Here I am. I saw orange tulips and fuchsia tulips all over today, and thought I would write in their honor. Sorry I haven’t written!!… I let the months go, despite my promise to relay my speech/blessing given in September as we all renewed the school year and theater season…and began what became a true winter.
Are you all thawing now? Enjoying spring?
I have let that year go. I took down the 15 blogs that documented the Great Challenge and I will be a resource anytime I am needed out there. Write to me. I am so proud of those blogs and I know how anyone might feel who has to stop their passion, who feels so deeply lost. This is why I quote Joseph Campbell (see below excerpt)– the ideas of discovering a boon, returning to the world & using a thread to get out of the labyrinth. Read below and find some clues for your own path through your maze – to your “quietness” (see below) – to what you most want.
I read today about a cellist forced to retire, his heart just broken to become silent. It is a profound thing to lose an ability so connected to our souls. But sometimes we can be fortunate and take a rest. Singers are athletes. That’s all I learned. We heal and we can move forward with a heart full of light. We fall but we stand back up anew, learning from our children who deal with transitions much more freely than we do. (And smile much more often!)
And it’s been so thrilling to work so much since autumn– the euphoric Kurt Weill concert at Symphony Space, One Touch of Venus CD release (which will be celebrated again May 28 at Barnes and Noble, details forthcoming), my solo Sondheim concert at Wolf Trap as well as four months in a recurring role on Stephen Soderbergh’s The Knick. That show premiers on Cinemax this summer with Clive Owen in the starring role. Stephen Soderbergh is a magician– he projects such peace and focus and is also deeply playful. I don’t know what his mother did so right!!!
I adored working with the great actor Campbell Scott for a week in December as Maria Cosway and Thomas Jefferson in a salon performance — and then last week I wildly enjoyed headlining 54 Below from April 22-26th singing some unexpected disco tunes every night in a set focused on extraordinary pop and Broadway music and theatre stories. I kept laughing writing my stories and focused on the insane bumps and hilarious surprises of a life in show business ..And now while juggling a young family of 3 little kids.
I wasn’t able to say, and still cannot, that I have a role in a new musical that I’m thrilled about. I was told I can’t say more yet. I am filled with gratitude and happiness. I am so glad to be singing and to have worked to regroup.
I learned to keep moving on, as Sondheim teaches.
I learned so much more.
But let’s not get too wordy. Allow me to just send a smile to you all, and my wishes for a beautiful spring 2014!!!
Below is an excerpt from this link
With words by Joseph Campbell being interviewed.
Campbell: There’s a certain type of myth which one might call the vision guest, going in quest of a boon, a vision, which has the same form in every mythology. That is the thing that I tried to present in the first book I wrote, The Hero With a Thousand Faces. All these different mythologies give us the same essential quest. You leave the world that you’re in and go into a depth or into a distance or up to a height. There you come to what was missing in your consciousness in the world you formerly inhabited. Then comes the problem either of staying with that, and letting the world drop off, or returning with that boon and trying to hold on to it as you move back into your social world again.
Moyers: How do I slay that dragon in me? What’s the journey each of us has to make, what you call “the soul’s high adventure”?
Campbell: My general formula for my students is “Follow your bliss.” Find where it is, and don’t be afraid to follow it.
Moyers: Is it my work or my life?
Campbell: If the work that you’re doing is the work that you chose to do because you are enjoying it, that’s it. But if you think, “Oh, no! I couldn’t do that!” that’s the dragon locking you in. “No, no, I couldn’t be a writer,” or “No, no, I couldn’t possibly do what So-and-so is doing.”
Moyers: When I take that journey and go down there and slay those dragons, do I have to go alone?
Campbell: If you have someone who can help you, that’s fine, too. But, ultimately, the last deed has to be done by oneself. Psychologically, the dragon is one’s own binding of oneself to one’s ego. We’re captured in our own dragon cage. The problem of the psychiatrist is to disintegrate that dragon, break him up, so that you may expand to a larger field of relationships. The ultimate dragon is within you, it is your ego clamping you down.
Moyers: I like what you say about the old myth of Theseus and Ariadne. Theseus says to Ariadne, “I’ll love you forever if you can show me a way to come out of the labyrinth.” So she gives him a ball of string, which he unwinds as he goes into the labyrinth, and then follows to find the way out. You say, “All he had was the string. That’s all you need.”
Campbell: That’s all you need–an Ariadne thread.
Moyers: Sometimes we look for great wealth to save us, a great power to save us, or great ideas to save us, when all we need is that piece of string.
Campbell : That’s not always easy to find. But it’s nice to have someone who can give you a clue. That’s the teacher’s job, to help you find your Ariadne thread.
Moyers: Like all heroes, the Buddha doesn’t show you the truth itself, he shows you the way to truth.
Campbell: But it’s got to be your way, not his. The Buddha can’t tell you exactly how to get rid of your particular fears, for example. Different teachers may suggest exercises, but they may not be the ones to work for you. All a teacher can do is suggest. He is like a lighthouse that says, “There are rocks over here, steer clear. There is a channel, however, out there”.
Moyers: In all of these journeys of mythology, there’s a place everyone wishes to find. The Buddhists talk of Nirvana, and Jesus talks of peace, of the mansion with many rooms. Is that typical of the hero’s journey – that there’s a place to find?
Campbell: The place to find is within yourself. I learned a little about this in athletics. The athlete who is in top form has a quiet place within himself, and it’s around this, somehow, that his action occurs. . . . There’s a center of quietness within, which has to be known and held. If you lose that center, you are in tension and begin to fall apart.