The real closet cleaning…

There is closet cleaning, and there is closet cleaning.  Yes, time spent getting rid of books and clothes and unused kitchen items, this is standard for me at this time of year.  But boy was I surprised when God called upon me most unexpectedly to do some real closet cleaning–getting the cobwebs out of my intentions.

Let me explain.

You see, I was having a nice day out.  I’ve been concerned that lately, well, I haven’t really been much fun.  Any time

Julia Margaret Cameron's "The Sunflowers"

someone suggests something to do for, well, just for fun, I say no.  No to going to a movie.  No to going cross-country skiing (well, there are a lot of reasons I would say no to that activity at any time), no to going to Sundance.  No, no, no.  And so, a very smart person said to me — let’s plan some activities that you consider fun.  So, I planned lunch with a friend and a day out at the National Gallery of Art.

Maybe not high on your laugh-a-minute meter, but for me, a really fun day out.   There is, after all, a special exhibition of Pre-Raphaelite photography and I do love my Pre-Raphaelites. 

So, after a wonderful lunch in the Garden Cafe, my friend departed and I started into the special exhibition galleries.  My plan was simple:  first the French, then the German, and then the Pre-Raphaelites.  As I stepped into the magnificent special exhibition of French art work from the Impressionist to the Modern period, my cell phone rang.  Frankly, my phone almost never rings  I don’t like telephones, so I don’t encourage telephone calls, but I had had the phone on in case my friend had difficulty finding me and I had forgotten to turn off the ringer before stepping into the exhibit.  And, thinking that it still might have been my friend having trouble with her car or some such thing, I absent-mindedly answered.

It wasn’t my friend.  It was an opera company.  And they wanted me to do a role.  And I didn’t have to audition — I just had to say yes.

Now, if you have been paying attention to my ramblings here in cyberspace, I have been saying no to opera.  No to auditions, no to requesting auditions, no to pursuing opportunitie of any kind in the field of opera.  But here, on the phone, was a singer’s dream — an offer with no effort required — just say yes.

And, I said no.  Well, I didn’t say no right away — I did think about it a little. I did talk about it with my significant other.  I did ponder the ramifications for my spirit and my life of saying no and of saying yes.

And I said no.  You see, there comes a time when even the spiritual closets need cleaning.  You have to decide what kind of a person you want to be, and what kind of a life you want to lead.  For so many reasons, no was the only possible answer.

So, despite the queasiness of my stomach, my heart and my mind were clear. And I said no.  Let’s hope that there isn’t some dark box that I missed in the back of that closet…

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