godspell, again, still, more

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Brooke at her first performance of Godspell, a dress rehearsal* at a local theater. She is holding her Jesus doll so that he can see too. 

I almost don’t want to write this. I’m afraid that somehow the words won’t be big enough or that the joy will escape before I can figure out how to describe it. I don’t know where to start. I don’t know how words can possibly convey the enormity of the experience. How do you describe light? How do you tell magic? How do you write heaven?

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The best I can do is share the pieces. It’s bound to be choppy and a little – OK, a lot – disorganized. Grammar will be summarily dismissed, or at the very least disregarded. I don’t know how else to do it. There were just so many individual experiences contained within the whole – so many small and not at all small moments that will stay with me (and I dare say my girl too) forever.

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From Godspell, Part two, which I wrote after we attended a rehearsal of Godspell at a local theater, Brooke’s first time seeing it on stage

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Brooke with the Broadway cast of Godspell, 2011. She is holding her Mary Magdalene doll and Uzo Aduba is holding Jesus.

I don’t know where to start. I don’t know how on Earth I am going to wrangle into words the gift that was this weekend. No, not the gift, the thousands of gifts – the moment after moment after moment of joy, wonder, freedom, awe, CONNECTION with my girl.

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Oh, above all, it is the CONNECTION I will remember.

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From The Seed Time, which I wrote in 2011 after Brooke and I went to New York to see the Godspell revival on Broadway

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Brooke and Katie with a few of the cast members at BC after their dress rehearsal

I know I promised that I’d tell you about the play. And I’m usually pretty good at keeping  my word, right? (Say right.) But here we are, over a week later, and still — not a peep. And that whole “Well, there’s just other stuff that I’m dying to tell you first”? Crap. Pure and utter crap.

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I’ve been avoiding it. And not because it wasn’t wonderful. Quite the opposite in fact. Because the reality of it was so damned magical that I’ve been feeling like if I try to write about it I’ll make it less sacred. That I won’t do it justice and my flailing attempt will somehow break the spell.

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From Godspell, Part two: In God, a post I wrote in 2013 after we attended a dress rehearsal of Godspell at BC

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Brooke at Godspell at the North Shore Music Theater on Saturday night

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Here I am again, staring at a blinking cursor and wondering how to wrestle magic into words. How to explain the beauty and wonder — and honor — of again experiencing Godspell on stage with my girl.

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I don’t know how to convey how different it was this time, and yet how familiar, how comforting, how deeply reassuring. I don’t know how to tell you that the whole experience was, yet again, transformative. That something that “should” by now feel rote can seemingly never be. How as Brooke excavates the layers, finding deeper meaning and purpose in each and every Godspell-related moment, so, by extension, do I. I don’t know how to tell you how blessed I feel because of it.

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I want to tell you not just what it meant to her, but what, this time, it meant for me. For all of us. For the human family. For anyone who struggles to find that one thin ray of hope that tomorrow will, as Jesus says, take care of itself.

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I want to tell you how there was simply no way, just none, to doubt the presence of God (no matter how we may choose to define that word, that force, that light) in that theater on Saturday night.

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I want to tell you that there were too many things – too many perfectly placed beacons, teachers, lessons coinciding, colliding, convening, LIVING, in that space to have been coincidental, accidental, circumstantial – anything but BY DESIGN.

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I want to tell you how, for the first time ever, my girl began to sob when Jesus died. And how I held her and I cried with her for reasons all my own and how there was just so very much more than a play in that theater.

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In bits and pieces, I promise to tell you all of it. For now, for today, I’m going to hold the memories close, where it feels like they belong.

* We used to attend dress rehearsals because Brooke was unable to manage a full theater, something that still remains a challenge, but now one that she has the tools to navigate. I remain so grateful to all of the generous souls who let us in. 

The original Godspell story:

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Godspell Part One – The Background

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Godspell Part Two – The Show

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And if you just haven’t gotten enough after all of that, I give you the story of our trip to New York to the Broadway Revival … .

Prepare Ye

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The Seed Time

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The Harvest – Part One

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The Harvest – Part Two

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Beautiful City

4 thoughts on “godspell, again, still, more

  1. I am moved….deep inside. I can’t explain it any other way bc words fail to describe the awe and admiration of Brooke finding such peace in something. I am 38 and struggle daily to find a something that gives me peace and passion 🙂

  2. Having experienced this exact kind of magic, and then tempted fate by repeating it and repeating it (only except with the San Jose Sharks instead of Godspell) I just want to tell you how happy this makes me.

    And “magic” is the exact right word for what happens when the pieces fall into place, and the years of building up the toolkit mean that our kids can navigate an experience that many take for granted, but we never will. And how that makes appreciate every nanosecond of those experiences. And then how we realize that that extreme level of appreciation is, in and of itself, a gift.

    I get it. Down to my core I get it.

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