Friday, 17 April 2015

Ballet Lessons

I tend to recycle in all I do.  This tendency I attribute to my grandmother’s tutelage on Waste not, want not.

A few conversations I include in recycle/repeat, most especially where the conversation jogs a remembrance. 

Carolann Keiser, the first place winner for the collection Sandcastles, where my story Sacrificial Lambs won the honor of being included in the compilation, wrote seemingly low-key narrative.  Until you realized her story, like an onion, had many layers that evoked a strong reaction. 

I had  finished reading one of her stories that followed my also watching a ballet short, and it pulled me back to my age between five and eight.  At that age, I loved five things, other than family.  They were drawing, reading, horses, singing, and toe dancing. 

We lived in a large, to me, apartment that took half the floor, running front to back, on the third floor
landing.  The other apartment was across the open stairwell hallway.

Within the apartment, a hallway ran from the living room on one side, bedroom on the other side back to the bath on the right, ending in the dining room with the kitchen to its right. There were
three more bedrooms on the right side of that long corridor. 

My grandfather would play classical records, and I would lace up my toe shoes, pirouetting from one end of the passage and back, over and over.  If I fell away for a week or so, my toes would bleed anew; even, knowing this was to happen did not stop my love of being on my toes as I leaped and twirled.

I had a girlfriend that took lessons and on occasion I would accompany her.  I would sit and intently watch her form and marvel at her endurance.  I do not remember envying her lessons, but rather was in awe of her thrice-weekly dedication.  I would draw pictures of her muscle tone and liken it to the muscle strength of another love, horses.  The beauty and range of motion in both became one in my mind.  It took determination to stay the course of lessons, and while I no longer had contact with her after age eleven, I am sure she fulfilled her dreams.

There are so many things I've done in my life, for a season and no more, but the memories are precious. And, sometimes need to be shared.

photo - Amarinda Jones

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