Monday, September 10, 2012

In Memory of Trees

By Susan G Parcheta
(pub Sept. 2, 2012)

The turn I have just taken, the turn that I was making, I might be just beginning, I might be near the end.” ~ (From the album “The Memory of Trees” by Enya, lyrics by Roma Ryan)

Had I not made the turn, I might not have noticed. I’d felt uneasy all day, that other-shoe-is-going-to drop feeling. Only, in this case it was a tree.
In my uneasiness, I decided going for a walk might help.  Walking among the trees always brings to me a sense of balance.  It’s a simple thing to do, when things seem awry.

I wasn’t  looking intently. I just began my usual walkaround, mostly noticing the ground before me. When I reached the fork in the trail, where I usually go left, I felt the nudge to make a right turn. Then, looking ahead, I wondered what had happened that I couldn’t see through to the end. Masses of leaves covered the trail.

In astonishment, I realized it was the top of a fallen tree. Somehow, my heart knew it was my tree house tree. What else could it possibly be, that I’d have felt that uneasiness, and made a right turn. I could have easily walked to the left, on around the trail, back through the yard, and I honestly don’t think I’d have noticed. It  had fallen perfectly within the stand of trees and not into the main yard.

I still can’t believe it happened. Yet, it also astonishes me that, somehow, there’s within me a knowing that all is well. It astonishes me that I’m so…OK with this event.

Perhaps the tree falling is symbolic of a transformation going on in my life. Why, when I almost physically hurt when my husband cuts down a tree, am I so OK with it?

My Disappearing Universe

By Susan G Parcheta
(pub. Aug. 17, 2012 at
Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little. The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark." ~ Agnes DeMille

Have you ever been gone on a retreat for a week, then come home to find the rest of the world has taken a quantum leap?

It’s puzzling to me. Gone to the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia  for a workshop on Intuitive Heart Discovery with Henry Reed.  My cell phone worked intermittently, as did the Internet. So my attempts to connect with the outer world were random; and the workshop schedule left little time for randomness.

Afternoon rainbow over Blue Ridge mountain meadow
The intensity of the classes threw me into overdrive, leaving little desire to try to catch up on a random basis. Besides, it’s always kind of fun to have a week where you are not totally tied to your TV, iPhone, or laptop.

Fun, maybe, but also funny, in that life has a way of leaping past you during those times. I was missing the second half of the Summer Olympics in London, after all – only getting home in time to watch the closing ceremonies.

The Mars Rover Curiosity big NASA event I missed totally. I felt that I was the one on another planet all week.

And the Detroit Tigers, I wondered what happened to Quintin Berry while I was gone. I think I have it figured out; although it’s not the same watching the games without him sparking the lineup so much now.

Just as well. I’ve scads of things on my end-of-summer to do list.  A little less baseball, a little more writing, and other sundry things.

Williamston Theatre, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

By  Susan G Parcheta
(pub. July 23, 2012 at
I don’t know how Shakespeare came to mind when I was sitting down to write an update blog about one of my favorite places on the planet – Williamston Theatre (WT) in downtown Williamston, Michigan.

True, the theatre – now an integral part of the community landscape – performs Shakespeare now and then. And, true, Aral Gribble, one of the two powerhouse actors in the current production – Red, White and Tuna – appeared in The Complete Works of Williams Shakespeare (Abridged) two summers ago.

Apparently, I tend to make the connection when I see Gribble in a WT play “Tuna’s” a remote connection, I’ll agree, but the comedy and laughs garnered when watching Gribble perform are a match.  Gribble was great, as well, in this season’s  Dead Man’s Shoes.
OK, now you know that Williamston Theatre is featuring Aral Gribble in Red, White and Tuna (July 12-Aug. 19). And, you know I’m going to tell you some of my favorite things about Williamston Theatre.

Well, one of those favorites is Wayne David Parker, the other half of the tuneful “Tuna” twosome. I truly enjoyed Wayne David Parker in Talley’s Folly – one of my first WT experiences -- and in subsequent shows.  Parker and Gribble gained a sizable local fan base in last year’s Greater Tuna; and I hear tell they’ll bring us Tuna Does Vegas next year.

Those fans were certainly out in force on July 12, when the theatre opened this production run. It’s always fun to attend the very first night, when you can participate in audience comment and suggestions afterward.  I’d guess from the near sell-out crowd, that lots of folks are getting hooked as we did, and putting the first WT night on their favorites list.

The Tuna series has an interesting background – going back three decades. Playwrights Jaston Williams, Joe Sears and Ed Howard debuted Greater Tuna in 1981, with off-Broadway following in 1982.  The wildly successful plays feature two men; and the actors are constantly engaged in the challenge of playing over 20 character roles – all adding to the comedic atmosphere.

If you want laughs, go see a Tuna production. Especially, though, go to a Tuna production at Williamston Theatre. Gribble and Parker continue to develop these laugh-a-minute characters with each Tuna. 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Summer Solstice Stars: Anniversaries, strawberry fields, rhubarb pie, Tiger baseball & fireflies

Mid-summer always dazzles, with the longest, brightest, hottest days. Can anything be sweeter than a day in June that might contain a wedding, an anniversary, a morning in strawberry fields, an afternoon reminiscing and baking rhubarb pie, an evening TV date with your favorite Michigan baseball team, or a moonlit rendezvous with fireflies?

I guess you could say, without a doubt – these are among my favorite things of summer.

This year, 2012, we didn’t attend any weddings in June. But, I was thinking about a monumental one that took place 45 anniversaries ago on June 17. My husband and I had just finished our second year of teaching. There wasn’t much fanfare – only about 50 guests at the college chapel where we were married, followed by a reception at my grandmother’s home (my dad’s mom) in the neighboring town where I grew up.

This was all by design. It was a beautiful, warm day in June. I’d made my dress, 1960s style—of simple white cotton piqué.  My flowers were beautiful pink peonies from both grandmothers’ gardens.  I remember people saying it was one of the best weddings they’d attended. It was simple. The church ladies cooked. And it rained.

Summer begins in the strawberry fields
This year, I was thinking about all the favorite traditions of June. Not just our anniversary –and how could all those years possibly have gone by already – but the wonderful memories of many Junes.

Do you ever mark your summers by the fruits of the season? Strawberries and rhubarb come to mind – fruits of early summer. Since moving to Livingston County (40 anniversaries ago), rarely a June passes without a trip to DeGroot’s Strawberries.

Writing from your heart when nothing is there may surprise and amaze you

“Creativity demands nothing less than all you have. Talent alone is never enough.” ~ Erica Jong

Writing your heart out sounds wonderful, therapeutic, and brain-enhancing. But what happens if a writer in search of a blog -- because it’s time for a new spin, an update – keeps ignoring the usual call to the desktop, because that brain is hovering in blank-slate mode?
Writing your heart out may be scary, but what you learn can be amazing

What if she’s always telling everyone that she never has a problem with writing – something.   Nope, never a problem.  Until one day, she does have a problem. Writing. Anything.

How embarrassing to think of yourself as a creative person (having studied up on the topic in recent years), only to find yourself casting for ideas for an immediate posting. And, then, in desperation, grabbing an empty tea box you’ve saved (you know, the ones with the great quotes) because your eyes land on it,  and remembering you saved it because of the quote that maybe you could write about  – sometime.

Then you wonder, what could be the possible significance at the moment you’re grasping for a blog topic, when you turn the box over and the quote is all about creativity?  When creative is the very thing you’re not feeling. Hmmm.