Clearly, in light of COVID-19, I will not be performing my one-woman show at Stage 773 in Chicago on March 28! Instead, I continue to work on the show at home as I socially distance myself. I have painfully edited the two-hour script down to one hour. I hope I did it well. I hope it is tight and clean and not butchered. To be determined…
I am excited that I Am the One Who was one of five shows accepted into DivaFest, a juried festival for female playwrights to be held in Indianapolis. The festival is scheduled to take place the weekends of April 17 and April 24. Of course, no one will be surprised if it is re-scheduled…
I don’t know when or where I will end up presenting this work. I do know it will figure itself out. My job, my only true job, is to create it! Thus, I am at home self-isolating, happily sculpting this work to be used as a vehicle. Stay tuned for scheduling updates! I am certain I will present this work sometime, on some stage for some person(s)!
Here is my offering during this strange and trying time….an excerpt from I Am the One Who. Be well everyone. Let’s wrap ourselves and each other in love and light.
Because momentum is our friend.
She found the pin in the folds of a magazine. A straight pin.
Mom was in the kitchen making Christmas cookies. Cammie was in the living room looking at a magazine. At least that’s what my sister said. I don’t remember. I don’t remember seeing it, but I can still feel the shock of it.
Waves of terror cascade and crash and make the world slow and sluggish and then still, very still even as it turns us spinning dizzy. Caught between this world and that, we dart, then hide, now scurry between, looking for a safe place…We don’t want anyone to see…don’t want anyone to know. And so she ate it. She ate the pin so no one would see it. She ate the pin so no one would know what she’d done to that puppy.
It was December 21. Winter Solstice. The day the Earth poles are maximum tilt away from the Sun. The longest night of the year. I was 21 months old the 21st day of that 12th month, the day we ate the pin. The day we tried to eat the pin. But here’s the thing. We didn’t eat it. She aspirated it.
She coughed when she put it in her mouth and sucked it down into our left lung. And then she kept coughing, certain that at any moment her insides would open up and spill out, revealing the truth of what she’d done.
We went into the kitchen coughing. My mother thought the red around our mouth was food coloring. We coughed more and Mom realized it was blood. She took us to the emergency room where they did an x-ray and now everyone can see it and everyone knows and now we are floundering. The urgency wraps around us like an itchy blanket. It hides the light and we feel ourselves slipping.
The doctors go after the pin with a bronchoscope. They slide it way down inside…Apparently, the body is full of cavities, places where things can be slipped and poked and planted…cavernous caves within caves where secrets can be harbored and tunnels dug…the bronchoscope was too large–it sent me convulsing, flopping like a fish out of water, twitching like a puppy in a bathtub. So they treated the seizure with medication that was too strong and now I feel very, very tired so I lie down to sleep.
My mother rode with me in the ambulance to a bigger hospital. She rode with a nurse who said she wanted to be with her in case I died in transit. The ambulance careened through a thunderstorm with siren blaring and continued careening even after the siren died, even after the windshield wipers stopped. It careened on through the storm to a doctor who was pacing, waiting for the Ballard baby. I arrived comatose and limp. They were planning to operate right away, but instead they held vigil through the night as I floated on that razor-sharp edge between light and dark.
But I am not alone. All 12 members of the Light Council form a circle around me. They generate a circle of energy between their hearts and their bellies that burns brighter and brighter and moves faster and faster until they shoot it out from one heart center to the next and it moves around the circle, creating a bonded band of light that holds us in a sacred container.
And then simultaneously they send the light from each of their heart centers to where I am in the center of the circle…they send all that light to me and I am illuminated….filled with love and hope and vision and clarity that wraps around me like a cocoon then reaches into infinity illuminating everything in its wake with effervescent life force energy streaming pure. All that light and love burns away all that itchy pricking and I am whole.
They tell me it’s time to go back, but I don’t want to go. They remind me of my soul contract, my mission to anchor light on the planet, but I am happy to renounce it. I claim to be unworthy of the task, but they just laugh and remind me of my divinity. They invite me to join them in the circle, but I resist. I just want to bask in all this love.
They insist I stand beside them and claim my power as an equal being of light. They challenge me to remember what they say I already know. And suddenly He is there. It’s Him. There He is. In the center of the circle… I don’t want to send my love and light to Him! But they challenge me to stay focused, stay on task. We shoot light out from each of our heart centers. Our light bores into Him like a laser beam, but instead of illuminating Him, He burns to ash. “What happened?” And then I remember.
Free will transmutation. When gifted with light and love, all beings will either shine or singe. Free will transmutation. The outcome is not my concern. My job, my only true job, is to make the offering…to plant light on earth and let it seed.
My mother tells me I woke up out of my coma asking for a drink of water and wanting to comb my hair. If I’m going to transmute darkness, I need to be hydrated and I better look good! And then the doctors operated. Cut me open mid chest to mid back went into my lung and removed the pin. I still have a fading scar that runs around my left side.
The sacramental mark of the divine.