Monday, January 14, 2013

Clarity is Focus...

For me the greatest beauty always lies in the greatest clarity.
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

For me, an area of moral clarity is: you're in front of someone who's suffering and you have the tools at your disposal to alleviate that suffering or even eradicate it, and you act.
Paul Farmer

The beauty is that through disappointment you can gain clarity, and with clarity comes conviction and true originality.
Conan O'Brien

Does anyone else get lost in their work and forget the mission they started out on?  Do the raging waters of work ever swallow you up?   I know I sometimes start panting for breath as I drift out to sea, yet there always comes a moment when I reach shore bursting through the water as my clarity of purpose is found.  That happened to me the other day after receiving a comment on MY OTHER VOICE's indiegogo page ( 

I’ve been working very hard on building this production company up, meeting with people, talking about the work, editing, rearranging, creating, sharpening, writing, and the list goes on!  I was doing so much swimming that I slowly started to lose sight of shore.  Two days ago, while I was singing through some of the show, getting frustrated with the way my voice sounded, my phone went off saying I had received a contribution and a comment.  The donation came from a woman that I have never met, a complete stranger, and was also one of our largest contributors to date.  Not only was I floored that a complete stranger had heard about our project, but when I read her comment I was immediately resuscitated.  She wrote, “This contribution is in memory of a Kirby who lost her life, at age 28, to ovarian cancer on January 30, 2012.” 

I immediately stopped what I was doing and went numb.  Then a surge of emotions rushed through my body… I felt overwhelmed that she lost her fight, grateful to be able to read such a comment, lucky to have made it, and finally empowered knowing that my play could be a voice for others like Kirby.   All of this happened in less than a minute as I read the comment over and over again.  One thing cancer survivors have to deal with is “survivors guilt.”  For some people it can be a very intense feeling, often overwhelming, while for others it barely enters their consciousness.  In my own experience my survivor guilt is not as deep as others but still dormant; however, I’m very aware of how blessed I am to still be here.  In fact, this blessing is what has always compelled me to give back with my play.  Though my journey was hard, it was not nearly as difficult as others, and ultimately I still have a voice to empower, motivate, and inspire. 

Comments like these are what keep me on this journey.  I’ve never met Kirby but in some ways I have.  In some ways, everyone who’s been told they have cancer knows each other on some basic level.  These are the people I write for, that don’t have a voice, or don’t know how to use it.  That wish they could see beyond another chemo infusion, hoping for tomorrow, and continuing to fight even when there’s no fight left.  So Kirby… this one’s for you, I hope you hear our voice.    

What have been moments of clarity in your work?  I would love to read in the comments!  

1 comment:

  1. I found out about you and your project when I received an audition notice from AACT. My family has been touched by cancer many times, and I recently had a fleeting scare, so this hit very close to home for me.

    My uncle was diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma when he was 8 years old, and the doctors told my grandparents that he was not going to survive childhood. He did survive, but had several relapses before he eventually passed away at age 39. I was in fifth grade.

    I think back, and I can still feel the pain of losing him, but I remind myself that I was lucky to have known him at all, and it helps to manage my emotions and keep me appreciating life and how precious it is.

    Your story brought me to tears, both as an MT kid and someone that has experienced loss. I believe that all people could read or see My Other Voice and experience deep emotion.

    Thank you for this. It is a great contribution.