Thursday, April 16, 2009


Had a counselor in grade school named Mrs. Knott. Loved her. Every once in awhile she would come to our classroom and teach us some lesson about cliques, peers, and our feelings. Looking back now and knowing what I know about public education, we probably shared her with several other schools and maybe once a week she came to our school and was supposed to perform miracles in her 8 hours a week there.

She performed a miracle in my life.

In fifth grade some guy named Ken was working on his thesis project at the University of Oregon, and he was looking for a bunch of kids to act in the Halloween movie he was making. He needed names of kids that would be good.

Mrs. Knott gave him my name.

Not sure why. I'd done no acting in school (not that there was any opportunity) and as far as I could tell, I didn't stand out when she came to our room on those rare occasions.

But there are no accidents, so she suggested my name and the next thing I knew Ken was calling my mom and it was all set up.

I played a trick-or-treater (it was called "Trick-or-Treat") and for months we stomped all over the U of O campus - the Pioneer Cemetery in particular - and made a cheesy 1/2 hour movie that showed on cable. Twice.

There was a crypt in the Pioneer Cemetery that we used in our filming, as well as the front of Deady Hall for the haunted house. We never actually went IN the crypt or the "haunted house," the camera would show us with our hands on the door, then cut away.

Close, but no cigar.

That became a pattern in my life - get right up to the scary and dark places, but don't go IN. Cut away.

But eventually we must. We must go in to those scary and dark places. All the way in.

And shut the door, maybe even let it slam shut behind us, and stay there until we make our own light and find the way out again.

Thank you, Mrs. Knott.

* Photo of Deady Hall, University of Oregon


Michelle O'Neil said...

Beautiful post Carrie.

And I MUST see that movie. What's the title. Where can we find it?

Suzy said...

Open the door.... you're ready.

The cigar is waiting for you.

Love you


Maddy said...

I'm not quite there yet, you're a lot braver than me.
Best wishes

Robin said...

Maybe I should look on youtube for the video. ;)

She said...

I need someone to open the door and let me OUT! ;-)

Lovely post as always. Thank you, Carrie, for the miracles you perform in my life right here!

Nancy said...

and stay there until we make our own light and find the way out again.

The only way to understanding perhaps.

Wanda said...

We all need our own Mrs. Knott. Glad you had yours.

Tanya @ Teenautism said...

I love this! What a great metaphor.

Drama Mama said...

Ahhhh. Gorgeous. As ever.

Deb Shucka said...

Hmmm. Great metaphor that has me wondering what this particular door is for you. And I loved the reminder about where the light comes from.

kario said...

Have you read Pema Chodron's book "The Places That Scare You?"

If not, go to Amazon one-click. I mean it. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.00. Just get it.

Oh, and I'm with Michelle O'N - how do we get our hands on that movie with a young you in it?