Wednesday, May 30, 2007

can you spell "bee"?

Peleg and I had tickets to the LA Production of "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" last weekend. The show is a musical with a half a dozen actors playing contestants in a spelling bee. The theater is set up as a school gymnasium, with the "kids" sitting on bleachers. The lobby is similarly set up with school decor, bulletin boards and that sort of thing, with a registration table for the "contestants." Peleg, who had already seen the show in New York and so was clued in, pointed out that audience members could also sign-up to be in the bee and they would pick a few to be on stage. He urged me to sign up, which I did, and I was picked. I think I charmed the guy with my story of being on Jeopardy and losing in the final round because of missing a question about the Mary Tyler Moore show.

So I sat on stage for the first hour in the bleachers. I was the last of the four audience members left standing, having correctly spelled, "Meixcans" (don't ask); "gardiloo" (apparently what you yell in Scotland before tossing your chamber pot into the street) and "dengue" (the fever). I also got to sit on the bleachers as they spun around and participate in a few easy dance sequences following whispered instructions from the actors ("link arms" "shake your shoulders"). After that they needed me off the stage so they gave me a made-up word of about 16 syllables and then rang the bell before I spelled four letters.

The spiritual observation I want to make is just the gift that we give ourselves when we say yes to life's opportunities. We live in an abundant and generous universe. The universe, eager for our happiness, constantly holds out possibilities. Even if turns out to not be the thing for you it's much more fun to give it a try. Go ahead. Say "yes."

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