After the resurrection, Jesus said to Peter, “You will be taken somewhere you don’t want to go. Even when things are going well, who hasn’t discovered that something else is just around the corner? Enjoy it now. Not always easy. Often the thing around the corner can take us to places that totally upset us. Sometimes we just have to cry and do our best to start over. But sometimes being able to laugh creates enough endorphins that we can be soothed and find enough resilience to carry on.
Sometimes we will be taken where we do not want to go; humor can help us release tension. I will never forget leading a funeral service, and I did what I often do, ask the family to share a favorite memory of the one they lost. They tried, but they couldn’t until their father spoke up, saying simply, “The first time I saw her with her mouth shut.” Tension is broken, healing has occurred, sharing and healing have begun. Humor can arise when nothing else can, even when we end up in places we don’t want to go.
After:LOSE EDEN: Ghosts and how to find them
After:LOSE EDEN: Learning to be human
I was enjoying a Christmas present, a party. It happened to be Tutti Fan Cosi. It’s not an Italian soccer team, and it’s not a missing verse from Little Richard’s song, “Tutti Frutti.” It’s an opera. If I ever conduct this opera, I will definitely include Little Richard’s hit song. As for the opera, it wasn’t terrible, it was pretty dreadful, awful and awful. With a little editing, it could have been reduced from three hours to twelve minutes. Not only were they repeating themselves, but it was also in another language, maybe Italian, maybe Klingon, who knows. Fortunately, there was a translation on the screen, while the interpreters sang. This artist kept saying, “I’m about to die,” until you find yourself praying for a quick release.
I made the most of it as I used the time to figure out how to blog live from a third tier opera house. There were know, if dirty looks coming from the secondary characters only. The others were professional about it and focused on their line, “He fell on his knife,” repeated, until I blogged what the other males in the audience thought, “Better late than never.”
I was also taken to the opera unexpectedly. I thought I was being taken to dinner at a restaurant called Don Giovanni. Italian food is my favorite, and everyone knows I hate opera, so I was in for it. When I sat down and there were no breadsticks or tables, I started to get suspicious. When I noticed a menu of twenty-two dollar nachos and eight dollar bottled water under the phrase “lobby snack bar”, I recognized that I had been taken to an opera against my wish. Again.
Here is my philosophy, When life gives you operas, live blog. My first entry was, “Fun Fact: Opera singers have more blood than the rest of us, it takes forever for this one to drop.”
We had seats in the center of the first row, unfortunately it didn’t start out that way. We were safely seated on the side where there was sleeping potential. There was a saving grace – from the center of the front row it was possible to wave at the performers to speed things up. It was, I could tell, well liked by the other male audience members, if not some of the minor characters listed in the program as “Other”, or worse, “Trainee”.
Originally we had seats far, far to the right, probably where Marjorie Taylor Greene normally sits. I was already falling asleep when the usher came by and said, “I have wonderful news. “The sound system is down and the toilets are on full blast?” I asked hopefully.
“No, we put you in the center of the first row because we need the three side seats for three trumpeters in the orchestra.”
“Yes, but what is the wonderful news you announced? »
“Front row, center seats,” he repeated as if he were the star of some kind of opera. At least he didn’t sing it.
“Listen,” I said, “I’ll pay you the $30 I was going to pay for nachos and water if you put the trumpeters in the front row and let us stay here where maybe I could pick up 40 clinks eye.”
“I’m sorry sir,” he said, “artistically that’s not what the conductor is looking for.”
This, I admit, gave me some hope. If there’s a driver, maybe there’s a stop where I can get off. “I’ll just stay here and wait for my train,” I told the usher. That’s when security arrived and we were escorted to the front row, center.
People around us were no doubt impressed and asked if we were famous.
“Yes,” I said, “we’re deflating Tom Brady’s balloons.”
That’s when the orchestra started playing, even though everyone was playing a different song. It was my favorite part of the opera, because no one was singing. Then the conductor raised his knitting needles and the opera began. I fell asleep pretty quickly, only waking up once when, and I’m not making this up, someone sang twelve times in a row that they had seen a spider. Someone else replied twelve times that he didn’t have a rolled up newspaper. It finally got me involved in the big Boston opera production unfolding before my eyes this year, as I rolled up my program and attempted to hand it to the violinist who would have taken it and handed it to the protagonist if the conductor hadn’t waved his drumsticks at her.
I went back to sleep dreaming that the spider had escaped and was crawling into the driver’s socks. Two and a half hours later, I woke up and the main character was staring directly at me with such a deadly gaze that I started to wonder if he was really acting. To let him know I was paying attention, I looked at my watch, tapped it several times, held it to my ear, and made a circular motion with both hands. The protagonist drew his sword, anyway, I went back to sleep, woken up by the applause about twenty minutes later. People were standing. Happy ending! Anyone could have predicted that people would be on their feet filled with great gratitude, for there was now enough time to get back to the red line before the last train left Park Street. It was mostly, okay, like a three-hour dental procedure is enough to stop the pain with a root canal. But as they say, “this is the opera for you”.
Rick Giragosian sold shoes for Thom McAn (the 70s) and iPhones for Apple, and constantly reminds people that no one is ever outside of God’s love. He does this for the United Church of Christ.