Thursday, April 5, 2012

Ruminations on Holy Thursday

So much I haven't been writing about, and still more I'm not ready to write about just yet!

I had a great experience in church tonight. I went to the Holy Thursday mass up in Burbank because I got out of an audition late and it was the closest Catholic church. It was a fascinating service. There were a total of four languages spoken. Some of the songs and even the readings were done in Vietnamese and Spanish as well as English. Then of course, because it's Holy Thursday there was a nice helping of Latin.

More than the words spoken were the emotions touched upon. A couple weeks ago one of my acting coaches told me that if I'm ever going to be a good actor and feel more on camera I need to feel more in everyday life. Now there's the biggest little piece of advice I ever got. I have been working more on feeling life in every moment, and whatever emotions flow through me.

The issue I have (and every other human has) is that, though I was super open to my emotions as a child, I built up walls as I grew up. Very functional walls that help me live every day. My sense of humor, my impartiality, all the things that make me me. However, with all of those fully functioning parts of me in play, other parts of me are so protected that they have grown a little stunted. I rarely cry, and when I do it hits me hard. My deep emotions are bottled up within me so that they kind of explode out...though anger is something I don't think I've ever really understood or had a grasp on, and it's something I think less than five people have seen over my nearly thirty years on this earth.

During the mass I felt the impact of what we were reenacting as a group. The washing of the feet, and poor Simon never getting it right but trying so very hard to be perfect. Songs have always been able to seep through my defenses better than most other things, and there was some great music during the mass. What started to hit me was the exit when I remembered this is the time of year, the very day when they remove the host, the trans-substantial body of Christ from the church, leaving it empty. Removing the host from His home. The lights slowly went out as we sang and processed outside of the church and across the street into the parish hall. There was other singing there and we all knelt in vigil alongside Jesus as he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane and asked us to remain with him, his companions and his friends. Unfortunately when he asked his disciples to do this they all fell asleep.

As I knelt there I felt waves of shame and fear and joy know--emotions--flow through me. I know they'll continue through midnight keeping vigil, but I had enough time to go through my own little journey.

I'm not sure if it's because I'm away from home and the people I love and have known my whole life or the fact that I'm going through a terrible realization that people I've known and trusted for a year pretty much scammed me, or the fact that I just left an audition where I had to tell a woman that the hospital will not do a lifesaving procedure on her son because she has no money or just life as it is right now in general, but I was right there alongside Jesus. I was open to myself and to my fears and to my pain and I felt them all. I felt tired and hungry afterward. I felt alive.

Not that I don't feel alive normally, with all my personal neurosis and defenses and whatnot, but I was there in communion with something much bigger than myself. Not my ego either. In fact I heard on a podcast earlier today how this one artist interviewed other artists and when asking them all why their friends like them all had answers like, "because I'm a fun guy," or "I give them candy and stuff," such as that. However, when digging deeper, past their own walls they had built up around themselves they realized that their friends really like them because they are honest people. I kind of realized that yeah, I like to think people like me because I'm funny, but perhaps the real reason people like me has more to do with the fact that I'm one of the most sincere people out there. Not saying they don't find me funny...but I'm not saying they do either, I guess.

Anyway, I sat with myself for a while this evening and I let myself feel. The other big thought that crossed my mind is that I love my parents so much, and one of the hardest facts I'll have to face is that someday, hopefully not anytime soon, my parents will die and I will be forever without them and I'll have to mourn them. This is a fact I dread, and I pray every day that it is delayed as long as possible. I do not wish to mourn my parents, I'd much rather have them here telling me they love me and frustrating me with how they confuse the names of everything.

With all that in mind, I need to open myself to life and run straight to the pain because there is something much better once you experience and pass through those spots of life. There is always more, everywhere you look.

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