June 29, 2010 § 1 Comment
‘Live in the present, remember the past, and fear not the future, for it doesn’t exist and never shall. There is only now.’
– Christopher Paolini
If I can get through tomorrow in one piece, with everything intact, I’ll know a miracle took place.
I have three shoots scheduled, back to back in the evening. Besides having to script these ‘interviews’ in a foreign language, I’ll need to direct a very important guest and two testimonials. I couldn’t find a makeup artist in time and so, I’ll be doing makeup on my own. While coordinating with the camera person the shots I want, making the guests feel comfortable and directing the entire production. Brilliant. And hugely impossible.
Once that wraps, I’m off to the gig which I’m guessing, I might be late for. I wanted to back out but the tickets have already been purchased so I’ll just have to pop in for a bit and hopefully, catch my favourite songs.
Just before the gig ends, I’m off for the final appointment – the mother of them all. And it is this final appointment that I’m most anxious about. Because this is the second instalment of making my dreams come true and I’m just worried about how it’ll end. The conclusion is beyond my control.
I stand before my day… a ball of nerves.
This is it, people. This is really it. I’m actually going to do it. It’s impulsive, rash and yet, something I’ve deliberated over for years. But I’m walking ahead, ready… to take the leap of faith.
(while I chew my nails)
‘There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.’
– Paulo Coelho
‘How was the run?’ A complete stranger asked me on Sunday as he walked past, before waiting for my answer.
‘Heard you’re running now, since when?’ DigiBoy said when he popped by to help me burn some DVDs.
‘You too?!’ Dimples squealed when she found out I’d been talking to Kitty about training.
‘What’s up with the marathon?’ A few members of the band asked me when I told them I was unavailable for some dates.
I told them I wanted to lose weight, that I just wanted to run for fun… the reasons were many but all of them half-truths. The real reason is that I’m doing this for myself. I want… no, need to know that I can do this. That is my only reason. I want to do something I’ve never been able to do before, never even thought I could accomplish.
I’ve faltered so many times when it came to long-distance running. It was always my mental strength that failed me – not the burning legs or the lack of stamina – it was giving up in my mind long before I even saw the finishing line.
To do the races, to cross that finishing line, is just for me. I need to know I can complete something hard, something I’ve always failed to finish.
Tonight, I hit the tracks again although everything in me rebelled against the idea of going out. Out of sheer habit, I changed, took my iPod and went downstairs. The music I selected failed to energize me. The weather was humid. The tracks empty. Quietly, I began my run and very nearly gave up before I’d even finished one round. Then it hit me.
This was how it’s going to feel in the middle of the race. Can I overcome the immense sense of ‘quit’ in me?
I continued running. It burned my legs and for the first time in weeks, I developed stitches in my side. Still, I carried on for no one else… but me. I met a rat who ran alongside for a bit. A lizard crossed my path. A large cat watched my heavy steps. I ran on.
And crossed the 40 minute mark. I did it.
‘To me, Fearless is not the absense of fear. It’s not being completely unafraid. To me, Fearless is having fears. Fearless is having doubts. Lots of them. To me, Fearless is living in spite of those things that scare you to death.’
– Taylor Swift
As long as my gaze is fixed on the Dream Maker, it’ll be alright.
I’m taking the next big leap, my eyes on Him.
June 27, 2010 § 5 Comments
Inside: I looked at myself in the video monitor with horror.
Outside: I smiled and sang as planned.
There was a tuft of hair sticking out from the side of my head. It looked like an antenna, or a misplaced hairy ear. The video team had obviously been trying to signal to me since the beginning of the song to do something with the hair! They avoided taking frontal images while I angled my head and casually brushed the damning antenna down but to no avail. It had an agenda today. It wanted to be part of the performance.
I finally resorted to tilting my head back to hide the hairy intruder for the next 20 minutes. I walked off stage with a stiff neck and had a good laugh with the team. What a start to my day.
Inside: I struggled with the growing sense of doom and the taste of failure.
Outside: I smiled and thanked the person for the feedback.
Just mere minutes before I had to sing again, one of the trainers came up to me with advice on what to change in my technique. It was stuff that I’d heard before and honestly, it’s one of the weak points in my vocals. There was no time to practice anything new. I stood on the side of the stage, waiting for my turn to walk out and had a choice: take the advice, be bold and sing… or get angry. I decided to sing my heart out.
And enjoyed some of the most precious moments, knowing that the success or failure of the session didn’t rest on me. It rested on the Dream Maker, who walked out with me, stood by my side and held my hand.
Inside: I watched their mouths, their eyes, their hands without understanding.
Outside: I nodded at the appropriate moments and smiled.
They were people I was planning on interviewing for a video shoot this coming week, except… they don’t speak English. They had wonderful stories to tell, stories that need to be captured but how, how in the world am I going to do this? I asked for a translator and thankfully, she stepped in to help us converse more freely and has even promised to be there for the shoot. I sighed with relief.
Inside: I let loose.
Outside: I let loose.
In the final song for the day, the audience was gone, the auditorium slowly emptying out but for the few stragglers who stayed behind to watch. There was nothing to lose and everything to gain. This was my moment with Him, exclusively. I looked up, closed my eyes and sang the words as though I was tasting them on my lips for the first time. When it was all over, I walked to the monitor room, handed in my wireless transmitter, microphone and smiled at the sound engineer.
The Music Director looked at me and mouthed, ‘Wonderful.’
The Bassist nodded at me, ‘Good.’
A woman came up to me and asked if she could hug me.
‘When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance.
We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.’
– John Lennon
In my moment of vulnerability, I revealed who I truly was – mistakes and weaknesses – and found myself… accepted and loved.
June 26, 2010 § Leave a comment
A man walks on a tightrope, brows furrowed in deep concentration. His every muscle is tense and ready to respond to the slightest change in the atmosphere. He feels the wind, the bead of sweat that trickles down his forehead, hears the crowd but shuts them all out.
He only knows his breath and the rhythm of heartbeat.
Does he perform better knowing that one false move will cause him to plummet to his death? Will he walk differently if he knows that there is a safety net below?
I will be on stage again tomorrow, singing. As always, I stand before the day, filled with a mixture of emotions and heightened sensitivities. Instead of cocooning myself within the blankets of old failures and worries, I choose to paint myself a new picture for the future.
I choose to see the net below my tightrope and feel the harness that girds my being. I won’t be alone up there. I am wrapped in the ability of the Dream Maker. He put me up there. He will rock the stage while I remain hidden in the glare of His light.
Why should I negate the potential of moments yet un-lived because of yesterday’s fears? Life is about living in the promise of good things to come.
A parent gazes at his baby with big dreams.
A dancer looks at the space and imagines it filled with movement.
A writer holds his pen with purpose as he juggles the words to fill the page with.
I close my eyes and hear the music – the sound of eternity. Can you hear it too?
I had been waiting for weeks for the release of this book and it’s finally within my hands. I can’t wait for my next spare moment when I can make myself a cup of tea, pick the book up, look at the cover and feel the embossed titles beneath my fingertips. I will breathe in the scent of its new pages and have my pencil ready to pick out my favourite lines.
A day prior to getting this book, I was itching for a good read and so, bought this one too.
Oh the excitement of potential!
Look out for the reviews of my tightrope adventure and these darling books!
June 25, 2010 § 3 Comments
Too many stories, too little time.
Rain, changed plans from adventure trail to indoor playground.
Rush, run, scream, play, laugh, talk, quarrel, hug, climb, tumble, hungry.
Eat largest ice-cream sundae we’ve ever seen.
House, watch movies, good conversations, Australian footie, share music.
Supper, pizza, fruits, dessert.
Heavy eyelids, drained, cuddle, cab ride home.
End of day. Beginning of new adventures.
I have to sleep and get ready for an early morning run tomorrow. The need to run has gone beyond a desire to complete the marathon because I split a pair of skinny jeans on Wednesday, and busted the zipper on my shorts on Friday. Not good.
‘Dear, did I put on weight?’ I ask the Husband, holding up my torn clothing.
‘Nah,’ he replies without looking up. ‘I’m sure they are just old, that’s why they tore.’
‘You didn’t even look at me!’ I say, frowning as I stare at my belly.
‘Okay, maybe you have gotten a little rounder but it’s okay! No one will notice.’
‘Sure. The jeans and shorts tell a good enough story though,’ I whine.
‘Not if you keep quiet and resist writing about this,’ he smirks.
The more I resist food, the greater the urge to eat.
And so, I run.
Me. On the trails tomorrow. Note the frown of determination.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is my life in a nutshell.
Feeling like a nut.
June 23, 2010 § 4 Comments
I received a gift today. It was a wooden box, tied shut with a rubber band.
I tentatively opened it to find, nestled amid white paper, three items I’d asked for: the wind, the waves and the earth.
‘All across the other side of the world,’ my friend smiled. ‘Gathering these items reminded me to be thankful for the things I have in life, the opportunities given to me. And I hope, one day, you’ll be walking in distant lands, gathering these things on your own.’
I lifted the bottle of sand and gazed into it, imagining the thousands of seashells crushed by the elements, now made smooth enough to walk on. I gently shook the bottle of crystal, clear water and marveled. It looked nothing like the waters we can gather here on our beaches at home. I looked at the picture, forever freezing the power of the wind. Then I closed the box and smiled.
I received a precious gift today.
It was a fragment of my future, a glimpse into all that life can be.
I have never walked on water, felt the waves beneath my feet but at Your word Lord, I’ll receive Your faith to walk on oceans deep. And I remember how You found me, in that very same place. All my failings surely would have drowned me, still You made a way…
I received a gift today. It came wrapped in the arms of the Dream Maker.
‘Open it,’ He said as He tenderly placed the box in my hands. I carefully undid the knots and lifted the cover.
‘I don’t deserve this,’ I whispered.
‘Yes you do,’ He said, ‘Because I paid for it. And I’m giving it to you.’
My eyes welled up with tears. I knew I couldn’t bear the responsibility of taking care of such beauty. It would be like draping a necklace of gems on a compost heap. I’d be a fraud.
‘I… can’t,’ I shook my head. ‘I know what goes on inside me… how can I wear such preciousness when I feel like crap inside?’
‘That’s the beauty about this gift. It changes you, the more you wear it,’ He smiled. Then very carefully, He lifted the dazzling stone and placed it around my neck. Pulling away, He took a long look at me as I stood there, feeling awkward.
‘Beautiful,’ He said, and I knew then, He wasn’t talking about the gift.
June 22, 2010 § 2 Comments
‘Hello,’ she said.
‘Go away, I’m not listening to you,’ I murmured, turning away to read an email on my laptop.
‘Did you see how busy and fulfilled she is? Isn’t she doing exactly what you want to do? Look, look at her! She’s being trained to do great things. People will recognize her as being brilliant! Now… what about you? What are you doing?’ The unwelcome visitor continued, ignoring my snub.
I looked at the email I was writing. It was a style template schedule for the next few weeks’ performances. I looked at my to-do list and it was filled with coordination work. Administration, administration, administration…
‘See? You’re left out of the loop. No one will recognize the work you’re doing! It’s all background work for others to shine. Who cares? You thought you were in a place of self-actualization but what’s happening? You’re being left behind while others get to do the creative things you like.’
I slumped back in my seat. It was only the morning and already I was losing the battle to be happy.
‘Just go away,’ I gritted my teeth.
‘Your boss is going with you to the shoot later, isn’t she? Now why would she need to do that? And if she’s there, why do you need to go too? Superfluous addition, aren’t you?’ She mocked, doodling on my organizer.
‘I think I still have responsibilities there… I can’t just say I won’t go.’ I answered.
‘Can’t run away, eh? Poor, sad thing. When will you find your place in this world?’ She said.
At that point, I couldn’t take it anymore. I stood up and walked away, I needed a breather. I headed to the toilet and locked myself in a cubicle. Alone, I sat there for a long while and listened…
I heard a group of ladies walk in, talking. I head a toilet flush. I heard the jangle of someone’s bracelets. I heard them leave. And then, I heard the Dream Maker.
‘Hey you, still in there?’
‘Yeah…’ I knew I just needed a hug from Him but I wanted to be alone.
‘Come on out,’ He said.
I sighed, stood up and reluctantly unlocked the door. There was no one there.
‘Great, just great,’ I grumbled as I walked back to my table… and found notes of love left all over my day, just for me.
There was the bar of chocolates from Jap Girl, and some ice-cream from the Boss.
There was the chance to climb to the topmost floor of a building under construction.
There was the beautiful, orange sunset I saw while I was up there.
There was the message a friend sent to me, saying ‘You’re a beautifully constructed piece of work. What you’ve done with your hands has touched so many…’
There was the wonderful conversation with Paddington, a friend I haven’t talked to in weeks.
There was the free ride home.
And when I walked into my room… there was Him.
‘Don’t listen to the negative talk. Don’t look at your circumstances and what you lack. Don’t look at your unfulfilled dreams.’ He said, holding out His arms to me. ‘Look at Me.’
And when I did, everything faded into the background.
I was looking at love.
‘I don’t have to fear anything because Your love makes it worth it all. I want to know it more, I want to feel it more, I want to see it more. Do I dare look into the eyes of love tonight, leaving everything else behind?
I will look straight into the eyes of love and say, come burn in me.’
– Kim Walker