I had the coolest set of experiences this past week. I met my buddy Tom Phillip's friend - also named Kim - before the show at the opening night of RENT. She used to live in Lexington and now lives in Japan, but she says reading KimmyVille helps her not be so homesick, and even though I had never met her in person, she talked to me as if she knew me very well, thanked me for my SummerFest coverage. After the show, she said, "I just have one thing to ask you, though --where the hell were you 15 years ago, when I was struggling to keep a theater going in this town?" She recalled how difficult it was to get good press, talked about the ins and outs of publicity and how best to dance the dance of an artistic director, one that involves a careful balance of finding good work, raising funds to produce it and depending upon the fortunes and whims of others to get it to the stage.
I appreciate, of course, Kim's nice words and her consideration of my little blog as her source for a touch of home, and since it is Sunday and the successful run of SummerFest is about to close with the finale of RENT, I want to give thanks for all the people like her who continue to read my rantings here, and who tell me they love KimmyVille. Nobody has ever told me they like KimmyVille, in fact. It's true, everyone who dares speak to me about it says they love it...but...
Maybe it would be better to be liked, though, ya think? Maybe I wouldn't see the graffiti of those who jump the snark about me on social media (which sometimes ought to be called anti-social media, I think) -- maybe that wouldn't happen if I just didn't write about the things about which am not only passionate, but compassionate.
Maybe not being controversial or not having any depth or not taking a stand would be a good situation for someone else, but it's not something I have ever considered...the more I grow, the more I realize that love is the answer. I don't necessarily want to be liked, but just like most of us, just like characters in RENT (and every other girl and guy in the word in every other scenario on stage or in real life), I want Love to find me...and I want to find Love.
However, I feel it's not doing what is popular or attaching only to those who are successful that causes someone to love what you do. It is in loving kindness, doing justice, and walking humbly that creates an environment ripe for love. Over the past few years as I've blogged here, I have taken stands for friends who were being kicked when they were down; I've explored my faith even though any talk of God makes people blush and turn away; and I've been passionate about what I love about the arts -- and that is that artists are people, too. Artists take big risks when they dare to bare their souls to us, and we ought to at least try to give them a chance to sing, we ought to give them a Voice if we can.
On this Sunday that crowns a week of hard work, entertaining friends and family and meaningful worship, I think it's a good time to give thanks for all those who accept me and love me, those who make my life as full as it can be. To all who have shown their love to me, I love you back and I am grateful for your kinship. I hope your day has been filled with kindness; I hope someone decided to do the right thing versus taking the easy way out; and I hope that humility has caught you in its happy embrace.
Here is the prayer that my choir director and spiritual guru, Michael Rintamaa taught us to pray. I always use parts of this prayer when asked to pray with someone or to say grace (well, that and Psalm 139, which is my favorite ;-) I hope you find meaning in it, too:
Source of all Joy and Righteousness;
Enable us as redeemed and forgiven children
evermore to rejoice in singing your praises.
Grant that what we sing with our lips,
we may believe in our hearts;
and what we believe in our hearts,
we may practice in our lives,
so that by being doers of the Word,
and not hearers only,
we may receive Everlasting Life,
through Jesus Christ, our Lord,