Looking for that magic (a Halloween-inspired post)

So… I probably have mentioned this before, but I’m a huge theater person.  I have eclectic taste, but perhaps because it was Halloween weekend… I had Wicked stuck in my head (you have to amuse yourself somehow when you’re snowed in and without power!)

The first big song of the show always resonated so strongly for me… it’s about waiting for something that might change your life even though you don’t quite know what that entails:

When I meet the Wizard,
Once I prove my worth,
And then I’ll meet the Wizard
What I’ve waited for since,
(Spoken: Since birth!)
And with all his Wizard wisdom,
By my looks, he won’t be blinded
Do you think the Wizard is (Spoken: dumb?)
Or, like Munchkins, so small-minded?
(Spoken: No!) He’ll say to me,
“I see who you truly are –
A girl on whom I can rely!”
And that’s how we’ll begin
The Wizard and I…

Of course, we soon learn that the Wizard has nefarious motives and what appeared to be Elphaba’s big chance is not what she invisioned it would be and leads her on a completely different path, in following her instincts and moral compass instead of succumbing to the allure of fame and influence.

But in a way I feel like there is a certain amount of waiting for that magic Wizard in life with a disability… thinking that this surgery or this therapy or this association will change things in huge way.  And who knows, maybe it does? Sometimes it definitely does, but often times it is more murky than that and you have to work and wait for awhile to see the implications of something.

So there is no magic Wizard, either for the green-skinned Elphaba in Wicked or for someone with a condition such as Moebius syndrome.  But we learn about ourselves in that search, so perhaps it isn’t futile after all?

Embracing uniqueness (and singing about it)

I love theater and going to as many shows and concerts as possible.  It’s probably no surprise that I gravitate towards artists and shows that grapple with some of the over-arching themes in life with Moebius syndrome: embracing differences, becoming comfortable with who you are, challenging stereotypes and forming relationships with people coming from different points of view and life experiences.

I like a lot of varied shows (my taste is eclectic, everything from Sondheim to Hair to Next to Normal) but I have to say – although it’s becoming a tad cliche – I keep coming back to Wicked, an incredible re-telling of the Wizard of Oz where the Wicked Witch of the West grapples with being born with green skin and the effects it has on her sense of self and how others view her.  The themes of embracing your own uniqueness, the challenges of what to do with your unique gifts, and the relationships formed from these challenges… it all amounts to an engrossing and riveting story set to a fun musical score that will have you humming for days.  It is one of the few theatrical experiences that never fails to make me happy.

So what does this have to do with my life with Moebius syndrome?  I love the fact that Wicked captures so many emotions anyone who at any time feels different or inferior, yet at the same time learning where exactly their strength is rooted in.  It doesn’t exactly have a happy ending, but leaves me both hopeful and searching for ways my experiences can be used for good…