View from the edge

#tbt Back in the winter/spring of 1995, I was on tour with Maurice Sendak’s theater company playing Kathy in Really Rosie. We were playing Tempe, Arizona, and we had a Monday off, so a bunch of the cast, musicians, and crew decided to take a trip to the Grand Canyon.
Most of the company (those who were going) left for the Canyon right after our Sunday afternoon show, but our small party of four included costume mistress Lora Dole, who had to do show laundry before she could head out. Temperatures in Tempe were in the mid 80s when we left, but as the four of us (Lora, Jonathan Powers, James David Jacobs, & me) drove up towards our destination, it gradually got colder, and by the time we reached Flagstaff (where we stopped for dinner) it was clear that our current attire was *not* going to cut it. We bought cheap hats and gloves at a gas station, and continued on our way.

We arrived at Grand Canyon National Park in the middle of the night, canyon covered in snow, air frigid, lit *entirely* with stars, and got our first glimpse of the glory that was ahead of us. After some surprisingly decent sleep in a nearby motel room, we raced back to the park to spend the day. It was incredible. It was freezing, and we were all inadequately dressed, but we honestly did not care.

In retrospect, it’s amazing that none of us fell off a cliff in the snow and ice (most visitors had boots and/or ice cleats…we were mostly in sneakers). We hiked down as far as we could, until we reached a sign that warned not to go any further without two days’ worth of water (we had maybe five small water bottles stowed in James’ backpack), then hiked back up. Jonathan took this photo near the end of the day.
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The face of the inner you

What I said about this on Instagram: “Today. A selfie. I’m not really sure why I took this. But I’m posting it because I usually think that photos of me do not look at all like me inside. Somehow, this one feels like actual me. No, I don’t really know what I mean.”

After further reflection, what I think I mean: I remember years ago I got into a mild argument online with a friend about why people tended to use icons on LiveJournal of images other than their own faces. I explained that, for me, I tended to choose images that I thought represented who I was as a person better than my actual face did (or any of my actual outsides), and that being able to represent myself in a way that felt actually truer to me was very freeing, and one of the things I appreciated about communicating with people online. I still feel that way, even though I *do* often now use avatars that are my actual face, mainly for professional reasons. Most of the time, though, I feel pretty poorly represented by my own face, and when I see myself in the mirror or in photographs, the image in front of me generally does not look like the person I actually feel like on the inside. I’m sure I am not alone in this feeling.
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