Turn Write …. At The Stop Sign

by Beth Diane Bradley

My son, Dylan, was in a school play in the 6th grade, and I still remember a conversation I had with one of the other moms.  She told me her son wasn’t chosen for an acting part.  His only job was to open the curtain, so she didn’t plan on going to the play.

I told her I thought he had a pretty important role, because if the curtain wasn’t opened, no one would be able to see the play.  She thought that was a strange thing to say, but I really meant it.

Being the one who opens the curtain so others can see is a powerful metaphor to me.  There have been times in my life when I have been asked to open the curtain, and times when someone has opened it for me.

Recently, it’s been the later, and I am ever so grateful.  Middle age is often a time for reflection, and ultimately for change.  Life events like divorce, an empty nest or the passing of parents can take their toll.  A few years ago, I experienced all three — and then my beloved dog died.  It was definitely time for me to clean my spiritual “house” and find a new direction in life.

When I was in high school, I loved the theatre, but I couldn’t figure out where I fit in — other than as a member of the audience.  I was too shy to even consider trying out for a part, and my main task on the tech crew was sitting on the boards while some boys sawed them in half.  I still don’t aspire to be an actor, but my bucket list for my “third act” now includes writing a play.

The metaphor also works in regard to education.  A good teacher can “open the curtain” for a student and reveal a whole new world. Dylan didn’t get an acting role in the play either, but found his niche on the tech crew, which sparked an interest in technology.  He later met a teacher who helped him develop his passion into a career in network administration.

For him, the road to destiny was a direct route.  In my case, I ran into some road construction requiring a necessary but annoying detour. It’s natural to complain about those detours — we all do it — but as they say, sometimes it’s the journey, not the destination that matters most.



4 Responses

  1. I love the metaphor of the curtain and agree that it’s one of the most important roles in a play or in life. Helping another by opening a curtain at the right time can change a life. Becoming aware that there are those who can do the same for us is part of maturing. Thanks for an important post : )

  2. kathleen

    Please keep us posted on the progress of your play. With your neat perspective on life it ought to be an interesting production.

    1. bethdiane

      Thanks, Kathleen! I did start a play a couple years ago, but shelved it for now, I think I need to learn more about writing plays first. I have written two children’s books, however, and hope to publish them at some point. I so appreciate that you read my blog and take the time to comment! Tell me something about yourself some time.

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