We woke up side by side.
On the floor.
In our makeup from last night.
Her name is Sarah Sparkles.
The sun streamed through the 19 little oddly shaped windows in the room, and I whispered my dream to her. She was in it. She often finds her way in them.
And then we got to talking about last night.
The only way out is through, they say.
I was terrified last night. Legs shaking. Voice trembling. My fingers weren’t finding the right chords on my borrowed ukulele and I was on in ten minutes.
What did I even agree to do?
I was surrounded by beautiful, talented musicians. We were in the dressing room together. These gorgeous faerie like girls with ukuleles assured me I’d be fine, and I dabbed glitter on the corners of their eyes.
And then I heard my name. Babs, Goddess of the Ukulele, the woman who dared me to a new adventure, the woman who dared me to be a better me, stood across from me. She looked into my eyes and helped me breathe slowly and deeply to calm me down. She squeezed my arms and I was off…. the stage curtain in my hands.
I closed my eyes and thought of Killian. He was the reason we were all there. I whispered a thank you to this boy I never met in life before… thank you, Killian, for showing me how to live.
And then all the light came flooding in from the stage.
I told the audience a story about my chihuahua. Three days after I met Babs, Niney and I were walking down the street on a sunny day. Once we got inside, the house was so dark in contrast, she walked straight into the staircase, rolled onto her back upside down, rolled back over, shook it off and continued up the staircase. She turned around to look at me as if to say… “Hey….are we doing this or what?”
I want to be more like my chihuahua. She rolls with it. Things aren’t a big deal. Mess ups, embarrassing moments….they don’t register. They don’t matter.
So there I stood, on the stage, my first time playing the ukulele and singing. I felt like I was rolled on my back. Vulnerable and exposed to the world. I knew I needed to shake my fears off and say…”Hey, are we doing this or what?”
My fingers found the right chords.
My voice amplified over a hushed theater.
It was just the two of us then…. me and my borrowed ukulele.
Singing our souls….
In a spotlight.
My entire body hummed with the excitement of this new thing. Soared.
And when it was over….all I wanted to do was it. Again.
Sparkles witnessed it all. She saw the day unfold – in the afternoon, when fears crept in and old doubt came into the room….she shooed them away from me. She sent me off to the theater with magic words and secret hand signals. Then she saw me take the stage, she watched from a dark corner, and she was proud.
She whispered to me this morning about how she had a fear about identifying herself as a “performer” because as a performer, she would be judged based on her body, and it made her deeply uncomfortable.
Recently our friends, Abby and Flambeaux invited her to be a part of a major art gala, and asked her if she would be a part of their hot wax art installation. The installation would require her to be under dozens of candles, the wax dripping into a mold around her body, as she stayed still and let the sculpture form around her.
Despite her fears surrounding identifying as a performer, Sparkles said YES.
And when the day came, she was afraid, but pushed through it and far surpassed her own expectations of what was possible.
She realized what she had been denying herself all along.
She is a performer. A captivating one at that.
Sparkles surrounds herself with beauty and ritual. She is beauty and ritual. And when I saw the pictures of her performance – I recognized her heart.
In beauty and ritual.
Where it belongs.
“I recognized where you were last night because I felt the same way. And I knew. I knew….our greatest powers lie beyond our fears.”
Wait. Wait. I have to write this down, I said.
And here it is. Written down.
What are you afraid of that you want to dare yourself to do? What wild dreams await for the greatest vision of yourself?
Push it. Share it. Your body will shake like wild voodoo.
And it will be the best thing that ever happened.