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18 November 2002

The Catholic church finally got rid of Limbo, but it was a weird concept. Kind of an eternal "green room." The souls that hadn't followed all the rules on earth had to wait just outside the heavenly gates, where the "in crowd" gathered.

I can't remember if you were ever able to move from Limbo to Heaven (kind of like a "get out of Limbo free" card). Seems to me--I could be wrong--that if you had an earthly fan club praying hard enough for you, it would open the pearly gates and you could finally join the eternal elite. But obviously once you yourself got to Limbo--for things like not having the foresight to be baptised Catholic--there was nothing you personally could do to make that next step.

I don't remember when the Church decided that there really wasn't a Limbo. You either went to Heaven or to Hell. No more waiting around for your case to be tried by St. Peter or whoever is in charge of such things.

Limbo still exists, but it's here on earth. I've been there. I know what it's like. And it's not fun.

You're in limbo when you're waiting for the results of a scary medical test. You're in limbo after an interview and before they've decided who gets that job, or when you've been laid off and don't know how you'll feed your family. You're in limbo when you've been separated from your lover and you don't know what it will be like to be together again. You're in limbo the last month of a pregnancy, or when the jury is out deliberating.

Limbo is when life goes on hold and nothing will be "normal" again until you've finally managed to get to the other side--the doctor tells you whether it's cancer or not, the job goes to you or someone else, you and your lover take up where you left off or end the relationship, the baby is born, the verdict is read.

Limbo is when someone you love is dying.

I learned this back in 1971 when my sister was shot. They operated to remove the bullet from her brain but she was in a coma. She was released from the hospital and moved to a convalescent hospital, where she continued in coma. She ultimately died 7 weeks later of a kidney infection, without ever regaining consciousness.

But during those seven weeks, we were all in Limbo. There was no doubt about the final outcome. All the doctors had assured us she would never wake up and that her death was imminent. But she hung on.

While she hung on, life continued around us normally, but we were wrapped in this little bubble of pain, unable to participate in life normally, unable to move forward. Our lives revolved around hospital visits and the telephone and reports of how she was that day.

You hate yourself because you find yourself wishing for an end. "I wish she'd die!" And then the horrible guilt, realizing what you've said. But in your heart of hearts, that's what you're wishing for--the inevitable end to finally come so you can get on with life, rejoin the rest of the world.

Limbo is a terrible place.

Limbo is where Steve and Jimmy are right now. "The Big Voice" has done its part. It's a terrific show and the reviews have been universally terrific -- "Nevertheless, the lingering afterglow suggests that the biggest voice in question belongs to neither God nor Merman, but to both performers and their witty, inspiring confessional." says the LA Times. "...a delightful 13-number original score, director Anthony Barnao intuitively guides the two through the humor-filled interactions of talented artists who have been life partners for over 17 years.... Like all good musicals there's a happy ending leading to a maturing of their beliefs and the recognition that they had found the essence of God in each other," says the revered Variety. It's a Critic's Pick of Backstage West. Similar rave reviews have come from many different sources.

Yet the audiences don't come. At least not in the numbers that will begin to show any sort of return for the show.

It feels like being in Limbo. It feels like the show is on the verge of something big.   It's like the frustrating wait of a mother waiting for a birth. It's as if if they can only hold on long enough, they'll finally make that leap out of Limbo. The question is how long people can hold on.

Lawsuit felt like that too. They were in Limbo for years. The darling of the critics, a huge following in California, pockets of fans across the country wherever their CDs ended up, and yet they could never make it past Limbo. They could never get to that extra step. It was tantalizingly close--the carrot dangling just out of reach, the ring on the merry go round.

In the end, they couldn't wait any longer and gave up. A year later, "their kind of music" began to make it big. Big Bad VooDoo Daddy and Cake (a band which used to be the warm up act for Lawsuit) made that leap.

The frustrating thing about Limbo is not knowing how long it will last. It would be wonderful if life, like the Catholic Church, could do away with Limbo entirely. But alas it doesn't work that way.

Quote of the Day

The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.

~Chinese Proverb

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The patchwork in our back yard
on a foggy Sunday morning



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Old Guys
This "old guy" is younger than my oldest child, and only slightly older than my youngest child would have been.  If he's an "old guy," what does that make ME???

Two Years Ago
Travel and Tourism
I was attracted, however, by a wagon full of wolves. There is a man around here who is raising money to save wolves, protect their habitat, etc. He had three wolves with him, beautiful animals. I’d never petted a wolf before.

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Created 11/17/02