This blog post is brought to you by Dr. Michael Leming, known to all of us as “Ajaan Mike.” This past weekend he was better known as Santa Claus!
Last night we did our final performance of “Wake Up and Dream” We had three shows this weekend, in which 5 of our students (DJ, Joanna, Caleb, Justin, and Abby) were part of a 60 person cast of people with and without disabilities. It was pure magic, joy, and love. Our support in the Chiang Mai community is growing stronger as we had about 70-90% percent of a full house during each show.
Here’s a video of scenes from the weeks of practice; it gives you an idea of the love and joy contained within this whole project and production.
Are miracles happening today in our world? I don’t know about today, but during the past four weeks we had one boy with severe autism (who would not speak before he came) who began to sing and thanked the audience for attending after the show. There was another boy with Cerebral Palsy who has been confined to a wheel chair his entire life, began to walk with a walker his father constructed for him out of plumbing pipe. We had many parents of the disabled not only provide support for their children but became a part of the show. One female parent even sang two songs in the show. Finally, four parents are now stepping up to lead the program in our absence.
But more than this, there was love all around among members of our cast. In the break between the shows on Saturday, the actors and parents spontaneously sang and danced together for an hour. Jeanne Calvit our director from Interact Center (Minneapolis) is a magician and miracle worker and we were all the recipients of her magic and vision. It is so fun to be a part of this magic and love that was the real mission and goal of this show. It gave us the ability to wake up from our normal ways of living and thinking about the disabled and the chance to think about how we can change the world.
We are hoping that next year’s show will be even bigger and better.
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” – Eleanor Roosevelt
”Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake” – Henry David Thoreau
“The best way to have our dreams come true is to wake up” – Paul Valery
“I have a dream” – Martin Luther King
“There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why… I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?!” — Robert Francis Kennedy