and glow little fire, and burn fast in the shadows of my heart.

i feel sad. profoundly sad in a way i didn’t expect to. i feel touched in a way i didn’t expect to. i pummeled my heart onto the stage in a way i didn’t expect to and was unbelievably grateful to the way my castmates pounded their souls into the floorboards. the way they all gave it their all. left it all out there. sang their hearts out and pounded the ground with rage and sorrow and beauty. it was a magic coming-together of a thousand moving pieces. and it came together. and it took everything i had from me. a great chunk out of my heart and gave me back sevenfold in spirit and fire and spark. it opened my ribcage and let a tidal wave of light pool out of my chest in blues and violets and reds. it filled the shadows, it stung the lights. it is everything theatre should be – vital and real and harrowing and thick and inspiring and poetry and pounding and violins and cellos and blood and sweat and tears and honesty and touch and tenderness and meaning. meaningful words, meaningful chords, meaningful darkness. fire and grace. i am thankful. i am thankful for purple summer, for commitment, for creation, for being inspired. i am thankful for the rituals. for bogad’s words, for bogad’s direction. i am thankful for the starlight sparks of stage lights bouncing through your body, hiding in my skeleton, shadowing up my spine, curling my soul out of my mouth. i am grateful for the music, sliding around my skin, cupping my hands in movement. i am grateful for the joy, for the cast, for their passion, their power, their endless talent. i am grateful to be in something serious, with people taking it seriously, that is seriously effecting people. that rises audience members out of their seats. i am grateful for every single time my castmates hit it hard, grit their teeth and poured out venom. for the gaping, open wounds they laid bare. for the ribcages they spread wide to let everyone see in. i am grateful for the vulnerability, the trust, the strength, the sadness, the joy, the laughter, the creation. i am grateful, and i will let this blue wind blow through me, and try to grasp the gratitude as it whistles through the lonely wind; the long blue shadows falling.

i am grateful that this show exists. for the profundity and poetry of this show. and that that it was accessible enough, meaningful enough and beautiful enough that it caught fire. that people at large could sink their teeth into something deep. that something profound and deep could be beautiful enough and good enough and touching enough that it gained mass appeal. that story matters to me. the little poetic engine of a meaningful piece-of-art of a show that hit it big and captured a generation’s hearts. that something that was dark and profound and real and poetic could speak to so many people, could bridge the gap between popularity and real magnificent art – that has always been an incredibly inspiring story. one that grabbed me by the throat and dragged me through high school. on fire for something meaningful that was so fucking good that it reinvigorated an appetite for real art. that spring awakening ever became popular, that it won the tony and changed a generation – that is one of the most satisfying stories of my life. people have the capacity to engage with meaningful, poetic, artistic craft. people have the heart for it, and people reach out when you reach towards them. that is the deepest truth that set my heart ablaze when i was 16 watching the forest fire catch. people get it, people get it. if you give them profundity and beauty, they will consume it. they have the appetite. you just have to be brave, and punch your chest to let the demons out, curl them into song, and sing them straight out of your soul. sing it out. sing the song of purple summer. and people will hear it. and people will get it. and if you reach out, people will reach back.

and we can all be better than this. richer, deeper, thicker, more connected, more engaged. and spring awakening reminds me of that. people get it. at their core – people all get it. people are so much more full than we let them be. so be brave. make art that strums that chord. that splays out the soul. that sings to the core. that fights for the fire, the light, the shadows and all the starlight in between. do that. it’s the only good fight there is.

and all shall know the wonder.

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the time

words come hurtling from the atmosphere all around me, buzzing at my head like little summer wasps…but i have not had the time. i have not had a moment. i have not had the time to sit and set the past few days process through me.  i have not had time to write about jamie’s birthday – the way friendship whistled through the trees in the backyard, giggling and slipping in a puddle of hazy water droplets. i have not had time to write about spring awakening – the dreamlit way the violet and auburn lights pummel into my flesh, pour through me like searchlights. the way the violin and cello curdle my heart into something golden/winged/heated. i have not had time to write about adventures in Delaware, the way a barrage of Andrew Wyeth’s plastered themselves onto my skin, tempura painted into my eyeballs, my cerebrum, the way those paintings made me remember how my soul feels when it is rattling about inside my ribcage. the way Spring Awakening made me remember how my soul feels when it is a pool of purple light expanding in my chest. i have not had time to write about Jamie’s graceful growth – speaking with veracity and a personality that is beginning to braid out of fingers. i have not had time to write about how grateful i am for this new show – new words, new rhythms. i have not had time to write about how it felt to hold my book of poems in my hands. i am grateful for my life, for my words. i am grateful to be busy, i am grateful to wallow in the light. i am grateful for the summer dive, the slinking push into the pool, the sunburned window into friendship, the curled pages of possibility, the hungry piece of the world still aching inside of me. i am grateful that i get to see my grandfather in a few weeks, that we all are strong and fragile at the same time. i am grateful to be with my boy, the strongest light in my heart. i am grateful for Spring Awakening, and the open strummed guitar chord that breaks my heart in two and lets everything inside fly out into the shadows and light. i am grateful for the reverberations of sound through a theatre – the echoes of meaningful words spoken beautifully and with grace. i am grateful for ritual, for the ghost light, for the inspiration of bogad, people that care about beautiful things, and the ability to be a part of making something beautiful. i am grateful for beauty – true beauty – the kind of beauty that breaks your heart open and lets your chest feel the terror and majesty of the open air.

purple summer

follow my little trail, breadcrumbs and bones – turn style ribbons/hampers full of typewriter keys/ follow my little footsteps, i am dancing, i am a river.

the sky is purple haze and lilac-cream and the rain is a gentle visitor on my head. the summer is curling outwards and i am trying to remember to take it in. i am trying to remember to take the time to breathe it in, to feel the rain on the roof, the clatter of cloud shapes across the sky. i am trying to remember to feel the grass between my toes, on my back, between my fingertips. i am creating in a new way now – dancing and plotting and graphing and charting and moving bodies in space. teaching and directing and discovering aspects of my own strength i had not yet tapped in to. i am owning my shit and bumbling boldness in ways i did not even know i truly love. i am enjoying a new process, a firm hand, a vast crafting. seeing a show from the other side. making decisions and sticking to them. being clear, crafted, specific. on the beat. inside the sound. with the rhythm. swaying. i am enjoying creating and i am enjoying getting to revisit my beloved soul. this show feels sacred to me. like a carved part of my ancient heart. a ghost that came to sit and heal me at a time when i was broken. a melody that came to sing me out of grief when i was all sorrow and flutterskin. when i was life-shaken and curledfear this music came to sit on my shoulder. to be life-affirming. to sing out the sorrow and show me how beautiful it was. and i could hear it – reflecting back – the beauty in the depth of your sorrow – the beauty in the human experience, the human struggle, the human spirit. the sensory experience of life and living. of finding the light in the darkness. and the comfort of making peace with the darkness, and the glow of holding fast to the smallest of lights – that’s what this show gave me. and kept giving me. and kept giving me. and walked me out of pain so that i could sit with sorrow. and sit with beauty. and sit with joy. and feel the shadows, the ghosts, the lights, the melody, all at once. sit with the autumn and winter of your soul, and languish in the spring and summer of your soul.

and you said the best way to describe me is that i inhabit my body completely. and i have since i was a teenager. and that that was special. and that was a beautiful thing to say, i think.

so let’s sing it – the song of purple summer.

and it is not binary; it is complex. and it is not one season we all endure – it is all of them. and they are all this life. and it is not parts and parts and parts. it is complex. it is not binary, it is complex.