The Big Box of Chorus Line
I scattered seeds in May; I thought I was growing sunflowers and forget-me-nots. And, with great devotion, I have watered this 10' x 10' box of potential each evening — a ritual at dusk, a city gardener in my backyard with a hose longer than I can wrangle and a tenderness for things on my watch. Those things have grown. And grown. Tentative, prickly stems have taken to stilts. Once timid leaves have become stalwart, fluted rudders. A magical troupe of tall, elaborate, awkward and earnest weeds has emerged. Each adorned with dazzling yellow tips, they have extraordinary reach. They arch, and sway, rhythmic in all winds, poised in all versions of light and shadow. They are not self-conscious — they move with the choreography of confidence. I have seen their quiet, daily courage; it is a mighty act of faith to grow so tall in a world where caution looms on low hanging clouds. These weeds have been identified by my friend as mustard seed plants — she described them as bitter to taste. But I know better — I know they are show-weeds. In my heart, what has emerged is a chorus line. Summer-stock dancers, understudies and dance captains — who, on that 10 x 10' stage, perform an equity production if ever there was one — in this, the year of years.
It seems to me that if a theater emerges in your yard, it calls for an ovation of gratitude. To rest in small harbors of truth and beauty is an act of resistance. The Big Box of Chorus Line is a summer of devotion for things I did not intend. But isn't that everywhere — isn't that our world these days?
The musical, A Chorus Line, is about auditioning with your whole heart for a chance at what you love. It is full of heartbreak and joy; it is the mighty spirit of try. It is about the endurance and resilience of being on the line and of what it takes to keep going. It is what we do for love. It is what we have to do.