Monday, April 11, 2011

Defying Gravity

Several years ago I was at an audition for the musical "The Wizard of Oz". I desperately wanted the role of the Wicked Witch. A few things stood in my way however. One was that the role did not require any singing and at the audition this was pointed out by the musical director who knew I could sing. I remember her asking me, "Don't you want to try out for Glinda?" "No", I answered. I then pulled out my secret weapon, my cackle, and I knew then by looking at their faces that I'd won the non-singing role. But then came the question, "Are you afraid of heights?" I did my best to lie through my teeth and answered, "No". I knew the role of the Wicked Witch would require me to "fly" on stage. I was so frightened of the idea of being hoisted up high to sail across the stage above the other actors, but I told myself I'd go into the zone and in my character, I'd be fine. I was. Flying was an incredibly freeing experience. I loved it and could not quite get enough of it!

But that was perhaps a once in a lifetime experience. After all, you don't have a company like Flying by Foye show up on your doorstep every day inviting you to fly.

The experience of flying however came back to me a bit last summer, when I returned to my joy of climbing rocks. When I was younger, I could not go a day in the summertime without scaling several large boulders in back of my family camp. Before leaving camp I had to make sure I got to the top of each one just one more time.

There is something powerful about climbing a big ol' rock. When you reach the top, you throw your arms up and declare yourself accomplished, successful, amazing! No matter my age, reaching the top of a rock gives me the same feeling I felt when I flew across the stage as the Wicked Witch. It is a natural high.

Flying with the help of wires and climbing rocks, whether a big boulder in my backyard or an actual mountain, allows me to defy gravity. And when I do that, I am reminded that I can do just about anything, strings or no strings attached!

So if you care to find me
Look to the western sky!
As someone told me lately:
"Ev'ryone deserves the chance to fly!"
And if I'm flying solo
At least I'm flying free
To those who'd ground me
Take a message back from me
Tell them how I am
Defying gravity
I'm flying high
Defying gravity

--Defying Gravity, Wicked (The Musical)

1 comment:

  1. Flying is a little like swimming under water, a few feet above the lake bottom, and watching the aquatic residents, cautious but curious as they ponder you. Anne, considering your role as an English teacher, let me suggest (and offer) a book of short stories that I have published: Tales to Harm Your Mind at It's not so harmful as the title suggests. Also, I have written a juvenile novel, found at the same site, called The Clover Street News. It's aimed a little younger than high school but may be the right level for a less-accomplished reader. If you want either of these, just let me know (I'm on facebook) and I'll e-mail you a PDF of either or both. =David Woodbury, Deep Cove=