My car radio is fixed on National Public Radio 90.3, and I always listen while driving around town. I lose that connection though, driving the twisting route out of town. The foothills of the Chuckanut Mountains block the signal. That’s when the music comes on.
Yesterday’s CD choice was Godspell, the raucous, wonderful 1971 rock opera based on the Gospel of Matthew. It is one of many musicals I can sing my way through, and sing I did: “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord,” “Save the People,” “Day by Day,” and on through all fifteen numbers.
My thoughts wandered back to my years living outside of Los Angeles, to the exhilaration of musical theater. I remembered relishing Godspell, Jesus Christ Superstar, and the more worldly Hair and Tommy. I smiled as I recalled the Superstar evening at the Hollywood Bowl. At intermission, the man sitting behind me said to his date, “He dies in the end. I know, I read the book.” I swear he was serious, not joking at all. There was the evening when we saw Godspell for a second time at a small theater-in-the-round. Four nuns, in full head-to-toe habits, sat in the front row. Watching their obvious joy, and their cool senses of humor, added to the show. I recalled my enjoyment of Hair, despite my buttoned-down embarrassment at the nude scenes.
After a bit, the music pulled me from reminiscing to the lyrics. “Day by Day” started speaking to me. The three prayers of the song: to “see thee more clearly, love thee more dearly, follow thee more nearly,” caught me up with new meaning. I kept repeating the verbs: see, love, follow. See, love, follow.
The three prayers—translated a bit loosely—fit my current state of mind. Approaching 80, I’m becoming more and more reflective. I enjoy wandering through memories, of course. More than that, though, I find myself fixed on the present. What have I learned? How do I understand the mix that makes up me? What might be true in ways I’ve never considered before? And, most exciting to me, what difference does all that make as I consider my tomorrows? We recently commemorated Ash Wednesday. As my pastor placed the ashes on my forehead, she said, “Know that you are deeply loved. You are forgiven. You are freed to follow your call.” Yes! I still have a call. It’s quieter, more elusive—and yet invigorating.
I’ve been working with my friend Lisa Dailey, owner of Silent Sidekick, a web design service. She created this site, tutored me through what I need to do to put my ideas on the page, and talked through the process of adding photographs to illustrate my blogs.
This is the debut of Exploration: Studying the Past, Seeing the Present, Creating the Future. Thank you for reading my introduction. Hope you’ll keep checking in to see where my mind has wandered.