Thursday, May 19, 2005

Well, I'm back at home, simultaneously unpacking and preparing to go on vacation to Hawaii. So far I've seen Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind at Ayudaren's behest, which was quite as good as he advertised, and met Lionell's new (well, new to me) girlfriend. I am preparing for further adventures in Phoenix Earth, wherein we will explore further the destiny of the brothers Follakir, and I am preparing for new adventures as Marina Spier, aimless English major. On Saturday the gang and I will see Episode III, and this long arduous episode in the saga of our Star Wars lives will come to a close.

In short, I am home. I realized yesterday as we were packed into Twilight's den watching Nausicaa and talking about what Ms. Spier would bring with her on a road trip around small town USA that we're really only like this when we're all together. I can't help but feel if I were to bring home one of my Stanford friends - especially one of the Stanford friends I met through dance - they'd find me virtually unrecognizable at home.

And speaking of dance, the Big Dance went off smashingly in my opinion. Congratulations to Blue Rose for that, and congratulations to Shanah Van for a highly entertaining and well-received choreography of "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy." Everyone I could reasonably have expected to be there was there, with the exception of White Jade, and that was satisfying. There were also a few people who I couldn't reasonably expect to be there who were, and that was satisfying too. Of course it would have been nice if a few others had been present as well - Alanna, Chariessa, and Esther Selene, to name a few - but since they'd all have had to travel several thousand miles to get there, I think I can forgive their absences. And it was delightful to see and dance with Terina, whose company I have missed altogether too frequently this year. I also got to dance the Dawn Mazurka again (and in a set with Shanah, Rose, and the Dance Master, no less), which was highly satisfying even if I did make one rather large embarrassing mistake (among several smaller embarrassing mistakes). I think I've got it locked down in my head now, though. Many thanks to my gracious partner, for whom I have no blogname, and to the rest of my set.

Best dance of the night was probably with Anachoron to "Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy." I have to agree with him that while I would die if polkas were played much more frequently than they are, as far as individual dances go they're almost always my favorite. There's such an intense exuberance to flying through the air to a good technopolka, which is why I had to open my lungs and sing to that song. Sorry if I embarrassed anybody, but it was just so much fun (and I was quite pleased to find that I could sing and polk at the same time). We thanked the Dance Master afterwards for playing that song, and that was fun.

Oh, and one more thing. He called it air redowa.

Monday, May 09, 2005

"Then [Moses] said to Him, "If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here." - Exodus 33:15

"No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other." - Luke 16:13

"Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life." - Proverbs 4:23

"That which you do, do it from the heart, as to the Lord and not to men." - Colossians 3:23

"And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance." - 2 Corinthians 9:8

Why do we things? How do Christians make decisions about what to do and what not to do? This is one of those questions that I always come back to, one of the philosophical issues that I really care about. How is it that we are to serve God with our whole heart, to find him wholly sufficient to meet our needs, and yet do things?

Not too long after she got married, Michelle Tumes recorded a song in which she sang, "You're the one, You're the one, one and only love." In the liner notes she amplifies, "It occurred to me this year that God is the only love." This has always struck me as embodying a fairly deep decision-making principle. The principle is this: Above all, our hearts must be invested completely in God. So perhaps we do things because it would be inconsistent with devoting ourselves wholly to God to not do them.

I am speaking here of doing things, or making decisions, which implicate where you place your heart. On this view, the decision-making principle is essentially to avoid idolatry, and there are some activities which pose no risk of that. Whether to watch a movie, where to eat lunch, what to wear today - those are things that I would say usually don't implicate your heart. Sometimes they do, of course - for instance, during my birthday week I intended to watch a series of movies with emotional significance, and I need to be careful which movies I choose and when I watch them. They were chosen specifically because they do implicate my heart. But there are lots of decisions which odn't ordinarily implicate such matters.

And then there are decisiosn which ordinarily do. Some of the ones on my list are going to college, dating a person, and joining a performing group. Those are activities which I think you must devote yourself to body and soul if you are to do them successfully (there is an exception for non-college age people going to college, as I tried to articulate last night to Duchess and Enika). Consequently, on this view of decision-making, there is a problem if you are undertaking them separately from your calling to the Lord rather than as part of it.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

What I love most about theater is when a company comes together as a real company. I don't particularly care about how well the performance went, or how well I did, except insofar as people in the company are depending on me to do my job and it pleases me to not let them down. When all cylinders are firing, a theatrical company is what I hear any good fighting company is like - joined by bonds of loyalty and love, everybody trusting everybody else to do their job and come through in a pinch, able to respond to unexpected emergencies with smooth efficiency as a single organism. In a good company those in charge have the moral authority to really lead, and at every level in the hierarchy people are ennobled both to follow those above them and to serve those below them. All this to say that although the Savoyards are far from perfect, there is a good company spirit about them, and whatever critiques I may have of them, I wish them well.

Particularly now that Neani is probably gone. And because I am fond of the Savoyards, I am feeling somewhat nostalgic that she is leaving as well. Especially since I am so very fond of her. And especially since I have a soft spot for stage managers. It was a good leaving, I thought, and I wanted to mark it in my own way.

The primary purpose of a blogname is to honor the person who has it. And since I've never written Neani's out fully, let me do so now. She is Neanis Kalliplokime, Anassa Pragous Toude Kai Bouleumatos, and she did a good job.