What I Learned from Michael Corleone, Part I: Mistakes

But first …

Thank you, Vessel readers, for your patience over the last two weeks.

I am learning to accept that my life is busy, that if I am going to have meaningful relationships with my family, friends and community, then I must create pockets of time in which to reflect and write. Sometimes, as in the last two weeks, the pockets are hard to find.

I am learning to recognize that I have many ways of expressing my creativity. I sing. I write. I teach. I act. And now I direct.


Marit rehearsing with Choreographer Liz Chavez. Photo by Henry Rael.

You are invited to share in the fruits of my first directing endeavor. The White World, the story of Clara, a young dancer caught between the world of the living and the dead, comes to the National Hispanic Cultural Center one weekend only, March 23 – 25, as part of Women & Creativity. Written as a screenplay by Marit Rawley and adapted for stage by me, The White World, a one-act play, is a metaphor for Marit’s own life as a young woman with autism, navigating the world within her mind and the world in which she lives, works, and communicates.

Show times are Friday and Saturday at 8:00 PM and Sunday at 2:00 PM. All three performances will open with an excerpt of Marit’s “self-documentary” about life with autism and her process of becoming a filmmaker as an apprentice to Emmy award winner Dale Sonnenberg. Sunday’s show will be followed by a panel discussion.

Call 505-724-4771 for tickets. (Call soon. We’ve got a big story in Sunday’s Albuquerque Journal, so beat the rush and get your tickets now.)

Visit The White World blog to read Marit’s story, connect to our successful Kickstarter campaign, and see behind the scenes photos from rehearsals.

And now, Part I

“I’ve made some mistakes.”

He woke me out of a dead sleep. It was five in the morning. The faintest light, predawn or artificial I couldn’t tell, crept between the blind and the window frame. K. stood at Henry’s side of the bed. He wakes early on vacation days, and despite his late night sleepover still in progress on our living room floor and “couch bed,” as K. and his sister refer to our pull out sofa, he was wide awake.

“Daddy, I’ve made some mistakes,” he said.

“Are you okay, little guy?” I asked, lifting my head off the pillow. His hair, which he is growing out until it “reaches China,” stood up like a rooster’s crown. He scratched his leg. Henry got out of bed. As he and K. left the room, K. said it again, only this time I heard, “The living room stinks.”

“It’s the polish,” I babbled to Henry, already out of earshot and back in the living room, where I assumed P. and her friend had left an open bottle of nail polish or a tissue with acetone.

The living room stinks.

I’ve made some mistakes.

Lately, even when K. stays in his bed, I’ve had trouble sleeping. I have a recurring dream that I am trying to get somewhere, to an important meeting, a performance, or a class, and it seems the universe conspires to keep me from arriving. Guests drop in and I must cook for them. A tire falls off my car. A quick errand along the way turns into a daylong excursion from which there is no escape.

This dream is usually paired with the one in which I call for help and no sound comes from my mouth.

Paralysis and silence go together, and the only way for me to move forward or find my voice is to shift ground on which I am standing.

Last Tuesday I let go of a contract. After breakfast, I resigned from an advisory board. That afternoon I told the Executive Director of an organization I deeply respect that it was time for me to leave the Board.

I held on to each of these longer than I should have because I felt bad for not giving as much as I would have liked. When I thought of leaving, I heard awful things in my head. Quitter. Flake. You wasted our time. Why didn’t you say something sooner? Now how am I supposed to find someone to replace you? You didn’t do much anyway …

So I would talk myself out of quitting, reasoning that I could leave once I did something spectacular to compensate for my inactivity, certain that my parting act would alleviate the guilt I felt over not being the kind of consultant/board member/human being I should be.

I’ve made some mistakes.

Then I saw The Godfather.

Tune in for What I Learned from Michael Corleone, Part II on Tuesday, March 20.

Published in: on March 15, 2012 at 11:06 am  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hooray! You’re pruning! That’s a good thing for all living things.

  2. Ok I’m waiting. And subscribing.

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