grabbed me, as was his staging. And then he did something special. He pulled me very close to him and put his hand in the small of my back and hugged me. He made me look at him and he sang right to me. And I forgot that I wasn't the grape girl. I felt wonderful being me. And I remembered that I could sing and dance and be funny. In that moment he held me and saw me and did something he didn't need to do - he made me feel better. It was his birthday the other day - Pippin, and I felt the need to go back and listen to the soundtrack and remember his kindness. And as I wrote happy birthday on his face book page, I also wrote silently - thank you, for the day that you saw my soul.

We are blessed, may we recognize the blessing.

in peace

Photo by Lachlan

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