On the morning of May 5, 2013, I stood in my bedroom, practicing yoga breathing to stay calm while ironing handkerchiefs. I had collected these vintage handkerchiefs, compelled to buy them at various antique stores and shows over the past several years for no immediate reason. And then one day, I stopped buying them, again for no immediate reason.
Earlier this morning, as I was trying to calm my nerves, my eyes were drawn to the stack of handkerchiefs on my dresser. To give my hands something to do, I sorted through them… and realized that there were just enough for each person in our Listen to Your Mother cast. Listen to Your Mother, the reason I was so anxious, so nervous this morning. Holding these handkerchiefs centered me, and I knew then what the reason was for collecting these handkerchiefs and I ironed them to calm myself, thinking of how the patterns in them reminded me of my fellow cast mates, wondering which one would go home with whom. All the fabrics and patterns so different, just like the 15 others I would soon take the stage with. Different but connected, just the same.
Moments like this led me to Listen to Your Mother, the bravest thing I’ve ever participated in, something I feel that I was called to do and couldn’t avoid if I wanted to. Have you ever felt like your life is in a detached coal car on a railroad track—downhill? You’re speeding toward a sure goal and there’s nothing to stop you or get in your way. I knew I needed to be a part of it… it was just a matter of how. When I heard the show was coming to Oklahoma City, I literally danced. I may have squealed a little bit, even. I wrote my audition piece and again, it was like a runaway rail car, it just came out. My story was ready and wanted out.
Though the audition process was fraught with nerves and anxiety, and then the idea of standing up and reading this very personal essay—out loud! In front of people!—was terrifying, I was so convinced that this was the right path. More than any other experience of my life, stepping to that stage and opening myself to that opportunity was not just something I participated in—it was something I had to do.
And I’m so thankful that I did.
Through LTYM, I have met friends for life. I have shared and found acceptance. I have witnessed beautiful, painful, amazing truth shared by others and felt connections I never imagined would be possible. It was terrifying. Speaking your truth to a roomful of people? But beyond terrifying, it was inspiring. Through the shared stories, my heart was broken, mended and filled up, full beyond my wildest dreams.
I blogged about my experiences before and after the show here http://www.marifarthing.com/search/label/LTYM
Watch Mari’s video here.by