Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Christmas Carol

"God bless us every one." Dickens had a way with words.

With a mother's pride, I sat in row E seat 24 watching my son perform once more on stage. Before I saw him, I could hear his voice in the chorus singing the intro carol. Smiling like a Cheshire cat, my heart warmed. Ah, yes. I was very proud.

The clock chimed. The ghosts came to visit Scrooge, the old crumudgeon. As his life was revealed before him, he felt remorse and loss. Visions of the small boy abandoned of his father's love, then the young man in love and finally the man falling out of love with his beautiful Belle and into love with the sound of money all took Scrooge back in time.

I felt Scrooge's loss of time. Dickens understood that we cannot go back. We can only strive to understand what was before in order to change what happens now. He knew that unless you understood where you had come from, you could not clearly see where you needed to go.

The clock chimes once more and the ghost of Christmas Present arrives. Again, Scrooge stands outside of life watching a life he is missing. He sees for the first time the joy of loving and the fear of losing. For once he realizes that he has done nothing to add to the lives of others. He is but a shadow passing through life.

The theatre resonates with the thunderous roar of the third apparition. A dark shadow foretells Scrooge of his future. A dead child, a family in mourning, a cold hole in the ground hold a body that was cold even in life. "Can I change these things," Scrooge asks. I feel for this old Scrooge. I feel for all of us. What can we do to change the shadows of the future? What have I done?

I was touched by this Christmas Carol that has accompanied me these many years. My thoughts went to Dickens impressed by the tremendous depth of understanding this man committed to paper. I felt the pain of those I know who are ill. I felt the sadness of those who have lost loved ones. I felt the need to change myself, and perhaps a little bit of the world.

Last year was the first that my son had performed in this yearly Christmas production. To be invited to perform is an honor as this is one of the outstanding theatres on the west coast. The show was different this year. Changes had been made including roles that were cut. James was fortunate to return once more the PCS stage.

I noticed a change in his performance. A new depth. Maybe it was the new love that has entered his life. Maybe the changes in our family in this last year have changed him as well. I was a proud mother, but more than that, I was pleased for this awareness that had captured my son.

I was changed last night. I was changed by the face of grouchy old man discovering his heart, by the message that Dickens tells so well, but most of all, by baritone voice that touched an audience and found new depth.

In the wake of a wonderful performance, I say: "God bless us every one."

1 comment:

  1. Isn't it amazing how a well-known play can reverberate with fresh meaning every time we see it? It's the magic of theater. Dickens was an amazing writer, and A Christmas Carol has meaning that we cannot revisit too often. Congratulations to your son on his part in this holiday production!