Friday, October 5, 2012


    It had been a while since I had set foot into a ballet performance. Yet, last night, I ended my fast and attended a performance at my church by the Ballet Magnificent. Words are hardly sufficient to explain the beauty that was beheld in on that dark stage, but only words can paint the picture of my thoughts and dreams as I watched the dancers twirl onstage.
   The lights went low, the music began to swell, and the dancers entered. They were a vision, wrapped in a cloud of tulle that shimmered in the spotlights. When they leapt into the air, the tulle surrounded their legs like a soft cloud and I could imagine them rising up into the heavens with their arms outstretched and their toes pointed.
   I don’t remember the exact moment but soon I was up on stage amid the dancers. I could still feel the rough fabric that stretched over my seat; I could touch the cool marble floor with my bare feet. But my spirit, my heart, had joined the dance.
   It was a feeling like no other. Standing completely still, imagining myself as a statue in the White Witch’s garden in Narnia. And then, as the music rose, I followed suit, pointing my toes and lifting my arms. Then, the leap. I could almost feel the muscles in my legs clench. I could taste the cool breeze that drifted past my face. Violets, speckled in a warm meadow. If that had a taste, it would be in the air during every leap.
   My emotions moved with the dance. I felt the terror of nervousness. The clenching in my legs and arms, the sweat beading on my upper lip. And then the exhilaration. It was like no feeling in the world. I spun, soared, leapt, flew all from my seat feet away.
    I was truly caught in the movement. To watch nameless figures spin in unison, watch their feet point in the air, watch their arms reach out into midair was captivating.
     Ballet is a dance of inspiration. It is imagination illustrated with the body. It is a vision of creativity. It is a demonstration of boundless limits. It is an ultimate fusion of mind and heart. It is remarkable, beautiful, magnificent, and truly captivating.
    Ballet is exhilaration.

Photo Credit: The Ballet Magnificent

Thursday, October 4, 2012


It was the day after our school wide service project. Our senior class had just returned from a day of hard work in the sun and was eating a well-earned lunch. I was sitting at a table, laughing with my friends until a woman stopped my happiness with a few short words. Through a blur of tears, I wrote this poem for her and for anyone plagued with anger. Stay strong!

The harsh roar of deafening waves crashes in my ears
I cannot hear anything over the quick throbbing of my heart
Red clouds my vision and my hands curl into fists
How can one word cause all this?
I can almost remember,
Another time, another place
Was it just minutes ago?
Lifting damp hair and pressing ice packs to our cheeks
But here, now
Standing in the blissfully cool room
Hearing nothing but my pounding thoughts
Feeling nothing but my nails digging into my skin
One word
For this
But a prick of light shines through the blood red
Closer and closer
Filling my chest with air
Relaxing me
I breathe in deeply
And laugh
I laugh in the face of adversity
Watching her swallow her hurtful words and take a step back
I reach up and touch the trees, the sky, a mountain
But then I’m back
Tears prick my eyes
And I turn and walk away


Stress is studying for an AP Physics test. Those Newton Laws…impossible. Why are there so many forces in the world? Why does gravity exist? Yes, I understand that life would be a little awkward without gravity, but doesn’t stress make you illogical? Where do you think that crazy idea about osmosis came from? I bet some college student was super stressed about his midterms and he decided to put all of his notes underneath is pillow hoping that the words would seep in through his brain. I wonder if that worked?
            Yellow. If stress were a color it would be the darkest yellow imaginable, the yellow of knowledge and practicality edging its way into the red tide of anger. If stress was edible, it would be a jawbreaker. The huge kind. The kind you stick in your mouth and can’t move your jaw for at least seventeen hours because it gets stuck underneath your teeth. If stress was a scent, it would give off slight wisps of smoke. Wisps that remains underneath your nose no matter how many times you spin around with the Febreeze bottle.
            I’ve heard rumors that when you are really stressed your head will pop off. I’ve even seen drawings depicting that. I wonder how many times a person’s head can pop off before death. If it is less than two, the government needs to start submitting some Public Service Announcements about stress remover. Hmmm, stress remover…maybe I should invent that. I could make millions.
            To take a more helpful turn, this is how I would turn the yellow, smoky, jawbreaker of stress into tranquility. I usually go and take a walk. The hardest part of that is forcing yourself away from your notes and convincing yourself to see the sunlight. Once I’m outside I bring out my bubbles and blow them all over my back yard while singing Disney songs. It is the best stress reliever that is out there. Reading a book has the same effect, though it might take longer for the tranquility to set in. An alternative approach is to travel to the beach…or to Germany. Caution: this endeavor might take many hours and cost more money than you are willing to spend.
            The good thing about stress is that it is curable. I think...well, ninety-nine percent of the time it is curable. It might take months or years but it will wear off. However, if your stress is lasting more than a couple of hours, then it means that you got too much to eat. What does that mean? Well, when you look at the vast buffet of extra-curricular activities, you filled up your plate to quickly and food is spilling off the edges. I understand, I am in that stress moment right now. I have an internship twice a week, I am directing two ten minute pieces for a talent show in November, I am a section editor in my Yearbook class, and I am an actor in a church drama. Not to mention being in four AP class and being president of the Drama Club. Am I complaining? No! I love everything I’m doing right now, but it’s really easy for things to fall off the edges of my plate.
            So, for this month of October…yummy, smoky, yellow jawbreakers. All month long. Fun!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


I have read countless statistics stating that laughter is a wonderful medicine. I certainly agree. And though in the blog post I will neither be discussing the psychological effects of laughter, nor writing a personal narrative about laughter, I have written a seasonal short play that I *hope* lets you take some laughter medicine. 
 Scene 1
[Santa bursts into the bedroom with his hair mussed, his shirt unbuttoned, and his tie hanging off of his neck]
 Santa: Shirley? Shirley?
Shirley [exasperated]: What do you want? Don’t you realize that I have over 1200 emails to sort through? You think being Santa’s wife is all milk and cookies…but it’s not. Why do all the children have to write to you anyway? It’s October! The only person they should be writing to is their Great Aunt Marge begging for candy or whatever people beg for on Halloween.
Santa: Halloween! That’s what I wanted to talk to you about! Halloween is tomorrow!! Our costumes came in yesterday and Binky the elf has spent nine hours steam pressing them with warm gingerbread men!
Shirley: You were serious about dressing up for Halloween?
Santa: Uh, duh. We’re going to be Snow White and Prince Charming. And half of the elves are working on costumes for the reindeer. They’re going to be dwarves!
Shirley [sighs]: Santa…I’m not going.
Santa [chocked]: Not going!! But…but…but, who’s going to be Snow White? We can’t have the Prince and the Seven Dwarves, that wouldn’t look right!
Shirley: I don’t care! I’m not going! Why don’t you be Snow White or something!
Santa [muttering]: Me be Snow White! Of all the preposterous, newfangled…. [exits]

Scene 2:
[Santa is in his room squeezing himself into a Snow White costume; the reindeer are surrounding him all dressed like dwarves; Rudolph—who is dressed as Dopey—is eating his hat]

Scene 3:
[Santa is walking through a neighborhood with the reindeer trialing him; children are pointing and staring]
[Child dressed as the Pillsbury doughboy is standing in front of a house trick-or-treating ]
Santa [excitedly]: Frosty?!!? Frosty? You’re alive!! [runs to hug the child]. I though that you melted, but here you are! I can’t believe it!!
Child:  What. Are. You doing old man. I have pepper spray and I’m not afraid to use it!
Santa: Pepper spray? Oh, Shirley uses that all the time. It really gives our home a festive scent.
Child: Pepper spray. Not peppermint spray! Gosh! I’ve had enough of these old men doing the MOST! [storms off]
Santa [turns to lady standing in doorway] Trick-or-treat? [door slams]
[two children run by holding red and green lightsabers; reindeer start leading into the air to follow the lights; Santa has to chase them down; catches up to the children]
Santa [out of breath] So, you think you’re funny, huh. You may be short…but you’re no elf.
Kid 1: I’m not an elf, I’m Darth Vader [holds out arm] I AM YOUR FATHER.
Kid 2: I’m Luke Skywalker.
Santa: How did you get the elf signals?
Kid 1: Lightsabers? I don’t know? From Wal-Mart?
Santa: Darn Wal-Mart, always making abominations of every darn thing I create.
[Santa goes house to house trick-or-treating; he gets turned away by most everyone]
[Santa stands in line behind a little kid dressed as the Hulk]
Santa [taps kid on the shoulder]: Mr. Grinch, I hope you’re ashamed of your self. You already ruined Christmas for those poor Whos. Now you’re going to ruin Halloween for this neighborhood. You are a mean, despicable, being.
[Child starts crying, Mom picks him up]
Mom: Who do you think you are? Dressed like Snow White and telling my five-year-old that he’s despicable. You need to leave…now. [Raises an umbrella]
[women from around the neighborhood come at Santa with raised umbrellas]
Santa [backing away slowly]: On Happy and Sneezy and Grumpy and Dopey, on Doc and Bashful and Sleepy and Rudolph! Now dash away all. [Runs down the street]
Scene 4
Shirley: So, how was Halloween this year?
Santa [still rubbing of make-up]; You know Shirley, I think I’m getting to old to trick-or-treat. Maybe next year I’ll kick back with a box of candy and watch this mystical sport called football. I heard the Southerners live by it.