Dancing

We saw another stunning performance by the Boston Ballet yesterday, thanks, once again, to the generosity of Delycia’s son, Aaron. The dancing, as always, was spectacular to the point of being unbelievable. How human bodies can move with such precision and grace is a vast mystery to me, but it’s not just about bodies moving, but about a sweeping and somehow marvelous artistic creation. We truly saw great art made right before our eyes yesterday on the stage of the Opera House in Boston. The music was sometimes a mystery to me, but that mystery was part of the dazzle of the performance. I felt sort of awestruck for the entire two hours, like a three-year-old might feel when seeing a Ferris wheel in operation for the first time. I didn’t understand much of what I witnessed, but, like a child frozen in amazement at a carnival, I won’t soon forget any of it.

at the theater, mom and son, devoted students of ballet
after the performance, walking to the train station

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Delycia and I no longer go out for an evening of dancing, but actually, I guess we’re always dancing at home, in one way or another. Just walking around the house, just moving our legs in a free-flowing way, is a kind of dancing. A person confined to a wheelchair would marvel at the effortless, dance-like movements of our bodies as we walk from room to room. And in fact, our bodies are always dancing in other innumerable ways. Blood is streaming through us with the smoothness of a dance, all our cells are doing their innumerable duties with a tasteful tempo and elegance, our lungs are lifting and falling with the poise of dancers, and of course, our hearts are keeping a measured beat as they bring us gracefully around the ‘dance floor’ of each day.

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From Thomas Merton:

“For the world and time are the dance of the Lord in emptiness. The silence of the spheres is the music of a wedding feast. The more we persist in misunderstanding the phenomena of life, the more we analyse them out into strange finalities and complex purposes of our own, the more we involve ourselves in sadness, absurdity and despair. But it does not matter very much because no despair of ours can alter the reality of things, or stain the joy of the cosmic dance which is always there. Indeed we are in the midst of it and it is in the midst of us for it beats in our very blood whether we want it to or not. Yet the fact remains that we are invited to forget ourselves on purpose, cast our awful solemnity to the winds and join in the general dance.”

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two happy young dancers

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“He capers, he dances, he has eyes of youth, he writes verses, he speaks holiday, he smells April and May.” — — Shakespeare, “The Merry Wives of Windsor”

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