My heart to yours….

“I’m digging those boots,” said a man at the Staunton farmer’s market. My boots (see post “What’s with the boots?”) are still like a siren’s song drawing people to me but hopefully without dashing them to pieces on the rocks. It was too hot to wear them in Georgia and South Carolina and I missed them, but now they’re back!

Beautiful Virginia

Driving into Virginia I was struck by the clear air, it was as if I had cleaned off my dirty, smudged glasses and could see crispness again. There were sweet peas growing wild along the rolling-hilled highway, everything green and lush. But something about the atmosphere was welcoming and I embraced the feeling of coming home.

American Shakespeare Center

I came to Staunton (pronounced Stanton), VA to see the American Shakespeare Center. They are a troupe that I auditioned for in NYC last year and I have heard great things and wanted to see for myself what they are up to. They have built the only replica of Shakespeare’s indoor Blackfriar’s Playhouse. It is a beautiful gem. Staging and lighting is as it would have been done in the 1500’s, with some audience sitting on stage and even in the Lord’s boxes above the stage. I wrote Jim Warren, the artistic director, the morning of my arrival and he arranged to get me 3 comp tickets to three shows. His prompt and generous gesture proved even more that this company is doing many things right. I felt happy to be so respected, honored and taken care of.

Historic Staunton

So I was whistling dixie as I pulled into town and feeling tingly with excitement to see some good theater. And I was not disappointed. They entertain  with Shakespeare, music is a huge part of what they do, lots of singing before, after and during the show. The actors are talented, dedicated and do not take a break, even at intermission they are serenading. The audience eats up the energy given and I can imagine Shakespeare’s contemporaries using the same devices. I am determined to audition for their next season again. It is definitely a different style of acting, but for drawing in an audience unfamiliar with Shakespeare, or intimidated by him, they are the perfect remedy.

Blackfriar’s stage

I was fortunate enough to get to sit right on the stage in the single row of “galant stools” so I really was part of the action. I even had to give up my stool a few times to an actor who desired it. What a romp! And this is where the boots come back into play. At one intermission I had a young man approach me and comment on how he liked my boots and style, seeing me from his seat across the way. We chatted and time passed all too quickly but I found out he is from a town in PA north of here, the direction I am heading. I gave him my business card and we’ve been texting so he may show me his town if I am passing through.

One of MANY Staunton churches

But back to Staunton. My time was mostly spent in the delightful theatre, and in a bookstore, two of my favorite places, but I did go to the Farmer’s Market and walked to as many of the GORGEOUS old churches as possible. They were all locked up surprisingly, I guess Saturday is a day of rest before the Sunday services. I missed going inside and seeing the stained glass and vaulted ceilings, but there’s always another town. Old, staunch, steepled, historic churches fill the towns around here, something you don’t get as much of in the west. It makes things look very quaint, and gives me contentment to see them.

Saw this on an alley wall near the theater

I heard something while in Staunton from a musician who said, “Anything will make us see, but art will make us look.” I really embrace this notion of art getting us to look, at ourselves, at others, at nature. And as I drove away from yet another town of connections, John Denver’s My Heart to Yours came on my ipod and it seemed so appropriate for my soul. I am sharing my heart, you are sharing yours and love is the result wherever I go.

I haven’t seen all there is to see

But I’ve seen quite a bit

I’ve seen things I’ll always remember

Some things I wish that I could forget

I haven’t quite been around the world

But I’ve been around the block

I know that distances are meaningless

Like the hands that move around a clock

And I know that love is everywhere

Always safe, always true

And exactly where it comes from

Is where it’s going to

Your heart to mine, my heart to yours

Talk about opening windows, talk about opening doors

My heart to yours, your heart to mine

Love is a light that shines from heart to heart


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