had an amazing weekend.
it was good, too, to get out of the house. i've been really hesitant about going out in large groups-- i don't know if that's part of the grief process or not, but i've just felt overwhelmed at the thought of being in a gigantic group, but my friends miki and elizabeth organized a three-ring-very-southern-circus and i simply could not resist.
we began the night at the whistle post in historic old town conyers, eating frikkles, drinking sweet drinks and watching for the rockdale citizen/teacher paparazzi to come take pictures of all of us drinking fizzy drinks and printing mug shots for the whole town to see :). we laughed our heads off and i think multiple conversations were begun and left unfinished and it was just fine. i love parties like that-- happy madness.
from there, we walked over to the new depot to see steel magnolias, directed by one of my favorite friends in the universe, jay tryall.
it was fantastic.
besides laughing my head off at miki, who was in rare stand-up-comic form (i've known miki my entire life-- literally since i can remember knowing any human-- and there is still noone alive who can make me laugh like she can), the play was incredible. i can't say enough about the entire cast, but cyndi evans was hysterical as ouiser boudreaux. i have to find her and introduce myself to her at church next week. i almost want to ask her for her autograph. i love how she just threw her entire self into the role and i can't imagine how that must feel for an actor. i wonder if its anything like singing can be sometimes-- when you just so totally mean it. you close your eyes and open your lungs and go for it and ... freedom. i wonder sometimes if that's what acting feels like for people who are really good at it.
and to top the entire night off, the weather in georgia was perfect. breezy, not too humid, almost cool (what! imagine that in august!).... lovely.
there was this moment, right after the play, when it occurred to me that life could be normal again and was normal right that minute. we were all posing in front of the stage that jay had meticulously put together and jay -- the director who was being interviewed by the paper but who graciously stopped to take our picture-- goes, "okay, say 'shelby'" and we laughed and said it and my heart was full...
full for these women, only a few of whom i really even knew, for being a safe first-outing since the death of my son. full for the midwife who has been my friend for 20 plus years, who has literally seen me inside and out and who was in the room for the nightmare and who was two feet away from me, normal as grass. full for miki, who i've always loved and laughed with, who shared my childhood and is as much a sister as any blood sister could be and who i still want when bad things happen. full for caroline, my sweet compatriot and co-conspirator and who can be trusted with any secret. full for karen who didn't come to the play and who ordered two salads because she is karen :). full for val, who is kind and spunky. full for the clever, funny women all around that stage. full with affection for the sweet mother of a former precious student (i see where kelsey gets it from now, that sweet kid). full, knowing that each of those women has been touched with her own sorrows, but that each of them put on lipstick and packed their purses with steel magnolias memorabilia per miki's command and we laughed and laughed... full because i have wept with jay and no one in the room knew but jay and me. i have also laughed with him til i thought i would choke.
so many stories in that room.
we are surrounded, all of us, with jars of clay, holding precious treasures of pain in our hearts. we bump into each other, jostling each other and helping to catch the falling burdens, without even knowing it.
i loved a lot of people friday night.
it was good.