Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Showing Your Heart

This past weekend our homeschool ballet program performed The Velveteen Rabbit. That, combined with rehearsals at the theatre last week, have had me dancing instead of writing. I tried to soak in the whirlwind week, snapping pictures along the way. . . 


Even before the show, excitement sent chills through me as I stood in the wings. . . 

I found it curious to see myself on a poster board in the lobby. . .  

The theater constantly buzzed with activity. . . 

But now I would like for you to imagine you are sitting in this chair and the show is about to begin (thank you to the very talented photographers who shared pictures from the performance). . . 


The lights come on and we find ourselves in Christmas. . . .
Youngest Sister in the middle row on the far right

There are presents and a party. . . .

The Girl is delighted with the gift of a Velveteen Rabbit. . . .

However, that night, the Model Boat, Wind-up Mouse, Jack in the Box, Ringlet Doll, and Jointed Lion aren't so happy about the Rabbit. . .

They make fun of her. . .

But the Skin Horse comes. . .

She offers encouragement, strength, and wisdom. . .

The next morning the Girl and the Rabbit play. . .

Spinning Tops come in exactly as they should. . . spinning!. . .
Middle Sister in the center

Tin Soldiers are among other toys that also make an appearance. . .
Youngest Sister stands at attention next to the Girl

Then it is bedtime, but not before more fun . . .

The Girl and the Rabbit dream awhile, then finally become sleepy. . .

Unfortunately Nightmares prance into the room, spin the bed, and attempt to take the Girl's toys. . .
They don't succeed :) Youngest sister is here in the red headpiece

Act 2 opens with the Girl and Rabbit going on a Picnic. . . 

They imagine walking in the air and encounter snowflakes. . .

They also meet lovely Lady Bugs. . .
Middle Sister with her beautiful dress and parasol 

They even enjoy a tea party! . . .
Middle Sister in the standing in the middle row on the far right 

Then, while the Girl is away, two real rabbits come and the Velveteen Rabbit wishes she could jump like them. . .

The Girl soon comes back and takes the Rabbit inside to read about the Three Blind Mice. . .

All the toys then join them to hear about the Three Little Pigs. . .

The toys accept the Rabbit and all have fun together. . .

Then Scarlett Fever Germs attack the Girl. . .
Youngest Sister very intense on the left

Doctors and Nurses come to try and heal her. . .

The Rabbit and all the toys pray for her healing. . .

Then the Girl wakes up and is better, but the doctor demands her Rabbit and sheets be thrown out to rid the bed of germs. . .

The Rabbit is devastated. . . 

She longs to be with the Girl. . .

Then the Skin Horse comes. . .

She leads the Rabbit to becoming real. . .

They dance African style with all the other Real Rabbits. . .

Later, as the Rabbit is outside playing, she spots the Girl. . .

The Girl recognizes her. . .

And they just touch fingertips as the lights fade.

It has been such an honor and joy to be in this performance. There is amazing depth and beauty in this story, and I have loved the experience. The opportunity to put your heart into sharing how love transforms is incredible.


But that's not to say the end of this show is easy. It actually seems absurd that months of practice can be exchanged for three shows. Thankfully the performing, though our goal, is not everything. The whole process is wonderful. We cry at the end. Funny how reaching our goal is sad. I suppose, though, that the goal of any really good story has a side of sadness. New things loom on the horizon, but it looks like a sunset at first glance.

Now I'm beginning to see the sunrise. Tomorrow my family and I leave for a long trip to the northwest for my dad's sabbatical from work. My hope is to post a picture each day- some sort of window onto what we see.

Thank you taking a seat with me. Blessings~ Megan

Friday, July 20, 2012

Becoming Real


      ""What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day. . . "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?" 
           "Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
           "Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit. 
           "Sometimes, " said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."
           "Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?" 
           "It doesn't happen all at once, " said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand." "

-From The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

One week from today is opening night for our ballet performance of The Velveteen Rabbit. I have loved the process of getting to play the Rabbit. Dancing is simply another outlet that satisfies a hunger for story. I am amazed by the path followed and emotions experienced in this story about toys becoming real. Here's the tale as it is told in our ballet version from my Rabbit point of view. . . .  

I am given to the Girl on Christmas morning and my eyes are opened to a new world.
I am bullied by most of the nursery toys, then encouraged by the Skin Horse.
I enjoy fun and mischief while playing with the Girl.
I am delighted by our bedtime fun, then scared and annoyed by her nightmares.
I am happy and imaginative as we go on a picnic.
I grow wistful when I see real rabbits, ashamed of having no hind legs, and long to jump with them.
I am loved by the Girl and finally accepted by the toys.
I worry about the Girl when she has scarlet fever and am desperate for her recovery.
I am relieved when she is better, then devastated when I am proclaimed dirty and taken away.
I am crushed and reflective while on the trash heap.
I am comforted by the Skin Horse and turned Real.
I am joyful and excited to meet all the other real rabbits.
I am shocked to see the Girl again, a little older now, and overjoyed when she recognizes me. 


The story now feels like my alternate life. After all, it is about a simple being who longs to be accepted and loved for the essence of who he (or she) is. To be totally real. Though it sounds strange put so simply, I wonder if that isn't the goal nestled deep in my own heart. In all hearts. 


Also, just as in life, it takes work to actually become. As the Skin Horse said, it takes a long time. It takes others that can see who you really are. And, as the Skin Horse said, it sometimes hurts. It definitely does in the story. The moment when the Rabbit is dragged from the Girl is heartbreaking. Then when I lie on the trash heap, I feel like shedding a torrent of tears. But this pain is only heavy because of all the joy that's come before it. If love had never been known, its loss would not be grieved. As the Skin Horse enters the scene, much more ethereal now, I shed the tears. Off comes layers of sadness and worry and despair. I am totally stripped of complications. Only then do I, the Rabbit, become Real.

This leaves me with hope. Hope that spectacular love exists. Hope that joy is worth the pain. Hope that tears have the power to heal. Hope that we can all, one day, become real. 


Blessed stories to you~ Megan

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Taking Flight


Meet the birdies who have made their home in the Japanese Maple just a few steps from our front door. My mom heard them chirping last Thursday, and called my sisters and I to see. These little guys looked like three rock stars. . .



I ran inside, grabbed my camera, then waited quietly by the tree. Before long, a grown up bird with a beak full of worms began hopping toward the tree. She (for I assumed this was Momma Bird) would hop about a foot, stand perfectly still, then glance sharply around her. This ceremony was repeated until she finally flew to her nest. The little birds went wild chirping. I turned my camera on and snapped a picture. . .  


Momma Bird wasn't too happy. She stood to attention, then hopped onto a branch. She cocked her head to one side, then the other. I've never before thought about birds being emotive, but this bird's eyes seemed to glare my direction. Small as she was, my heart pounded. For about two minutes, I stood totally still. Finally, Momma Bird decided her babies were safe, and she flew away. I went inside, feeling very grateful to have escaped her reprimand. 

Silly as the encounter was, it has me thankful for things taking flight. Fears and birds leaving, joys beginning to soar. . . 


914. watching baby birds being fed by their momma

915. making a list of books I want to read

916. learning about a coffee shop around the corner from the dance studio

917. iced tea and laughter 

918. slip up while changing my costume opening the door to a better plan 

919. schedule allowing for lots of sleep 

920. filling up another journal~ stopping to reflect on the past few months

921. delightful visits with cousins in town

922. visiting the Coterie and LegoLand with them

923. wonderfully real-tasting cheese made out of tofu

924. there being a little over a week until the ballet takes flight



Blessings~ Megan

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Turning Three

Today you, my dear blog, turn three. 

I can hardly believe the way time travels.
It seems as though I was just introducing myself
Oh, we've come a long way!  
This form of self expression has grown me. 
I love being able to contemplate the world. 
Thank you to anyone who reads this.
Your listening is truly a gift. 
And, blog, welcome to another year. 
Things haven't quite tied up from the last. 
Somehow I don't imagine they'll tie up for a good deal longer. 
Time traveling and all. 
 But don't get discouraged. 
Happily ever after is a process. 


Continuing my gratitude journal. . . 

891. watching a fireworks display with friends

892. loud and crazy being meaningful

893. sparkler twirling

894. swinging on the patio with my sisters 4th of July night

895. freedom


896. watching Brave (I found it amusing, with amazing animation, but having a somewhat forced plot)

897. strawberry balsamic and Persian lime olive oil drizzled on salad

898. spotting a friend while running errands

899. fun during our second dress rehearsal

900. quiet afterwards

901. Rose of Sharon beginning to bloom


902. watching a friend's baseball game

903. dust billowing from the ground

904. enthusiastic yelling

905. afternoon with my mom

906. seeing Snow White and the Huntsman (It seems we go to movies in spurts. I found the elements of story in this one spectacular and very thought-provoking. It wasn't nearly as much fun as Brave, but I enjoyed it more)

907. straw-like grass (though I really do want to get rain)



908. checkers games with my sisters

909. no need to "go easy on them" (at all)

910. Wii tennis tournament in honor of Wimbledon

911. cute and comfortable t-shirts

912. happy processes

913. three years of blogging





Blessings~ Megan