Closing Chapters & New, Blank Pages…

IMG_1377-CHEZEM RD-3It was so lovely to see the sun today, to feel its soothing caress as I did yoga on the front lawn next to Luna (our giant sequoia tree.) I easily put off working on this blog post until after a lovely couple-mile walk down our country road.

While walking, I exchanged fond greetings with several neighbors who, like me, have been largely hibernating during the past few grey, rainy months. I counted 44 (!) wild turkeys grazing in a neighbor’s field. Curious horses across the way stretched their necks over the fences across the way to get a closer look as well. I exclaimed aloud to no one in particular how grateful I am to be able to walk and breathe fresh air and appreciate the astounding beauty of Mother Nature in oh so many forms all around me.

It feels like an era of my life is coming to a close, and a new one is being born. I am blessed to keep quite busy doing a variety of things in various arenas. Within this past year, a new avenue of expression – playwriting – has burst upon the scene in a big way.

I’ve had several short plays produced locally over the past few years, including End of the Rope (my short play about a woman, a rope, the fluid nature of reality and the enduring power of Love.) I played the role in its premiere production here in Eugene, Oregon in March, 2017.

ITara_IMG_2876-Rope2-cropt will now have had 4 international showings within the past year: after Oregon, it was done in Hollywood, then on to the Philippines (where it received five “Best of…” nominations, and won three awards – including “Best Playwright” and “Best Actress.” Now, in early March, it will be produced as part of the Short & Sweet Fesitival in Sydney, Australia.

To me, it’s a testament to the message the play delivers – that even through the darkest hours, Love prevails. Good to remember, these days…!

[BREAKING NEWS!  Wowie Zowie!  Literally as I’m composing this blog post, I’ve  received an email letting me know End of the Rope has been shortlisted (chosen as a finalist) in Canberra’s festival in April, too! This is FUN! ]

 

But, back to my narrative….

For the past nine months, I’ve been deeply involved as the commissioned playwright in a collaborative project called, Now, I Am Your Neighbor, which resulted in an hour-long play based on the stories of immigrants here in Lane County. I’m very happy to say we sold out all our performances, added encore productions, and still had to turn many folks away. What a testament to the timeliness of this topic, the courage of the immigrants who spoke so truthfully about their experiences, and to the hard work and heartfelt efforts of everyone involved, including the creative team, and the “totally awesome” cast., so dedicated to telling these stories in the most honest, engaging way possible. The photo below was taken backstage, just prior to our final performance on November 7, 2017.

(Contact CALC for info about the shorter, touring version, now available at no cost to local schools, churches, etc.)

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It was a wonderful, life-changing experience, working on that play. I learned so much, on so many levels…as a playwright, and as a human being. All the hours dedicated over many months were more than worth it. And, I was exhausted!!

TDOLPHIN trio-2017-IMG_0001_2hankfully, two days after “Neighbor” closed, Ken and I flew to Hawaii, where our family enjoyed an absolutely wonderful, renewing family gathering on the Big Island.

We swam with wild dolphins [totally awesome!!! And yes, my son, Aaron, took this shot underwater.] We rested. We were purposefully silly. We shared stories. We got to know each other as we are now. (What a gift that is, as a mom, to have that kind of time with my grown children and their partners.)

 Speaking of…. Aaron, and his sweetie, Hayley, made the trip even more memorable by getting engaged (on the beach at sunset , no less.)  We’re all over-joyed! I couldn’t ask for a more perfect daughter-in-law.

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(Note: What this photo to the left, taken at a restaurant a couple days later, doesn’t show is that it was actually quite windy and chilly that evening, and the poor Hawaiian guy trying to light the torches for us tourists was freezing his ____ off, while also trying not to catch his long, windblown hair on fire!)

 

Another Hawaiian high point was an epic after-dark scramble/hike over the very challenging terrain of a seemingly endless stretch of lunar-like lava fields. Long story, but I inadvertently got separated from the rest of the family, so I decided the best thing to do was to hike on in the darkness, trusting my instincts, and trusting that we’d reunite at the destination.

LavaSwirl&Foot-IMG_2435We did, eventually! But meanwhile, while I awaited their arrival, I was blessed to sit in total solitude and watch as molten lava emerged from the surface of the beautiful, shining black swirls of igneous rock over which I had hiked and on which I was now perched, just yards away from the molten flow. The glowing river entrancingly oozed its way into ever-changing forms, flowing quickly, then slowing, pausing…then continuing in a new rhythm.  To feel the fiery power, heat, and…aliveness… of Mother Earth in this way, as I sat blissfully hypnotized, alone in the chilly darkness, was an experience I will never forget.

That whole trip was a blessing, and provided some degree of replenishment. But I knew coming back and returning to the status quo was not what my soul needed.

My soul is calling me to step back, to remove myself from the outer activities and roles that seemingly define and addict me in many ways. To let go of some things, some ways of being….to listen more deeply. Lately, I’ve felt compelled to go through drawers and closets, to let go of stuff I no longer need. To finish incomplete projects, large and small. To clean up loose ends, on all levels. And then…to remove myself from all of the above for awhile.

So, with the intent of heeding this deep soul call, my husband, Ken, and I traded in our frequent flyer miles for one-way tickets to Australia. (We do plan to come back. We’re just not sure when!)

We’ll ease into our journey, and finish completing chapters, by seeing the production of End of the Rope (along with other finalists in this international competition) in Sydney. Then…..the plan is to head into the Outback. To really unplug and allow ourselves a period of inner “vision questing.”  TURTLE-CU!-2017Maui-IMG_3119From there…..we’ll see.  The Great Barrier Reef will undoubtedly be where we spend a great percentage of our time, immersing in its warm waters and exploring its undersea splendor.

So, although I’m excited to share news of new plays and bowls concerts, and to look back with gratitude at previous chapters, I am most excited to say I really have no idea what’s next.

I am very grateful that my work of previous decades has resulted in my extensive line of Relax Into Healing CDs  (and mp3s) now being out there with a life of their own, continuing to be of help to people all over the world. My more recent crystal singing bowls recordings are also finding their way to those who resonate with them. There may be another bowls recording brewing. I imagine I’ll return to the fulfilling private client work I do. And it definitely seems playwriting is continuing to call me deeply, as a way of expressing my truth, and opening others’ minds and hearts.

Throughout my various endeavors – CDs, private clients, yoga, EDGU, massage, sound healing/energy work, as well as acting, directing and now playwriting – there is indeed a common element that is the foundation of everything I do. It is this:

Love is the most powerful force in the Universe. 

We are here to learn what it means to truly love. 

No matter who we are or what we’re doing,

that’s the essence of it all. 

I am deeply grateful that at this stage of life, our health and resources allow Ken and me to embark on this kind of inner and outer adventure.  Our intention is to travel Lightly…in many ways.  I may blog on my website, or post on Facebook as Sprit moves me….or not. Following me on my professional FB page will most likely be the best way to stay up to date, if you care to.  One way or another, I will be in touch when the time is right!

Aaron&Mully sketch from FB In closing, I share this rendering of Aaron and Hayley’s dog, Mulligan – my first grandpuppy! – and of my beloved son. I could stare into either set of eyes for a very long time….

I encourage you, today, to choose someone you care about, and simply take a moment to gaze at them with this kind of love.

Namaste.

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