La mise-en-scène: doesn't this scene look staged? Walking through the villages of France sometimes makes you feel as if you've stepped back in time, to post war Europe... until you see the modern cars at the end of the lane. Photo taken two weeks ago, in the town of Camaret.

I am excited to announce our first debate here at French Word-A-Day... and that's about as French as this edition will get! Read on, in today's story.

la mise-en-scène (meez-on-sen) noun, feminine

   : the "putting on stage", stage setting

Six years ago, almost to the day, I learned a life-changing concept: one that returns to me this morning, as a flood of emotions float upward to the underbelly of my skin, electrifying the surface. When God created sensitivity, he gave an extra dose of it to me! Strike a line through that last sentence or, rather, that last word--for I am not alone: artists, writers, musicians, plumbers, preachers--and even highfalutin Frenchmen, can feel the same way and, I suspect, do.

I dread this space that I am in, but recognize it as the engine behind the words that sometimes flow out of the fingertips, onto a blank screen: oh, the ills of Inspiration! Hold on a minute... isn't that the ego talking? He who likes to convince us that it is the Self's HARD WORK--and pain!--that bring forth art. What a crock!

As thoughts continue to dart back-n-forth, I raise my arm to catch one of them, watching in amazement as it almost drives a hole (the sheer force of faith, landing) through my tattered catcher's glove. I look into my glove, beyond the steam, and read the message:

"One can change her mind. P.S.: Lighten up a bit!"

I am reminded to pull that chain in my brain and so flush out a rush of ravaging thoughts, such as this one that just crept in: "Easier said than done." The minute I pull that chain, reflux happens; determined, I pull the chain again (sort of off topic, but if you say that last bit--pull the chain again--with an English accent, it kind of rhymes... at least in *my* mind. Whatever.) And there, dear reader, goes the mind: Hither and thither, but whither? Whither???

Back to the "life-changing concept", which the subject in today's photo reminds me of: "la mise-en-scène". I thought this might make a good topic for debate. One thing I struggle with is remembering my "part" in this film that is Life. So here's a question for you:

If life is a stage, are you the director or the actor? Which part makes you feel more at peace? Tell us your answer in the comments box.

Story Archives
Care to read another essay? I posted this one "The Car Accident: or How to Meet Your French Neighbor" over at Twitter and Facebook, yesterday.

All photos taken with this camera.

In the town of Camaret there are not cabarets, but the shutters close their eyes and blush anyway.

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Both, I am certain, for although I feel more at peace being the Director (note the capital D) and always in control, the actor in me constantly changes direction and follows intuition and emotion. And even though the director says I should behave responsibly and within certain structure, someone of a rebel can creep to the stage at any moment and turn the production into something of a schmozel. So is it Director/Actor? Sometimes I just say that I am living my life in compartments and try not to let the areas overflow, because then it all goes awry!! Wearing different chapeaux comes to mind, as well.

Regardless of the metaphor,sometimes you have to do what just feels right. If we followed the Director's direction every time, we'd be miserable and we wouldn't find the adventures we inherently crave and ultimately need.

That being said, have a wonder-filled weekend, Kristin!:)


Okay, so after a brief Intermission and costume change, I am apt to say: neither. Both are ego-driven, really. How about (fence-sitter that I am!) Play-Write instead?

corey d

kristin, beautifully written. i believe we should all aspire to live our lives with the same passion and vision as directors do with their productions...create our destiny based on our own stories.....and from time to time roll on the waves of life as an actor, and go along for the ride ;-)


I would have to say, if I only had the two options, actor. I can't be the director because I am ultimately not in control--although sometimes I think I am. Yesterday, we just discussed this very thing of ego during our bible study on Esther. Beth Moore states, anytime we want to be or are the center of attention we are playing right into the hands of the evil one. Beth states that we must wait upon the Lord, not the event or people or things, but to simply wait upon the Lord. What could be more exhausting than waiting?

Jules Greer

Kristi Darling - I told you long ago that you were a beautiful rose, although at that time you were only 12 so I explained that you were at that moment a ROSEBUD. The conversation centered around why you didn't feel as pretty as your idols at school...and when did you get to have all of the costumes of life to give you the stage to perform, and therefore feel and be your part in this game of life.

I explained once again to you (on the patio of Dick's condo as we looked past the golf course towards another beautiful Arizona sunset (do you remember this moment Kristi?).

You have been created by God, open your arms and embrace this moment as a little rosebud - when the time - or season of your life moves on to the next step your petals will slowly open and you will be a beautiful rose. Kristi just relax and enjoy being a little ROSEBUD.

You are now slowly opening those delicate petals - are you an actor or a director -

NO! YOU ARE A ROSE - learning to accept the sunshine along with the rain - shining your beauty onto whoever passes you along the path of life as you mature in your little garden in France where God decided to transplant you years ago.

Please never act (which you have never done) and most of all don't try to direct my life or yours - as you have learned this just doesn't work and just gives you a tummy ache. Continue on - as you were meant to be " A ROSE IN THE RHONE VALLEY ".

P.S. You are actually a rose bush NOW - with two little rosebuds scratching you with their thorns - time to tell Max and Jackie who they are.




At times we may not appreciate the editing or rewrites in our lives. Yet most of the time things can be so wonderful we are left breathless. We all want to direct, but God does a far better job than we could. Sometimes I feel like my job is to follow the script,not question it and just try my best. It isn't easy!
Your mother is amazing! What she said is so sweet and true.


Directrice! I feel like I have come full circle, and that as time goes on I'm becoming more and more *myself* again, as I was meant to be.

Perhaps a more apt description would be: director of my own life, stage actor in everyone else's.


So beautifully written!

I know without a doubt I try and be the director every day, even though I know this is not God’s will for me. I still try and keep control. In my 40th year I am still struggling with this.

May whatever role you play today in life, enjoy it, as I also know this for sure…nothing ever stays the same.

Peace to you this Friday!

P.S. Love what your Mom wrote—Hi Jules! :)


Beautiful post, Kristin...thought provoking.
I think we're all directors and actors depending on the situation..


Today, Kristin, I feel like the stagehand.


Are you ok? Just remember, spring is around the corner and it will be a healer for all kinds of stress!


At work I am often the director, and at home as well. Lots of pressure in that role. What if something goes wrong?? I'm to blame. I agree with Angela, I want to be a fence-sitter, someone in the audience who gets to enjoy the show and critique both the actor and the director.


I must agree with Corey D regarding the choice of whether you are more a "director" of you life, or an "actor/actress"... I think we strive for a balance of both...sometimes you must step back and make some adjustments to the script, per se, or take a scene out that just doesn't fit. The other side of the coin is that we sometimes find ourselves in a film that we are not directing ourselves! In that case...it's 'along for the ride'! It is very true and you posed such an interesting question for the day. Thank you for the insights as always... and the beautiful photographs! :)

poppy fields

Hello from an actor :)
I don't have it in me to direct other people...if they want to follow me of their own free will, that's fine and I am pretty pliable to the wills of others to a certain point, then I'm likely to go off on my own as a sulky actor is prone to do sometimes.

Joy Laliberte

I think I am an actor, trying to fit within the confines of that stage and not liking it all that much. Can't I be in the audience, free to come and go as I please?


Ah! Finally something I can sink my philosophical teeth into. Being a director means you are in charge of the actors, the crew, the editing, the way things will be, but in reality you are responsible for the outcome of a project, and one never knows the final outcome of a product but by how it is judged by others. An actor simply plays a part, can choose a role that keeps himself under the radar or is a lead but still only takes responsibility for himself. This sounds a lot like the roles of motherhood and children. At first glance childhood seems like the most fun and maybe the easiest place, but being a great director or even a good director has its rewards. In life, no matter what part you play (chosen or not) one can only strive to be the best they can and hope that failures are small. Being comfortable in either role can lead to discontent. And is life interesting if one never takes a chance?


Poor Macbeth saw life as nothing but “a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more.” He discovered too late that it, Life, is not all about us – either as actors or directors, both of which call for large amounts of hubris. So many of us today strut and fret upon life’s stage – idiots telling a tale full of sound and fury that signifies nothing. Should we but stop and listen, we will hear the Still, Small Voice of God and take our cue.

Kathie Dior

Hi Kristin,

I recently got disgusted with an English professor (who teaches Shakespeare and drama) because he views life as a stage and people (including himself) as actors. (And I told him so.) For him, life lacks reality, and the human element seems to be ironically too abstract.

Am I cynical in thinking that the actor just bobs around in the water, totally controlled by his/her environment and others, while the director stands at the wheel of the ship and steers it?

As for your other question, I think that I would be more at peace if I could bob in the water--but I can't. I need to steer. So peace may never really be in reach.


My gut reaction? Neither. I have tried desperately to be the Director of my life and discovered that, despite my planning, things don't go the way I want them to go. I'm not an actor either as I'm not given lines and expected to interpret them. I hesitate over "puppet" as an alternative but that infers that I have no control at all.

Instead I'll rely on a different philosophy: "Je pense, donc je suis".

Jules Greer

Hi Peggy - thanks for alerting me to the fact that maybe Kristi was sending out and S.O.S. - how could I miss the first line of the second paragraph. Thanks Peggy for being a commenter and teaching me to open up my ears and eyes. So here is my message to Kristi - Take a deep breath - go out and ride your bycycle - sing a new song, how about "Mom will be here soon - I can rest in her embrace and laugh at my life til I am healed with her love." Remember, see things that are not - as though they are. See us in a little cafe counting all of the flowers and plants I have talked the villagers out of for your new garden. I will paint you happy roses and lavender and sunflowers for your office. I will clean the house !!! Thanks again Peggy - please keep commenting - you have impacted our lives today... XOXO JULES

Jeanne Robinson

Dearest Kristin,

I can't recall how many times my pastor has preached about yielding our spirits to God. He tells us to awaken each morning and pray for the Holy Spirit to "direct" our steps and for us to seek His Will for our lives. I do find myself attempting to direct, but I know that God is so much better at it than I can ever hope to be. What could be better for my life than to be an actor in the role God has created for me?

Listen to your mom, little Rosebud (Rosebush). She is a very wise woman.

God bless,

Jeanne in Oregon


Though provoking question. After a life of trying to be a director with the companion stress and frustration, an illness forced me to take a different role. Life has been so much better learning to accept that I am not nor ever was in control. My happiness is dependent upon how I choose to deal with what is dealt to me. Trying to remain positive during trying times is not easy but calming. Surrounding yourself with some pampering is a good band-aid for now.
Jules sounds like a lovely and wise mother. We can all use warm "mom-hugs" sometimes, even distant ones.


When do I feel most at Peace? When I am the Watcher of the two - the non-emotive one - that is when I am most aware of what is driving me. The Watcher does not tune in enough, however. I'm working on that. I appreciate your observations. Keep up the good work.


Okay, Kristi, I outdid myself on stuffiness in my last comment (Macbeth --gag), and for that, I apologize to you and to the other readers. You, dear, are an incredibly talented woman who is clearly sensitive to life's pulse. It is a burden, is creativity; but embrace it for, paradoxically, it will not hold you down but will lift you up, far above the madding crowd. In the meantime, hone your sense of humor. It was the one thing I believe Poe clearly lacked :)

Tim S.

I think there is a role that has been left out and that is the one of spectator. We must at one time or another in our lives be actor or director, controlee or controllor (is there such a word?) and spectator. Far and away the most enjoyable of all is that of spectator when we can sit back and enjoy that which we created in one of the other roles, especially if you are blessed with good partners, family, children, grandchildren, etc. Each of them requires a little of all three roles, don't you think?


Dearest Kristi,

Of course I went right to Momma Jules' commentl, and I swear it's as if I was listening to my own beautiful Momma all over again. They (My Judi and your Jules, even special names) are SO alike. That must be why I feel such an affinity towards your mom. They are both beautiful and the epitome of style and grace. They each have these daughters, who I believe may be more alike than we even realize. I was full of self doubt and angst when I was younger, never feeling pretty enough or thin enough or well liked enough. My momma Judi would always ALWAYS, and still does almost every day of my life, tell me what a miracle I am and how beautiful I am or smart or responsible I am. I believe if I didn't have her in my life I would have crawled under a rock and never emerged. I try to let her words sink in but alas even at 47 I still fight with believing them.

Sooooo... to answer your debate question, I guess I'm the Director only because I'm too afraid to be the actor and let my Momma and life direct me. Maybe someday I'll "get it"... XOXO Hugs Chrissi

Robyn Daniels

A strange question which I cannot answer in truth as I have never considered my life to be a drama in which I must chose to be actor or director.

As a person of advanced years and many life experiences (some more dramatic than many survive), I have lived and continue to live my life in the knowledge that there is no script, there is no 'mise-en-scene', and that I am merely a traveller exploring what life has to offer.

I have always also 'known' that whatever bad things happened to me in life (ie high drama), I would always be ok and I did not understand till very recently what this 'security' in a life full of change and uncertainty is.

Jo Ellen Brainin-Rodriguez

My own take on this is that we are actors with the occasional delusion that we are directing our lives. So much of what we are or become is determined by chance (good or bad genes, socioeconomics, the good fortune to be born in a place that is not in chaos from war or natural disaster).
Having said that, I also believe that one's attitude towards the challenges we face, and the amount of effort we are willing and able to make to deal with them can make all the difference between a happy life or a one filled with regret and bitterness. I also believe it is possible to learn how to modify negative thought patterns that limit us with some support and guidance. Keeping a gratitude list active in my mind has been really helpful, and thinking of a "bucket list", that is, the things I want to have done or participated in, or learned before I die has helped me make choices more in keeping with my real values and let the values that the greater society places on me drop away.
Thanks for such a thought provoking post, Kristin!
Je t'embrasse,
Jo Ellen


So much an actor with a faith in my Director, holy God, which is sometimes belied by the fact that I argue over the script with Him many times! Yet, He loves me, and keeps me in the cast! I think we are all falling even more in love with your mom...she's a jewel.

John P Senetto

The director has the power to create. The ability make things happen, to produce.
An actor merely follows, with little input into the finished product,unable or unwilling to be the best you can be.

I believe we are all directors, some are simply better at it than others.


I see it differently than others posting here. Sometimes we are the director (think being the car pooling mom) and sometimes we are the actor (our boss gives us a job to do) or maybe we are always the actor (even when carpooling, because we are being active, making choices, living our lives.)

While I say that, I never believe I am in control of my life, but trust that if things fall through or life changes that God is leading me in paths unsought (such as my adoptions) (never was that path in the back of my mind) -- otherwise we are presenting God with a list that we only want stamped "approved."

That is not to say that transitions can be very hard, even life changing, and I have known deep grief getting through to the other side.

But we can use our life experiences to help others -- think of Paul here in the Bible -- or just think of someone you know in life that you admire, whether they know it or not. How they live is an inspiration, perhaps more than what they say (ie their life isn't directed -- not using the word in a 'director' sense-- towards us as an example; it just happens to be an example.)

Don Unrau (a proud Canuck)

All the world's indeed a stage and we are merely players - performers and portrayers -
each another's audience beyond the gilded cage. Living in the limelight, the universal dream - just put aside the alienation, get on with the fascination, the real relation, the underlying dream.

Anyone familiar with those lyrics from the Canadian rock group RUSH? I think they express my approach to this, which is somewhat in the fence-sitter/"observer" category as opposed to "directing" anything or anybody - or playing a role. It's more about living in the now, rolling with the ebbs and flows of life, not trying to swim upstream - but enjoying each moment with wide-eyed wonder, gratitude and fascination.

Angela Bell

One need not be either and can be both, but... my vote in this debate goes to Jules, and I wish I had written this sagesse to my daughter...

Debbie Chavers

Am I an actor or a director of my life? Interesting. Well, both. Both because God declared that I could choose this day whom I will serve and He also tells us that he directs our path. So I have been given direction and yet I have the God given ability to follow direction (actor) and direct my life by my choice. Life is a stage to the extent that it is a warm up or opening act of our eternal choice.
What makes me feel more at peace? When I acknowledge that I can only do what I can do and that God will always honor His name/character and help me be the best I that I can be. And on days that I struggle with any of it, I comfort myself with the knowledge that this too will pass, for nothing stays the same except God.
Open your arms wide Kristin for God to fill them with whatever you need.

Jan Hersh

I am a player. I direct my own actions.
I row my boat against the tides and with the flow depending on where I want to go.


Sometimes when I see comments such as "p.s. lighten up a bit," I am reminded of the arrogance with which we muddling human creatures deal with one another. What does it mean to say "lighten up"? Is the director-type speaking those words in your skin and your heart and mind and soul? in your circumstances of place and time; in your memories of past and thoughts of the future? Well, hello, no! Who dares to ever tell someone to be_____-- to be anything. We are actors/directors all. We listen and observe; reject or accept; we stumble and skip and slide and backslide through.

Once I heard about the Witness. The Witness Mind shows up for all events; allows them to unfold and while staying in the body and disinviting drama to come in, siezes all the feelings, physical and emotional, and lets it ride the course. More energy is spent in avoiding this scene than any other in life and to our greater detriment. The Witness does not look for the immediate understanding or answer. The Witness doesn't try to figure it out or make it okay...somehow, or hope it goes away.

The witness is just willing to live in that very moment, defying the continued storage of more emtoional garbage that will, one day, have to be hauled away. The Witness sees the joy and sadness the unbelievable and understandable and treats it all the same. Directing and acting is all part of the same show, but it is about being the director and actor of our inner life, that mise-en-scene, that is the matter-most. It is out of how that scene plays out that we meet the world.

May you be blessed with all that you need in your journey...you are surrounded by many who love and care about you...all over these pages, for sure.

Kristin, you have put yourself way out there by freely opening your creative self, that spiritual center of yourself, to the world. It is a brave life to lead, and I send you mille mercis for allowing us into it...for giving us the pleasure of hearing about French life--you et famille-- and having little moments of sheer fun ecrive-ing en francaise. Merci pour tout, aller avec ton Dieu.


Beaucoups de hugs, Pat

Merrie Dail

Two year old on lap and a little hard to think, but not sure whether all life is a stage, or about actors / directors. "Which part makes you feel more at peace" seems at heart of the matter. Sometimes peace can be so elusive; there are no easy answers, Kristin; might have been in your frame of mind when I wrote this poem a year ago in February:

Life begins
With a promise
of what might be –

Dimming whenever
we attempt to force what is
through the narrow focus of our desires

If we have
courage - to
explore the unknown
reaches of ourselves, perhaps
we’ll understand our gifts -
learn to blend them with what is and
set free what might be to unfold in the fullness of time.


I'm the actor! The directors are in my life in the form of my bosses, judges, police, the IRS, my weight-loss plan,and most importantly, God. All of them give me directions in the form of laws and rules that I'm supposed to follow. No wonder I think I'm special :-D. They are my hinderers and my inspirations and as the actor I continuously weave through them and multitask them. No fake tears needed - ever. No need to stand up and applaud, but thank you. I would like to thank the Academy and God and also my Kindergarten teacher...


Hello Kristin!

It was already late afternoon when I had a quick look at my Inbox. One of the subject titles of my e-mails was: “French Word-A-day: façonner”, sent on 20th Feb at 16:10. I thought it was probably an error, or a repeat... as “façonner” was the word chosen on Wednesday. I didn't open it.... until now, at 2am +...
The house is quiet, there is still a log in the woodburner, but, although I am a night owl, I won't start typing my comments now. Your two questions triggered a riot of thoughts in my mind, so, I'd better let them settle down. I'll 'sleep on it' ( = “La nuit porte conseil”).

Hope the flow of ideas, comments, experiences and opinions you received are not too confusing. This interesting debate shows there isn't a 'one and only' general pattern for all of us. Each one has got his or her individual views, according to beliefs, life experience, personality, circumstances, priorities and personal approach to life.

Your Mum's comments don't reflect the way she looks at her own life, whether she is leading it as an actor or a director. Her reply to your questions concentrates essentially on you, convinced you are neither an actor nor a director... but a rosebud... petals slowly opening ... a rosebush transplanted in France. I was impressed -but not surprised- by the beautiful statement coming straight from your mother's heart, by her delightful vision of the rosebush with 2 little rosebuds 'scratching' you with their thorns, by her happy prospects of helping with plants, garden, paintings to lift up your spirit! Wonderful!

A big hug for now.
PS. I'll join in the debate and will send you a few lines later on this w/end. Promise! Now, more than time to close my eyes!

Betty Gleason

Dear Kristin,

Today you are the silly goose. Life is not a stage, unless you want your whole life to be scripted and constrained. Relax and just be. Frenetic thought catching and role examination overwhelms the senses (stimulating: yes; peaceful: no.) Be the calm in the eye of the storm.
In the give and take of freedoms just gauge the benevolence. We are all actors and directors, teachers and students, parents and children. The peace comes from choosing what is best to be in the moment, and not being coerced, or not giving it any thought. The director, parent, teacher role has the most responsibility because we never fully know what is best for another. So we must all be open to learning from each other. You provide an excellent environment. Merci beaucoup.

Harvey Gardner

Life is not a stage, at least not when it's capitalized. I could care less (???) about lower case life. The One Life that temporarily enlivens you and me and the banana tree is devoid of measurement. Yet, in time, Life will start to depart my physical form. I imagine I'll then smile, at last unselfconsciously, as I wordlessly witness the weightless Mystery. But, for Now and Now and Now, I'm grateful to be dabbling as well as I am.


I think at some point in our lives, we are both director and actor... sometimes even both at the same time! I'd love to direct life's stage down to every little detail, but maybe things would get boring that way. Hmm, maybe it's better to be an actor who secretly threw away their script. :]

I love your blogs! As a student learning French, it's so interesting to learn from a person actually living in France.


Love your post Kristin :-) At the moment I'd love being an excellent actor working with a wonderful, talented, inspiring director. Oh! :-)


My grandmother used to say to me... "Do you know how to make God laugh? Tell him your plans!"

As much as I like to think sometimes that I am the director of my life, I think I'm more of an actor... but an improvisational actor, with choices to affect the outcome. I still live by the rules of the script (for the most part), but I can choose which actors to have dialogue with, and I have the advantage of altering my "lines."

Jules, your love for your family shines forth from your posts! I, too, am a rosebush, and sometimes I forget that. Thanks for the reminder.


If you picture everyone who wrote as a flower, we're a beautiful, multi-colored garden.
Let's not worry about the weeds for now. Where I live is covered with snow and ice.


Your image of "la mise-en-scene" in Camaret with the modern cars acting as a discordant note to your perfect "staged" picture is a great illustration of how life is really a glorious mess! It is sometimes hilarious and sometimes sad, suprising, ordindary, teaching, inspiring...always real, always imperfect, always moving forward to a new day of full of opportunities! Never a rehearsal!

Phyllis Morton

I agree with Cara, we are all both at some time. I will say director mostly, as I believe that I have been responsible for most of my life-determining decisions. I am a Swede, with a viking attitude. As such I take chances with myself, try not to hurt others, do give my opinions to any and all, and have now survived 80 years and 60 years of marriage.


Here you are... I'll throw something else into the mix! I was thinking about your photographic image and how sometimes photo "snapshot" often inadvertently captures parts of the messy edges of life. I then started thinking about one our artists, Jeffrey Smart, who paints carefully cheographed images of industrial scenes but includes a small jolt of a quirky clash of colour just to give it a kick of life! Perhaps it is how you shift your perspective that gives life the illusion that it is a "mise-en-scene"

Jennifer in OR

Wonderful debate! As an individual given free-will by God, I'm a director of my own choices. As His workmanship, His creation, I'm an actor (not a puppet) with a very important role to play on the stage of life, with consequences much farther-reaching than the stage.

Jules Greer

KRISTI DARLING - you have had us thinking about our life and choices all weekend - I have been in so many difficult positions in my life as you well know. I wish I could share the freedom that comes with touching the edge of death with all of your faithful friends. But I still find it too difficult to express my complete feeling of freedom and peace that comes with the realization and then the acceptance that I am not an actor or a director - the release of peace and joy knowing that I am in the mist of something bigger than my thought process ever imagined. I was in the middle of a miracle. Since that fateful day of rescue from the jungle in Mexico, where I had laid isolated for 14 days with three fractures to my hip - the mexican angels that showed up and built a stretcher for me out of a lawn chair, cut up their childrens beds to make it comfortable for me. Wrapped me up inside the lawn chair with strips of torn sheets so I was enveloped in a white cacoon, then sprinkled bougenvilla blossoms on top of me as they lowered me into the little boat that would take 45 minutes across the bay to a waiting ambulance. As I lie in the ponga skimming across the water, dolphins were jumping along the side of the boat. All I could see was the blue sky - the brightest blue I have ever seen. I was deep in the miracle of surrender - acceptance - my only words to anyone who could hear " I am going to keep my eyes wide open - I never want to miss a moment of my life again." For six weeks I laid in the hospital and learned and relearned the lesson of surrender and acceptance. I have some great stories I will tell you sometime.


Yours, mine and the thoughts of my loved ones are the only ones I read and relish. Thank you for a wonderful blog. Yes,I am, and have to be, the director of my future. However, looking back, I seem to have been a mere actor!


With every 'act' in the performance of my life that I yield to Him, G-d grants me some direction.

My allowance of authority and the maturity to have wisdom for how to 'direct' runs in exact conjunction with how well I am able to *receive* direction (as an actor?) both from G-d, and from those whom He has put in authority over me.

Great question, Kristin. Your writing is so beautifully poetic. And it's fun to see all us 'churchies' out today-- never realized there were that many. And I gotta get the Esther study; LOVE Esther! Thought I'd done all the Beth Moores!


Oh, wow, Kristin. I think you and I have been sharing the same line of thought. I married my husband, and thought I was directing my life by picking the person I chose to spend my life with. He met all of my tiny little desires and still makes me wonderfully happy today. We thought we were directing our lives by deciding when we were ready to have children, and we planned a fantastic life for them - French immersion school, tennis lessons, everything they could want that we could finally provide thanks to our choices in higher education. When my first son's Asperger Syndrome/autism was discovered, I realized that I am really an actor. I have been cast to work in settings that I never imagined I would enter (therapists' and specialists' offices) and in positions I never imagined (apologizing for something he said in an outburst, trying to stand bravely when people who didn't know him or his diagnosis blamed his words or actions on my assumed poor parenting).
I have talked to Jesus Christ about my acting roles in my child's exciting settings plenty of times. (Are you sure I have the talent to take on this role? I think I need more coaching! I'm feeling intimidated by the A-list mommy actors that seem to be everywhere in sight today!) After many such conversations with JC, one thing that I know is that I am surviving and thriving in my unexpected settings because I make an active, daily choice to allow Him to direct all of my scenes. Whenever I try directing, the scenes come out all wrong and I end up depressed. When I keep my focus on following His direction, though, I manage to find the humor in my situations and to appreciate the true gifts my life brings me and my family. Many people have even told me I'm uplifting to them, so I'm trying to limit my guest directing days as much as possible.
Thanks for sharing your life on the French stage with me!


The true artist wears many hats. I like to think of myself more in the vein of writer/director/benefactor/producer.I think of my children as the actors.


I have spent too much time in the audience, watching, supporting and not doing. People who know me would not agree with my words and I can hear them in my mind as I write. I guess it's a result of becoming aware of the passage of the seasons of my life. So now I make much more of my time and I enjoy the acting role and looking for more parts to play, always hoping for better results, even applause, from me of course, watching enthusiastically from my favourite seat.



Back home very late after an extended w/end, so here are the few lines I promised to send you.

I know it's an old cliché but yes, the world may be considered as a theatre - a theatre of love (Kashmiri proverb), often a theatre displaying hatred, anarchy, misery, a theatre of the absurd, but also a theatre of hope, of dreams, of virtues. It is a vast stage where 'actors' are thrown in with or without a script, with or without much preparation. They evolve as they can, with or without outside direction. There are unique moments, obscure scenes, big turning points, funny intervals, misunderstandings, breathtaking performances... Some scenes are tragically repeating themselves, although continuously changing. Organised chaos?

Anyway, apart from the roles of 'actor' and 'director', there are many other roles to suit everyone's talent, experience, appreciation, inclination... We can also be mere spectators, critics, outsiders. Some of us prefer building their own 'masterpiece' according to their personal inspiration, beliefs and talents, taking greater pride and joy within their own little world, 'away from the madding crowd'. Feeling comfortable and in full control? Not easy when we find ourselves in a position we didn't plan, an accident or illness threatening our life, our beloved ones'. We never seem to be fully prepared!

Whatever the “mise-en-scene” around me, I never thought of living my life as an 'actor' or a 'director', a follower or a guru. It's essential for each of us to find our own place in life (as a friend, a good neighbour, a parent ...), and to do our very best for ourselves, others and the environment. As we go along, head towards the sky, eyes towards the horizon, heart towards the others, and feet stuck to the ground, there is no need to 'act'. To be able to face every day's problems within the right perspectives, it is vital to take the time to stop, breathe & relax. To me, life feels more worthwhile -and comfortable- that way, and so, more enjoyable.
In periods of unplanned turmoil, expected (or unexpected) nightmares... whatever the level of disturbance, pain or sorrow, I found that my value of life suddenly increases. My sense of survival seems to intensify my inner strength. Love and care from a few people around me (neither 'actors', nor 'directors') are such an unforgettable experience!

We are given a whole lifetime to listen, understand, learn, experiment and pass on our knowledge, to care and help, to give & be generous, to create love and beauty in our own way, ... and enjoy it all.


If life is a stage, are you the director or the actor? Which part makes you feel more at peace? This is a response to my fav. Blog host Kristin @ French Word- A- Day. The word was la mise-en-scene = the putting on the stage, stage setting.

Je pense, j'y suis les deux. My life has many times been like a movie. I just hope I am soon to have more french subtitles. I think we have free will, therefore I can be,or at least feel as if I am the director. Although if you believe in energetics, control is an illusion. Heck, for that matter life is an illusion. But as long as I'm alive and in this body I'll live it with my cup full to over flowing. I like to be in the present and in a state of flow, so I think I'm more at peace with being the actor. After all aren't we all players on the stage of life. I think Willy Shakespeare coined that phrase. However, every so often I feel in a take charge mode to make something key happen, and illusion or not I bring 'it,' whatever 'it' is into being or manifest what I truly need. Both actors and directors are powerful channels for energy and transformation. They just approach it a bit differently. Vous pouvez voir ma page dáccueil.

Sandy Maberly

Neither a director or an actor, but an enthusiastic "understudy". Even after all these years I look at my life sometimes and wonder when I will start "living" it. I still have dreams to fulfill and although I sometimes "drop" the script or forget the "lines", I'm ever hopeful that I'll have my chance to shine!


If life is a stage, am i the director or the actor? Which part makes me feel at peace? Well, to this i would say, this is how i flow through each day: I start each day with meditation( preferably 30 minutes.) At the end of my meditation i always ask "Who do i serve today, Lord?" (service is to me the meaning of life) I do not anticipate, i just go on with prayers for family, friends, and safety for one and all as we go about our day. I must say there hasn't ever been a day in which i haven't been totally clear to whom i am in service. So am i the director or the actor? Well, i choose to see God as the director, and i am the dutiful servant acting out his will. Some days are so trippy, and the flow i receive from on high is so well lighted ,that i am ever amazed! God is great! i am always humbled to find what surprises each day has in store for this little actor. Which part makes me feel at peace? Because meditation brings me closer to God, when i don't find time for meditation and prayer, i find my day is less peaceful. So i must say i receive my peace from God, not by being the director, nor by being the actor, simply by being.


I think there is a director and we are the actors but we are able to improv our scenes (which sometimes gets us in trouble). We have to go on auditions - go after the parts we want to play and sometimes the director has a role particularly for us and seeks us out. It may be the lead or a supporting role or even just a bit part- it is up to bring our passion. There are times we are waiting for a call back that never comes. Our brush with stardom may only be for a season or perhaps we will be more of a character actor, as long as we stay true to our craft (our heart) we'll find our way.

Kristen, as much as I love learning about France, you bring so much more to us and I thank you.


Fred Ingham

Neither - I am a process that is intertwined with the processes of others, the planet, the universe and God. I have some agency over my own intentions and actions (the part that one might call a director), but very little over the outcomes (this part is more like being an actor).

The more that I can see and accept the process view, the more free I am to enjoy life as it comes at me, AND to shape the life that I experience through my own intentions and actions!


Yes, very beautiful..

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