Thursday, October 11, 2012
The Ballet Dancer in My Head
It's another gloomy day in north-central Minnesota and it appears my imagination has gained control of my thinking. I have been imagining that inside me is a ballerina, forty years younger and she's wearing a silvery tutu with a garland of flowers trailing from her waist (pardon me while I wipe these tears of laughter from my eyes). It does not matter one whit that I have never been a dancer. Well, nothing classical, that is.
Oh, yeah, I played around with modern dance back in college, wore my black leotard with bare feet and a fair amount of sincerity, now mixed with a smidgen of embarrassment that I might have actually thought that was a good idea. I looked okay in the leotard, and I liked the graceful movements, but pretending to be someone I was not was always an uncomfortable experience. So, a few weeks before the performance, I took my bows early and, as gracefully as I could, made my exit, made way for someone else to fill that spot who might actually have a chance of convincing herself she fit in with that little avant garde group.
This whole train of thought arrived via images of paintings by Degas I'd been looking at online, where I found myself again drawn to his dancers. I used to have one on my sidebar that I particularly liked. I also have a tin with a Degas image on its cover that once contained Stollwerck chocolates. I now use it for mending items such as needles and thread, and a few other miscellaneous objects that got placed inside and still reside there.
To wit: a small orange jewelry box that once contained a pair of blue moonstone earrings set in sterling silver, that the owners of the art gallery in Santa Fe gifted me with one evening as we were having dinner at Santacafe. I also have the matchbook of that particular cafe with a note on the inside cover reminding me of that fine evening, October 24, 2007.
But, back to the imaginary ballet going on in my head. It's not about the tutu, it's about The Dance. This crazy life seems to be always encouraging me to walk away from the wall and just dance. Because even when I'm sure I don't want to, without fail, once I get out on the floor it becomes easier. I just have to remember to stop trying to figure out all the steps in advance, stop trying to wrest control, and just let Life lead me. It knows what steps would be best for me, and it seems to have had infinite patience with my missteps.
Now, once again, we've paused together, Life and I, listened for the musical cue and entered back into the dance, perfectly in step, perfectly in time. Because none of us came into this world to be wallflowers, we came to dance. Every One of Us.
All images are Edgar Degas paintings.