03 July, 2016


33 is:
  • A normal human spine has 33 vertebrae when the bones that form the coccyx are counted individual
  • The atomic number of arsenic
  • In reference to gramophone records, 33 refers to a type of record by its revolution speed of 33⅓ revolutions per minute. 33s are also known as long playing records, or LPs.
  • The divine name Elohim appears 33 times in the story of creation in the opening chapters of Genesis.
  • The French telephone numbering plan used for France. 
  • The number 33 was discovered to lead to the essential meaning of life (the Bible) in Dan Brown's 2009 novel The Lost Symbol. 
  • A significant number in modern numerology, one of the Master Numbers along with 11 and 22.
  • A song by The Smashing Pumpkins on their album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness 
  • 33 is, according to the Newton scale, the temperature at which water boils. The 33 Strategies of War is a book by Robert Greene
  • The number of deities in the Vedic Religion is 33.
  • The title of the first episode of the 2004 Battlestar Galactica television series in which the Cylons came every 33 minutes
  • In motorsport, 33 is, on most occasions, the traditional number of racers in the Indianapolis 500.
  • The number printed on all Rolling Rock beer labels!
  • The 33 is a 2015 English-language Chilean biographical disaster-survival drama film based on the real events of the 2010 mining disaster, in which a group of thirty-three miners were trapped inside the San José Mine in Chile for more than two months. 
    The highest degree in the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry.
  • According to Al-Ghazali the dwellers of Heaven will exist eternally in a state of being age 33. (Whoa.)
  • In French, Italian, Romanian, Spanish and Portuguese, the word which a patient is usually asked to say when a doctor is listening to his or her lungs with a stethoscope (Trente-Trois, Trentatré, Treizeci și trei, Treinta y Tres and Trinta e Três)!
  •  33 is not only a numerical representation of “the Star of David,” but also the numerical equivalent of AMEN: 1+13+5+14=33.
  • And last but not least, Jesus's age when he was crucified

It has been a journey, readers, and I have reached the place longed for when I began (though, who could have dreamed it to resemble anything like this?) 

I have come to edge of all that I know and all I believe and all I could endure and all I could wonder about, and I have-- again and again-- found new firmament beneath my feet so that I could take one more step. 

Have you been there too? 

This is how I believe we all continue: stepping into the unknown and untested, stepping off the cliff to find there IS something there. That the ground will materialize under our feet as soon as we are ready to step on it--and not one moment before. If this is not the usual way to walk around the block, by now I ought to have become accustomed to it: to have faith in the PROCESS.
    - I started off 32 learning I would be returning to Broadway as Tzeitel; began rehearsals for, opened and recorded, my beloved Fiddler on the Roof:

    - Did a solo show in London and got to celebrate, bury some hatchets, and truly visit with countless lifelong friends

    - Returned to San Francisco Symphony to sing in their opening gala, and really conquered some of my huge singing myths. 

    - Was diagnosed with a life-changing chronic illness, and truly faced being...um, not-alive at 32, not once but twice. (I will reflect more upon, and share those thoughts, when I am ready to...) Fear not: I am finally, in every sense, well

    - Became a "Paleo" eater (and have never looked back!)

    - I cut off ALL. MY. HAIR.
    Made some very important new adult friends and business relationships. 
    The "Pineapples"

    - Did a solo show at Birdland

    - Finally recorded Arlington for Broadway Records

    - Cleared out the 'clutter," and replaced that clutter with better, more appropriate things (from people, business partnerships, and ideas, to actual physical stuff)

    - Had the most wonderful year yet at Pace with my beloved babies.

    - Got an actual factual ...two-book deal... and will be able to have the ultimate privilege of sharing my life and work with the world, and have a personal dream come true.

    In short, significant highs, and some of the most harrowing lows of my life thus far.


    We can underline, circle, thought-map, highlight and do ritualistic chanting circles 'til our voices are hoarse about our hopes, dreams and expectations; but I have learned (at least thus far) that the actual form and function of our lives will always be different than our initial imaginings. Life will come barreling toward us with its own very personal demands for what we need to do and above all, learn

    My lessons this year have been about fortitude

    When things happen that look disastrous, empowerment allows us to see them as a stage of life that's over, and to look for the next challenge that will advance us toward a dream. Fighting against What Is in a fruitless exercise that drains us. The moment we accept what is, we are empowered to find a way to move forwardlike stepping into the unknown, the firmament we need always seems to appear the second we take that faithful stepYou take the leap, and almost as a kind of spiritual reward, the net appears. It appears despite having all the proof. 

    The journey to peace/contentment/greatness is arduous, and the tangible and intangible costs we may have to pay are high. Remember that nothing of real value was ever achieved without costs. We must have a strong heart, an open mind, and we must move with tenacity and act without retreating. After all, Vision shall always only be a vision until we take that step of fortitude to make it a reality.

    Every time I go through this process I feel vulnerable, and what I assume to be my weaknesses, turn out to be my strengths. Although I continue to learn this lesson over and over again (who doesn't have that experience?), I realized anew that no pain that we suffer, no trial or test that we experience should ever be wasted. Adversity paves the way for our Education— to the expansion of such vital human qualities as patience, faith, humility, and the capacity to endure.

    The trick is to endure it patiently. 
              . . . Easier said than done. 

    It is still possible (and allowed) to dream with a broken body and a broken heart.  
    It is possible for those dreams to manifest into greatest reality. 
    One must simply, keep going.
    Life is a great unending opportunity to keep re-framing disaster and discouragement into faith
    There is pain 

         but there is also, always, joy


    1. Lauren AshbrookJuly 05, 2016

      You are so beautiful & inspiring & I can't wait to see what more you do in this world. ❤️

    2. David Nando RodgersJuly 05, 2016

      Every walk around the block is a process...

    3. Dead on correct. You have summarized precisely what I have felt this last year as well. You really are so very amazing my dear dear girl!

    4. You write so beautifully and with such positivity and insight.

    5. Why do I love following you? These words, my friend whom I have never met, speak such inspiring truth! I love your soul!!




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