The first time I saw The Lion King on Broadway, I wept.
I also wept the second time I saw it.
We will take Happy to see it this summer when it comes to town because The Lion King is his true north and he wants to be a lion when he grows up.
I know that I will cry again.
I didn’t cry at the place where you suspect that I might have. I cried at the beginning. At the opening sequence.
“What’s wrong?” BF whispered to me that first time. WHAT IS WRONG? He said through clenched teeth, clearly worried.
And I couldn’t tell him right then because it was too much to say and I was fairly certain that the other patrons would have shot daggers at me. I just shook my head, somehow letting him know that nothing was wrong-wrong.
In fact, I was crying because everything was right. Oh so right.
I cried during that opening sequence to The Lion King because it was so brilliant. The shine was so bright.
I was, first of all, overwhelmed that the human mind could conceive that opening. That someone could THINK of that was so humbling and overwhelming to me. It was so inspiring.
And then I cried because not only could someone DREAM it, she (the incredible Julie Taymor) could also physically manifest it. She could make it happen. It all just blew my mind.
I sat in that audience and mulled over the great potential of the human mind and spirit and knew deep down inside that I had (have) not even scratched the surface of my potential. I was coasting on the surface of my possibility.
There are other experiences that have moved me in the same way. There are books that I have read with my mouth hanging open (The Vagina Monologues is one. The material was urgent and imperative and that Eve Ensler turned it into that kind of art? BLEW MY MIND). I weep through Cirque de Soleil shows because, again, I am so moved that the human mind can conceive those concepts and then that the human body can make that vision real. There are songs that I hear and I feel like every single choice was brilliant- the lyric, the rhythm, the note. There is just so much brilliance out there, so much shine. And it reminds me that I, too, have my own shine. It may not be prodigious. But it is mine. And what I know to be true is that my shine can make a difference to someone else if I will just take the risk and offer it.
Too often, we think our shine doesn’t matter. That what we have to offer is ordinary in its conception. That if we can’t be Julie Taymor or Eve Ensler or Celia Cruz or Emily Sailers or Lauryn Hill or Anne Lamott or Julia Alvarez then we should hang it up. But here is what I know. Whether we are a big time artist or not an artist at all, our unique expression is needed in this world. Someone or something is waiting for you, waiting for your shine. We are, each one of us, hear to offer our brilliance, to be a part of healing and meeting this world’s needs. You have time, but not all the time in the world, so you must begin. Whatever your shine, serve it. I am ready to weep at your magic.