Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Dreams deferred and then outgrown OR Can you like only jelly donuts?

I think it has been a cruel twist of Fate that one of the things I am passionate about; one of the things that gives me the greatest pleasure, has been, for the most part, taken away from me. I love to dance. I love to move. I love to just walk and walk. Because of a degenerative spine condition these things are not exactly on my top ten “can do” list. Yes, I can still walk, but painfully, not quickly and not for long. Can I still dance? Oh, yes but I will pay mightily for those moments of joy.

This morning as I was reading the Arts & entertainment section of the NYT, I was aware that I always skip over the dance reviews. Reading about dance reminds me of the saying “ Talking about music is like dancing about architecture.” . Some things cannot be described but only experienced.

That said, when I was a very little girl I saw The Nutcracker ballet on television – whether it was just a small portion or the whole thing, I don’t recall, but it made enough of an impression on me that I remembered it far into adulthood. One of the ballet companies in NYC does the Nutcracker every year. Every year I attempted to get tickets and failed. It seems they were sold out before they were even advertised. This year the Pennsylvania Ballet is doing Balanchine’s Nutcracker. It has gotten rave reviews so I went on-line to see about tickets. Everything was available! $65.00 for very good seats available the first weekend it opened which coincidentally is the weekend my husband will be going to Boston for his family Christmas party. Perfect, I thought. He wouldn’t want to go so I could happily go and enjoy it. I chose my seat and was about to enter my payment information when I realized I am not fond of ballet. After 10 minutes, max, I am bored to tears. I canceled the buying process and realized that a lifetime dream, within easy reach, was not something I really wanted.

I love movement and music and dance, I am passionate about it BUT not all of it. I can easily sit through an entire Michael Flatley show but not the newly configured Riverdance. It gets monotonous. Tap dancing will hold my attention forever. Professional ballroom dancing, as long as they mix up the genres, I’m good for an hour or so there too. The dance reality shows, no patience for that stuff at all. "To live is to dance, to dance is to live" might be my motto but it doesn't include ballet. Does that make me less of a passionista? I don't think so. I can't imagine liking ALL of anything.

Life long dreams? Are they really? Be careful what you wish for, you might get it. If one of these so-called life long dreams is achievable after decades of wishing and hoping, look carefully. Think long and hard. A dream at 20 is a nightmare at 60. Or a ho-hum. Or a “what was I thinking” .

There are places in the past I like to visit. There are places in the future I like to inhabit in my imagination but when all is said and done NOW is what I have at hand. This day, this hour, this moment. And NOW is where I experience all there is – because now IS all there is.

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