Dear Mr. Bowden,
It has taken me over 20 years to write this letter. I was in drama for the 3 years I was high school in the early 80s. I acted very little when it came down to it. I allowed my dyslexia to keep me from many things and having a big part in a play was one of them. I would perform from time to time, but to be honest I did not like acting I was not sure why until just recently, but I will get to that later.
I went on to become am Early Childhood Educator. I would use the skills I learn in 1-3rd year drama to tell stories to play! The child has innate skill to go inside the place that is imagination, that is open fields and flowers or tow trucks or cops and robbers or house or school. Most people lose that when they grow up. but if you were blessed enough to have some drama classes then you might be able to connect with that holy place. As I watched them play. really, really play without any bullshit adult interference. they went to a place that is holy, sacred and real.
I used the skills you taught me to be a parent, sometimes during play, using voices when reading or telling a bedtime story. But mostly I would use it when I was holding tightly on to my very sanity when they were going “2-year-old ape shit” in Kroger. I do two things, I look for the light of G*D that is always close, and then I step into it. I let the light fill me. Then I become the mother that I wish to be. I see that light because you taught me how to look for it i feel the light because you taught me how to find the feeling deep inside.
I could go on, but I wont.
The reason I am writing this letter is because I realized a few weeks ago why I did not really like performing in plays. I wanted to tell my stories. not someone else’s. That is what I do now, I write, here on my blog, I write and preach sermons, and guess what? I am good at it. Every time I am on the pulpit. From the way I put on my makeup. To the ability to hold in my arms the loving embrace the congregation. I learned from you.
People have asked me where did you learn to do that?
How come you just stand there and people stop talking and wait for you to say something?
To tell stories in a way that holds the child attention?
How do you stand up there straight and Tall?
Why does it seem like you “own” the pulpit?
When you looking into the eyes of the congregation, how can you tell the stories you do, sometimes even crying and yet, you are able to hold it together to get the point across?
How are you able to share deep from your heart, sometimes deeper from your very soul and touch them?
The answers to these questions very. From just being open to what the Divine in me has to say, and trusting the Divine to do that. It is looking at the congregation, not as a classroom or an audience, but as holy entity, every. one. a soul that is open and ready to hear and share.
The other answer is that I took 3 years of drama in high school
I stayed in high school because of drama. Because of the friends that I made, some of whom I am still close today. I stayed in high school, because of a teacher who sometimes smoked his pen and told me that “feeling are not right or wrong they just are”
It is because I had a teacher who saw me as not just a student, but a fellow soul on the same beautiful, scary, fun, fucked up journey that is LIFE.
Today, Mr B. My husband and I went to a local university to get information and the paper work to get my bachelor in Religious Studies. I am going to be a preacher and a story-teller. Not a scary one! LOL, but the kind that just loves, that will speak for those with out voice, children, the poor, the ill, the unwanted the unloved and even the unlovable.
I am not planing on becoming a minister at a church. I plan, ( i should say that I feel called) to minister to the different and the other, maybe that is a prison. or hospice. or even just on the streets of Portland. Just sharing to the masses that G*d loves them period, No matter who they love, no matter what they have done, that they are saved by grace that is for everyone. EVERYONE.
I am 48 years old. I have three kids from age 14 to 6 all in private school. with me, that will be 4 tuitions. Holy Shit!! I am going back to school. WE have no idea where the money will come from. I suspect that the Divine has that under control. I know I can do this. I know I will not only get though it, I will succeed. because I got though high school. The real, very real truth is that it is because of you.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Class of 84