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The Auditorium

I sit in the back with no one around. I hear the world going on outside of the doors, but in here it is quite. The stage is empty and dark. Only a few rays of sunlight from the back stage windows break through creating strange shadows. But, those are not the shadows that I am seeing now. The stage I am looking at has seen almost 90 years. That’s 90 years of plays, musicals, variety shows, and graduations. This stage has held musicians, magicians, lecturers, thespians and graduates. Some frightened to death being up there, while others find their voice being up there. I see students from many years, when all the communities in the area sent their children here for school, but, only a few graduated. Then through the years as the other communities built their own schools this became a small local school with a stage that could hardly hold all of the graduates from this one small town.

But there are more shadows. I see the shadows of great orators on this stage trying to persuade people to think the way they do. I also see young students politicians standing there telling their fellow students how they would make the best class officer, practicing for the time when they will run for political office. There are also the scholars answering questions plied to them, competing for accolades in scholastic competitions preparing for the time when they go off to college and the life yet to come.

The shadows keep changing. I observe the shadow of student actors, struggling to find that voice, that expression that will hide that person within, that person that has all the feelings and pain that they do not want anyone to know. “Maybe,” they hope, “if I find the right person to be it will catapult me out of this town into fame and fortune.” For some it works, but for most, they are left to face that real person that they are. But for a few moments they escape into a life of someone else.

More shadows form. I make out the shadows of young musicians. These young instrumentalist and vocalist are struggling to learn their parts. They are struggling to learn to play that instrument or to sing that song. But, the whole time they are struggling more to compose their own song. A song that cries out, telling all what they feel inside. The people cheer them and tell them “you played that wonderfully.” Or “your voice is that of an angel.” But, the instrumentalist and vocalist acknowledges the praise, but cries out to themselves, “Do you hear what I am really trying to say?” “Do you really understand what I am feeling?” The voices of the musicians cry out now. It is not only their shadows.

The shadows on the stage are forever moving, be they shadows from the sun or from time. They are weaving in and out of each other, always forming new shadows. The sun rises and it sets, the lights come on and they go off. Each time the lights come on they create new shadows. However, when the lights go off the shadows fade into time. Unseen until someone like me comes in and sits down and watches the shadows perform again. The auditorium is never really quiet. Listen and you can hear the echo of the shadows playing their parts for you again.

James Krauss
December 13, 2010

 

Up-dated January 10, 2011
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