I used to dance.
Ballet, modern, jazz…i danced. I don’t anymore. I got busy, I got old, I forgot.
I went to a ballet performance last night…the first one in a very long time. I had abandoned the entire art form for quite some time for unknown reasons. I know I love dance (don’t get me started on So You Think You Can Dance) but I had forgotten just how much I miss it.
I’m sitting there last night and the lights go down and the curtain goes up on this lone male dancer with his back to us. And he reaches his arm out, rotates a wrist and plies. I see every muscle in his body react and I felt it in every essence of me. My body ached because it remembered…I remember. The power I had, the control, the passion, the ability to exist on a stage for 40 minutes and feel nothing but you. The lights, the music, the breath, being part of a performance…part of the production.
I don’t suspect I will ever feel that way about anything ever again.
If I hadn’t had to enact my driving responsibilities at 7:45 on my day off, I would have missed this sunrise, a huge group of white birds all taking flight at one time out of some farmer’s field and one of the K-10 hawks looking for breakfast.
A 9 year old girl ex-communicated from the catholic church because she had an abortion as the result of rape. Ten dead in Alabama. A gunned down pastor at a Sunday morning service. Five human heads found in ice chests. A fight club set up at a school for the mentally disabled.
It’s days like this that I don’t want to leave the house.
I have lost hope for humanity.
Why is it that when you are finally old enough to be interested in the history of your family, the people with the stories are gone?
I just recently attended the funeral of my great aunt and discovered that her and her husband had run a boat rental business down in the Lake of the Ozarks for years. I had no idea. I had spent years at Thanksgiving dinners and Xmas get togethers with this lady. This little, frail lady who I thought I had nothing in common with. Apparently she liked the outdoors, the lake, swimming and boats…apparently we had a lot in common.
My father recently heard me talking about my friend in Seattle. “Seattle, huh?” he says to me. He proceeds to tell me my grandmother’s sister lived on Mercer Island up in Washington for years. Why am I just discovering this now?
I remember about 14 years ago I traveled to Chicago with my aunt and cousin. One evening after a night out, we were sitting around the hotel room talking. My grandmother came up in the conversation, a grandmother who had actually lived with us my entire life until she passed away when I was 16. My aunt proceeded to tell me the man she married (my grandfather) was not who she had intended to end up with. That there had been this other man…this other man she loved more…the man she had hoped to end up with. No one knows what happened or how and why things worked out differently. But to think I had lived with this woman all my life who had probably died having loved another man all that time.
Now I’m 35. Now I want to know more. Now they are all gone.
I live in a town that does not offer curb side recycling (just one of many reasons I think I was born into the wrong part of the country) and until just recently didn’t have much space to set up digs for my own recycling efforts. But after finally accepting the fact that I will never actually be able to park in my own garage, I figured why not use the space left for some good. I bought some tubs, laid out some organizational rules and started recycling. So now every two weeks when we visit the grocery store, we drag our recycling along. I now only make about one bag of actual trash a week.
The really cool thing about it though is driving up to the recycling center on Saturday and seeing it so packed I have to park across the street to get in the place. There are families with toddlers carrying their own little sacks of trash, teenagers who probably head up a recycling effort at a school somewhere, old guys who don’t know the difference between chip board and cardboard (but they are figuring it out), single guys with trunks full of nothing but beer bottles and old couples who can barely hobble up to the windows.
And while I can be ashamed that I just started this myself, it makes me feel good that each week the recycling center gets a little bit busier as a few more people start to care.
1. KU beating Oklahoma…even if it was painful to watch.
2. Dinner, drinks and a Cirque show on a Wednesday night.
3. A day of unexpecteds.
4. Ladies’ Night.
5. Dancing on a Saturday night.
In times like these its easy to lose sight of the good in people. Its sad and quiet and scary. But recently I witnessed a couple of instances of the good in people and it makes me hopeful….it makes it a little easier to breathe.
I went to a performance down at the Music Hall with my mother and aunt the other night. We pulled into the parking garage and went to pay for our parking only to be told the car in front of us had already paid for our parking.
My little sister went to buy some vodka and beer on her birthday and the guy behind the counter wished her a happy birthday and didn’t charge her for anything.