Friday, January 21, 2011

I want to sparkle

Yesterday I spent the afternoon judging speeches given by high school students. My cousin is competing. If I wanted to see her and my aunt I had to go and spend time at the competition center. Thus, I found myself in a room with one other judge, a pile of critique sheets in front of me, and two boys who were time keepers. I was judging round one of dramatic interpretations. One at a time the contestants came into the room presented their selection and left. All of the contestants did well, but there was one girl that sparkled. She appeared younger than the other. She bowed her head to signify she was starting and then she popped. I can think of no other word for it. She exploded into action and prose. Every motion of her body flowed from the story she was telling us. She understood the heart and soul of the piece and translated her understanding to us. It was amazing to watch. She did not do a perfect job, but their was an emotional connection between us and her, so that we in turn had an emotional connection with the story.

As I think back on her rendering of her presentation, it occurs to me that few people sparkle in their own lives. How do I live out the story of my life? There are many proverbs and witty sayings about living life fully. One of the favorites, probably because it is in Latin, is Carpe Diem. Seize the day! Although it sounds wonderful, I don't usually live like that. Much more often I live like many of the other performers presented. I have worked hard and memorized my lines. I understand the story. I practice and practice the movements and gestures that will make me look good. Then when I am standing on the stage I deliver it, and I do it well. People love me. In the end, however, it is a memorized speech. It lacks the soul of living.

I want to be the kind of person that pops, sizzles, sparkles, glows, explodes in my life; owning and living my life rather than acting out an elaborate and well rehearsed play.


  1. You reminded me of an Anais Nin quote I read long ago.

    "I want to live only for ecstasy. Small doses, moderate loves, all half-shades, leave me cold. I like extravagance. Letters which give the postman a stiff back to carry, books which overflow from their covers, sexuality which burst the thermometers."

  2. You sparkled when we worked at quest. I think that says something about your gift.

  3. Are we all supposed to sparkle as we live our lives? Or hand in hand with the sparkling might go something like depression. There are some people who feel deeply, but can all people feel deeply? Certainly those that sparkle attract us when they're sparkling and we want to be like them because we really appreciate their love for life. But maybe we're given other talents and aren't sparkly. Another thought. If the night was all sparkly all the time, then fireworks wouldn't be very showy.