Saturday, March 25, 2006

the power of calling and naming


I went and saw 'the voice of the prairie' at taproot theatre tonight. there are several thing that stood out or rather hit me in the face.

the first being a overwhelming urge to cry and desire to run out of the room. this is the emotional response i have to seeing good theatre, especially if i am not acting at the time. it was my constant reaction to films and plays both my sophmore and junior years of college. it is the ache of my heart, wanting to be on stage enfleshing a character and allowing a space for others to enter into the beautiful story of another.
i love theatre for the ablitity to create this space for other people. when i am away from theatre my body, mind and soul aches for it. this is my calling. it makes it hard to be at mars hill, as much as i love it, because it means that i have less time for theatre. then i get so overwhelmed by the amount that this degree is costing me. how will i be able to get a master's of fine arts in preformance, unless it is completely paid for? how will these two things work together? and i am getting older and what does that mean as an actor?

yet i am blessed because even as i was sitting in a pool which was rapidly filling with these confussions, God sends becky. these were her words, "you are called, this is a prophecy a promise of what God will do. God is faithful, remember sarah and abraham." while at the time being compaired to sarah sucks it was also a reminder that God indeed is faithful. this is part of the process, being at mars hill is a step in the process. something i need to do to get to where i am going.

secondly, the power of naming things. there is a place in the play where a character calls upon the name of another as a binding of that person. they do not want them to become who they are so they invoke a name. he says (in a prayer no less) "God do not let this woman destroy me. her name is frances not frankie."

i remember the first time i heard this line, it was last summer. i was watching a tech rehersal for the production i was costuming. the words lept out at me like a snake poised to strike. before this i had always seen the weight of naming as calling the good and glory of another. reading "walking on water" has greatly informed my understanding of the act of naming. through l'engle's writtings i have been given such a foundation of the importance of words and naming.

what astounds me about this scene is that the naming is not a way to bless this woman, it has nothing to do with her really. it is about him asserting his power over her; a power of reservation and propreity. she is in the process of rediscovering her true self and he is trying to keep her from that. in finding a name and a voice, if they are true, one will not destroy what is true. what is being destroyed is the lie, breaking a lie is a painful process. people run away from it all the time because it is safer to live there than to break out. finding your true name(s) is a terribly rough and incredible expereince.

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