Confession: My husband and I saw the Broadway musical, “Once,” twice. In the same week. After seeing it once, we were so moved that we bought tickets to see it again 6 days later.
Spoiler Clarification: This piece was inspired by the characters Guy and Girl in “Once.” If you haven’t seen it, you must! But don’t worry: reading this will not spoil the show for you. It is my response to the characters and does not reveal the plot or the ending. Besides, “Once” must be experienced. It cannot be captured in writing because the music – the emotion – is the heart of the experience.
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Abandoned. Left behind by his lover who chose her dreams over him. Alone, his only company is his guitar. He is ready to walk away from it. Just like she walked away from him. Wholly wounded by lost love, he finds walls. The walls built by giving up on his gifts and by choosing safety protect him. Inside his walls, he is filled with songs to sing. But, he thinks we do not want to hear them. In his pain, he shuts down. He grows numb to his emotions. Stuck. He is wedged between what he thought he had and what he has. He buries his talent – his gifts that would change the world if he were brave enough to share them. But he is afraid. The power of his fear dominates him into weakness. His fear and his wounds – they have voices. They convince him that he is not good enough. They tell him not to follow his heart. They tell him to stay. Stay where he is. Stay scared.
Connected. To others and to herself. She is a light that we cannot ignore. She draws us in and we feel new in her light: in her presence, we are more. Illuminated. Brilliant. Whole. She surrounds herself with mirrors, not walls. We can always see all of her as she stands strong in front of the mirrors, inviting us to see her whole self. She knows her gifts and shares them freely. Seeing her give – feeling her give – makes us wonder if maybe we too have something to give. Steered by passion –compassion – she moves us to pick up our instruments and play our own songs right along with her. Her energy is full and feisty. She is free. And she is bound. Bound by her devotion to all that is right. She is brave enough to feel deeply. Tending to these feelings, she chooses wisely what to do with them. She seems fearless and unwounded. But, she has fears and wounds just like us. What sets her apart is what she does with them. She does not dismiss them. She does not run from them. And she does not let them stop her. When she is scared and hurt, she chooses opening up instead of shutting down. She chooses connecting instead of protecting.
More like He than I want to be. Yearning – learning – to be like She.
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