By My Side

GodspellIn 1976, I was in a production of “Godspell” that pretty much had a long lasting and life changing effect on me. The songs and memories of that time come back to me often (but haven’t for awhile), and I find myself not just nostalgic (not glossing over some of the less positive moments of that semester in college), but remembering how touched I was by so much during the entire process.

Up to then, the whole concept of God or  Jesus/God meant nothing to me. I had no basis to believe. So…part of what I am experiencing now, in trying to find some faith, hold onto something more, has its roots thirty-seven years ago. I only really thought about it this morning: it has not been a good morning, as I had a not very good previous evening and an even worse night of tossing and turning.

Why did this come to mind now? It was a special time for me, holding some moments that I really first started to come into myself…and I know I need to get some of that strength back, find that satisfaction and joy for what we were doing. I sang “All Good Gifts,” but the song that often stays with me is “By My Side”. Not the most well known of “Godspell” songs, but one that touched me every performance, and one that I’ve sang to myself off and on over the years.

One very vivid memory:

One of the cast members (Mimi) and I were a bit sad: this was going to be the last night of our run.  Mimi was two years older, a senior, and this was going to be her last performance at the college. We had become friends. It was a Sunday, and with not much to do before we had to show up for call, we went to her dorm room to talk. It got dark early, and the moon was fairly full, if not a full moon. As we were waiting to leave, just sitting talking about the experience of the show and our lives at the moment, with the room lights off, we glanced out the window and one of us saw it (not sure who):  the moon was at the center of a cross,  the beams of moonlight straight across and up and down. No joke.

We were both touched, shocked, whatever you want to call it: it moved us. We ran to the theater, found some of the cast already there, and told everyone. We were in a little bit of hysterics (or, at least I was), and the director calmed us down. Yes, we understood refraction of light on the glass, abetted by the mesh screen on the outside of the windows…but, no matter what, we carried that image with us into that last performance.

Whatever it was, it was a bit of a transforming moment for me. I’ve asked questions about religion, faith, God ever since, never getting a satisfactory answer, never feeling a pull or affinity for any of it, even though I’ve wavered, wanting to believe but not having it happen.  Turning to the Rabbi is a huge step for me.

I know that I’ve had many by my side, even more so now for these last few months. I appreciate all that has been done, and am grateful to many.

I hope you have those who are by your side, physically, and you can find it spiritually, if that is your belief.


About StuHN

I am a creative individual with many areas of passion: Professional Storyteller; NYS Certified Drama Specialist/Educator; Professional Development Coordinator & Facilitator; Workshop Leader; sometime Puppeteer; Playwright; Director; Performer; Teaching Artist; and sometimes more.

Posted on January 7, 2013, in Caring, Counsling, Despair, Friends, Healing, Inspiration, Love, Prayers, Psalms, Spiritual, Support, Transformation and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. A very interesting experience, Stu, and I’m glad it had a lasting effect on you. I too have had a few such moments when something most people try to explain away has had a definite impact on my thinking or decision making. They scoff, but we know.

  2. The only thing that matters, I suppose, it what we see and how we interpret it – an explanation isn’t always necessary. Glad it was a happy memory for you!

    • It’s a fulfilling one: doing Godspell was one of my performance highlights. I haven’t thought about it in awhile…and that’s a shame, as it was always a “go to” place for me to make me happy.

  1. Pingback: All Good Gifts « The Opening of Doors

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