Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Journey to Ford's Theater, And The Meaning of Friendship

(From the Ford's Theater web site) 2012 Production of A Christmas Carol 

I recently had the opportunity to spend a fantastic weekend in Farifax County Virginia with my best friend and her husband. I love going to visit her. She is the type of friend I can bare my soul too and she just accepts me for who I am. No matter how long it had been since we have seen each other we can always pick up like no time has passed. She is amazing and I never tell her that enough. (I know she will read this so she gets to hear it now!) But besides spending time with her I get to spend time in one of my favorite cities, Washington DC.

This time it also meant going to a play at the historical Ford's Theater. For the history buff that resides inside me I could never pass that chance up. For the theater lover in me, who never gets to go to the theater, It was a no brainier.  I felt in awe at that theater, sitting feet from where President Lincoln was assassinated, one of the major DC landmarks, well to me it was humbling. (Maybe I don't get out enough.)

Ford's Theater has gone through a major restoration and renewal process that has taken a number of years. In 2009 they reopened a renewed theater complex and education center that is just amazing and beautiful. In fact a few years ago when my friend first moved to DC she went to a production there and they were seated on old kitchen chairs. Today the theater is gorgeous and remade in all it's antebellum glory. To find out more about the theater and it's education center visit their web site.

The production of A Christmas Carol that we saw has got to be the best version I have seen. The sets were beautiful and detailed, the sound quality was amazing, and the performers were top notch. From the ghost of Jacob Marley appearing behind the portrait, to the fantastically spooky ghost of Christmas future that hovered above the set, it was just breathtaking.

Let's face it, no matter how many times you see that story, for most, you find something new to take away. A classic in any time, and perfect to start off the holiday season. But you have to keep the story fresh, and that they did well. I walked away feeling renewed, at a time when I really needed it.

I know that DC is not the best city in the world. Walk a few short blocks from the White House and you can get to some seedy areas of town, it's not all fresh and gorgeous as George Town. I don't kid myself that our nation's capital is free from the crime and homelessness that plagues all major US cities. I have been there enough to see all sides of the city. But I still love it. There is something about crossing over the bridge from Arlington in to DC and seeing the Kennedy center lit up at night. Seeing the mall all lit up, and glancing through the trees to your left and catching a glimpse of the White House shinning as they start to put up the holiday decorations. I love being surrounded by the history and the vibrant city. Being there I actually felt my head clear for the first time in months. I finally felt like I wold be able to come through some of the things I have been going through a better person.

That trip came at a perfect time for me when I needed to escape the pressure of my everyday world. To be with someone who knew my thoughts without me speaking them. Being with Jamie felt like coming home after a long journey.  And than to be renewed by the inspirations surrounding me in history. To get lost in a timeless story, in a timeless theater. I guess to the creative part of my soul it was an elixir. I didn't know how much I needed it till I was there. Every time I visit that city I come away with a new feeling, new stories weaving in my head. 

No matter where we find inspiration, it's important to take time for yourself and not feel guilty about it. I am learning that at the age of 37. I am also learning to cherish my friends, and to accept myself, a hard thing to do. As much as I didn't want to get back on the plane and leave Jamie to go home, I know that part of our friendship depends on that separation. That our closeness and love carries on, no matter how long we go without speaking. I can always depend on her to accept me. And that was the gift she gave me last weekend. Wrapped up in a little bit of history.

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