Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Not All Who Wander Are Lost


Not all who wander are lost. Although, I'm sure I often seemed lost to the people around me. I would cry, scream and bang loudly. I would jump, laugh and dance. From early fall 1995 until June 13, 2005 I did not stay in the same place for longer than five months. I was a gypsy and a vagabond. Most of the time I was in a different place every day.

What was I doing? I was pursuing my dream. I was an actor. I worked for the Hampstead Stage Company, the Georgia Shakespeare Festival, the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, the Virginia Shakespeare Festival and the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival. Just to name a few.

I toured the South East, the East coast, New York and Pennsylvania, the Pacific North West and Texas and Louisiana; all these with just one company. It was a blast. Though the fast food really did catch up with me quickly, and PMS can be wicked bad on the road, I never did get tired of hotel rooms. They were my surrogate home, probably more comfortable to me than my mother's womb.

I remember times, when I was settled, temporarily, in Louisville, Charlotte, or DC, when I would pass a hotel in my car and get home sick. I'm serious, wanderlust for me is an illness. I have a gypsy's heart.

Was it worth it? Yes, it was worth it, every minute of it:

Louisiana in the height of spring, with all it's marshes, is the most lush and beautiful thing. It has so many depths of green, your eyes can barely stand it.

The Redwood Forrest is my favorite place in the world. I feel so diminutive among the forest's enormousness, and the color there, is like nowhere else.

The Shenandoah Valley in Spring, was absolutely glorious with all it's Dogwoods and color to beat the band.

The Shenandoah Valley in Fall, my partner and I were convinced that we missed a turn, and were somehow in Ireland.

Driving into Portland, Oregon with cliff's and waterfalls on my left, and a huge river on my right, and then boom, city in the distance. It was magical, like driving into Oz.

Being convinced, no one can be in a bad mood in the Pacific North West, you could try, but as soon as you walk out into the majestic beauty, all is wiped away.

Having a child ask me, after a performance, "Do you have a baby?" I replied, "Do I have a baby, is that what you said?" And, she grinned like a Cheshire cat, and responded, "That's what I said."

Taking mini-vacations in between jobs to NYC, the city of all cities, was a bit opulent or gluttonous. I don't know the right word, let's just say...it was all grand,

and yes, it was worth it.

I did finally decide to settle down. Why? I was desperate for a family. I had yet to find my life mate among the theatre tribe. I desperately wanted to be equally yoked with a man and bare his children. To be equally yoked, I would have to find a Christian man, with a bit of wanderlust. A tall order, I know.

Did I find him? Yes I did. We've almost hit our one year anniversary. It has been one hell of year. Much has been learned, and we've been renting the same house for twelve whole months. However, I don't think our wanderlust has been squashed.

We still dream of living in NYC or New Hampshire or Baltimore or Seattle. We still talk of traveling when we find our next money tree. And, we still pray about mission work in Burundi, Africa, or wherever our Lord might send us.

"Not all who wander are lost." This is a wonderful quote from the end of Julia Roberts' film, "Mona Lisa Smile." Kirsten Dunst's character spoke it, in voice over, while writing it into an article for the school paper. She finally came to terms with the teacher figure, Julia Roberts, and even learned something from her as a person. Just because the teacher was different from Kirsten's country club set, (I mean she was the Jones' of "Keeping up with the Jones'" fame, aren't we all different?) and even thought the teacher seemed to bounce around in relationships and life, did not mean she was lost. It meant she had a wonderful grip on her own life and a taste for discovery and freedom.

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