Time Capsule: “The Show Must Go On”

“Strange as this journey seems, it has its purpose despite my lack of foresight and knowledge of the end.”


Art. I live for art. I hope to make art. I crave an existence enveloped in art, and I am convinced that I was made to be a part of art. So, I create.

And recently I have been so blessed to delve into various platforms of art, to reflect upon my own words, the stories that have filled my heart, and I know that I am where I’m supposed to be despite the uncertainty of my future. But for now – for now I can trust I am where I’m supposed to be.


Years ago I took a chance to hop on the Theatre Train. And I do not regret it. I do not regret coming back to it after a two year hiatus. If anything, I am more convinced this is who I’m supposed to be. Last night, as I sat reflecting on my current circumstances, I became more grateful for my summer job, determined to overcome any opposition or discouragement, and hopeful that I can walk this journey to a great end.

My freshman year of college, at a time when my life choices were more influential to my future than I thought, my dad wrote me a letter. Attached to the letter was a photo of him at nineteen in Germany. On the back: “Follow your dreams.” And I think of these words almost every day.


At that point in my life, I thought I would become a journalist, an English teacher, and a Director of a high school theatre. But those were someone else’s dreams. Without the words of my father, I would not have made the choices I have made in my life, some that may seem impossible to explain at times – graduating with a BS in Theatre Arts and a minor in Psychology, joining a ministry for a year where I worked as a farmer, and leaving Tennessee for Louisiana. These are just a few examples. But as strange as this journey seems, it has its purpose despite my lack of foresight and knowledge of the end.

I reflect upon the cheerful thoughts of a freshman Justin in 2012 who took the first steps in this direction.


“I like where I am and who I am and who I see myself becoming. I like where God has taken me and where He is taking me.

Here I am a Theatre major with a Music minor, studying two things I never thought I’d be studying.

People always say, “I never saw myself being here five or ten years ago,” and we shrug it off. But we never realize that it’s usually the case for most people, until it actually happens to us.

As most things go, Theatre is tougher than it seems, and I really like it when people who aren’t involved with Theatre say things like, “I can’t imagine all the work that goes into a show.” It’s like they get it without getting it.

On the other hand, there are people who are completely ignorant and say, “That’s gay,” or, “You have no future,” or, “I bet I could do that. It’s so easy.” To those people, I propose a challenge: I dare you to memorize a series of notes of five different versions of the same song, lyrics, dance steps, and blocking. Let’s not forget lines and being in front of people when anything could go wrong. It’s one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done with my life, but it’s also one of the hardest. Show people dedicate their lives, and I was recently told their souls, to the craft. It’s not a joke, and I would never treat it as such. (Although the soul thing was a joke, show business is not.)

Monday, I think, I had two hours of music practice, then three hours of dance practice. . . Dedication creates a great work ethic, I guess.”

Costume & Makeup Class – Spring 2012

Time Capsule: “Sleep Typing”

“Live in each moment.”

Hello, world!

Do you ever look back on your life and realize that truly you can only get a small glimpse of who you were, that somehow along the way you have become the summation of multiple people, various chapters blending and blurring?

I do.

Then again, somehow along the way, we maintain a central core, a solid medium to which we always return – constancy despite consistency.


Back in the Summer of 2010, I took a trip to Hawaii with my family. We stayed there for eleven days. And, yes, I recorded each and every individual day in blog form. I also took photos. And I took several videos with my Flipshare video camera, eventually compiling them into a single document to gift to my siblings.

Church Photo
Summer 2009 (Little Isaac wasn’t born yet.)

Funny enough, like most things in my life, the files were destroyed before I could burn them to a disk.

Why were they destroyed?

While I was in college, I broke my laptop screen (for the third time) and took my Mac to a store for reparation. When I had the screen replaced, I did not back any of my files up, despite the guy in the blue polo having asked me to do so. Thus, the tangible memories were deleted.

The potential lesson to be learned: Live in each moment, but make sure to mark the good ones – and sometimes even the bad ones.


Fortunately, I did keep the stories. And for the next few blog entries, I will be recalling the days when I went to Hawaii.

[Until then, a quick summary of the Time Capsule: Justin of 2010 loved Doctor Who, Glee, traveling libraries, Pokemon, and staying up late to write.]

Please enjoy this quote from Doctor Who, an alien who sums up the coming-off and putting-on of masks and centrality of character:

“Come on, then. Take mine. Take my memories. But I hope you’ve got a big appetite because I’ve lived a long life and I’ve seen a few things. I walked away from the Last Great Time War. I marked the passing of the Time Lords. I saw the birth of the universe and I watched as time ran out, moment by moment, until nothing remained. No time. No space. Just me. I walked in universes where the laws of physics were devised by the mind of a madman. I’ve watched universes freeze and creations burn. I have seen things you wouldn’t believe. I have lost things you will never understand. And I know things, secrets that must never be told and knowledge that must never be spoken. Knowledge that will make parasite gods blaze. So come on then! Take it! Take it all, baby! Have it! You have it all!”

Alpha’s Journal: Part 7

How can one confuse light for darkness?

Once again, I need to reiterate that this is not my journal, meaning I did not pick up smoking, if anyone happens to stumble across this blog entry. This poem is from a journal that recently and quite mysteriously showed up in my life.


“Every time I smoke I reflect.

The only reflection I see is you.

Mirrors show you what’s behind you,

And I guess I’m stuck in this looking glass.


I exhale with hope and exhale in the present.

Faith is a hell of a burden.

No guarantee, No proof, Just believe.

It’s a hard thing to have unless you can feel it. 

Emotions are physical even when not physically present.

Gift. A blessing and a curse.”


[Boy, this poem is more confusing than anything. Hell does not pertain to faith; Hell has all to do with fear — a twisted faith deriving from all things not of God. And faith does not have anything to with our power, our will, our feelings; they are a gift of grace by God Himself (when we submit our wills to His purpose), and everyone struggles with faith because we cannot manifest it for ourselves, within ourselves.

“Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”

Again, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

We all have some growth to do. But it’s important not to confuse punishment (i.e. fear) with love (i.e. faith).]

Alpha’s Journal: Part 4

Love is action; it is not a feeling.

“I was so close to you.

You were so close to me.

Blinded by your light, 

I could barely see,

I’d been in the dark

Just waiting for a match

To light my fuse

And bring me back.

I can’t see a damn thing.

I’ve just been sitting here listening. . .

Wondering. . .

What about True love?

Is it really so hard to find?

Underneath this Georgia Sun,

Yeah, good things come in time.

What about the heartache?

I knew there’d be a price.

Nothing about love’s easy, 

Except the way we feel tonight.


[I guess that answers my questions about the origin of this mysterious journal. Huh, Georgia. Well, Alpha, as usual, I have a few responses: You want to find True Love? Check out 1 John 4:8. There you’ll find that love, in fact, is not a feeling, but it is an act. And in response to your question, it’s really not that hard to find; just pick up the bible on your coffee table.]

Alpha’s Journal: Part 3

Do not get distracted by the side issues.

“I don’t know why things are this way.

I know I’m meant to shine light in the dark,

But I need to bum a light.

So much potential;

So much love to burn;

Where’s the flame?

I need you to light me.

You burn me, and I’ll burn for you.

We can breathe in the passion.

Never exhale.


[One thing I must address to Alpha: Whether or not you smoke does not prove salvation or lack thereof. In fact, in time and trust, God has the power to change you and free you from this addiction. But do not get distracted by the side issues.]

Alpha’s Journal: Part 2

Where do you learn the Truth?

Here is another poem – or thought – from the journal I found in my long-lost hiking backpack:

[Note: These poems do not necessarily echo nor reflect any feelings that I have; they were written by a completely anonymous fellow with the handwriting of a twelve-year-old.]


The world has really done an incredible job justifying Judgment.

These people preaching about love yet belittling someone else’s way of showing worship.

Dance foolishly, 

Sing loud,

And don’t let them change you as they have been changed.

Love hard and hold your tongue unless to give words of connection, family, and understanding.

You preach your mind

While I quiet my heart.

Love always,


Ah, well, I guess this guy isn’t completely anonymous.

[Just a few things to address: The world, as a matter of fact, teaches tolerance, not judgment. And if this fellow were in church, at least a proper one, he would know that pastors preach the Word, not their thoughts. And, well, God’s Word is the standard. Dancing like a fool is a plus, as David danced in the same manner before the tabernacle. Singing loudly is also encouraged in several psalms. If you change in obedience and understanding to the Word, then so be it. But if you remain obstinate, stick it out with the world, and then see where you end up in the end. Also, holding your tongue proves to give the illusion of wisdom even in the reality of a fool. That is all.]