Imagine you were the Moslem king who surrendered your kingdom to the Christian king in Spain in 8000 CE. You would give up your possessions in a noble procession that marched forward for hours upon hours. You would proudly show the best of your wealth and majesty. You would have dignity in the surrender because your conqueror allows you to prepare your pageant, allows you to present him with what comprises your self, though you may have little choice but to give it all up. I realized the magnitude of such a surrender when I watched the procession at the festival to honor the occasion in Murcia in September. Were I still teaching world history, I would use this experience to try to help my students comprehend what was involved in surrendering.
I wonder when in my personal life I have surrendered, for whatever reason, with such pride or dignity to some event, with such intention of gloriously giving all I have to that which overpowered me. For several weeks I have been at hospitals with my dad as he tries to recover from a serious medical condition at age 83, and at the same time I’ve been on the phone empathizing with my cousin who has given in to cerebral palsy and at age 66 has decided to move into a care center. Both of them know their biggest surrender is coming and each is very weakened. Dad lives 3 hours driving time south while Kathy lives 3 hours north of my home. I’ve been away from home a lot lately. Today I gave myself the day off from supporting others and committed my energy to housekeeping that I’ve been letting go. At least dusting and organizing my things is something I can take power over for a few hours. As I watch these 2 people I have known all my life in their processes of surrender, I realize I must surrender them, I have to let them go soon. I will have to give them up to a higher power. Can I do it with dignity and calm intention? I think so. It’s an inner surrender, the attachment. It’s been done by others throughout history.
I selected these photos for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Shine.
No argument that the sun did it’s darndest in recent years to dry out the land and burn up forests and grasslands in western America from Mexico into Canada. But what I’m talking about is mythology and tragedy and theater, drama based on real events. Mother Earth in a character in the play I am directing for children’s theater this fall. I need to design her costume and I’m rather stumped on this concept. I know a lot of my followers are artists or writers or gardeners or use fabric in your designs, all highly creative folk. Here’s your opportunity to help design a dramatic costume for Mother Earth, and then more for some other characters if you like!The play is “Phaeton and the Sun Chariot” by Wim Coleman. Phaeton is the son of a mortal mother and the immortal Sun God, Helios. The kid challenges his dad to let him drive the Sun Chariot across the sky to prove his own powers and of course disaster strikes when he loses control and drives the sun too close and too far from Earth. Fires, ice, floods, excessive darkness, regular panic and havoc among the mortals, that sort of disaster. Mother Earth comes on stage in a rage and scolds Zeus for letting this happen as she yells about agriculture, strip mining, and air and water pollution, in addition to burning up the earth. So we need a suitable costume. Actors will wear black tops and leggings/pants (no togas) and use masks as they portray different characters, much the way it was done in original Greek Theater. Mother Earth is an exception, she can have more than a mask, a full costume, as she enters from back stage. She has to look like she’s being destroyed, mostly by fire. The costume needs to be quick to put on and take off as the actor will also be playing other characters in the performance. I want it to give the mood of a supernatural or mythological deity, though she is not a goddess. She will probably be barefoot.
So there you have it. I’m asking for collaboration. I need ideas, drawings (very draft is fine), photos, any images you can send my way, please. What is your muse telling you? Use the comments section below or Contact Me here to send me your ideas. I’ll share them and give you credit. Of course I will post the completed costume after the performances in November. And if you can get to McCall, Idaho, come watch the play!