Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Nutcracker

Everything is too sad these days. I try to go on Facebook for my usual stress relief, but instead I find myself quickly scrolling past posts before I can read too much into them. You know what I'm talking about. It all breaks my heart. Generally speaking, I can't watch the news. I am super-sensitive to tragedy. I don't have the wall other people seem to have that prevents them from feeling too much. Other people say, "Oh, that's so sad," and then go on with what they were doing before they had been bothered with bad news. Me, I collapse into tears and then ruminate on the pain for days. That's why, on a daily basis, I don't watch the news (unless it's political, and even that can hit sore spots). So for me, right now, I'm a mess. I don't admit it to myself because I have to go on taking care of my kids, keeping the house together, keeping myself in working order. But when the kids go to bed and I've had my fill of chores for the day, I have to find something to fill the void. Yesterday it was catching the end of "White Christmas" on AMC. Senpai fell asleep snuggled up next to me on the couch. Today, Senpai wants to watch the new X-Men series, and that doesn't work for me. I used to watch the X-Men animated series back in the 90's, and yes, I am usually interested in such things, but not today. With only one TV in the house, it's difficult to have conflicting interests. Usually it's not a problem. If Senpai wants to watch something I don't want to see I just surf the 'net, or vice versa. But like I said, Facebook, my usual refuge, is not safe right now. Blogger, too. I was at a loss: what to do to soften the pain for a bit? I wanted something happy and Christmas-y. I searched Youtube until I found my solace in "The Nutcracker."

I remember being a kid and watching Mikhail Baryshnikov's Nutcracker every year. There are many other Nutcracker versions to choose from today, but for me, there's no other Clara but Gelsey Kirkland. Just like her name implies, she's a little Gelfling: tiny, elfin, and ephemeral. I was glad to find the complete show on Youtube, but it just isn't the same without the PBS pledge drives in between scenes. I used to take advantage of those pledge drive breaks to go into another room where no one could see me and practice the beautiful ballet steps and jumps I had seen. Then I would return to the living room when the pledge drive was over and pretend like I hadn't just made a fool of myself trying to do things I had no place doing.

Unfortunately, I didn't realize I wanted to be a ballerina until it was too late. I had missed the prime practice time of my early youth and I was rigid and clumsy. That's why I want to get my girls into ballet lessons while they are little. They may not like it, and they have every right to say they don't want to do it, but at least they tried, and then we can say without a doubt that ballet wasn't for them. It's tricky to say if ballet is a good idea for Rosemary because of her need for orthotics. On the one hand, hyper-flexibility certainly helps with dancing, on the other, you don't want to over-stress the joints. So I'm still wondering what to do for Rosemary. She turns three next March and you can bet this is often on my mind. All things considered (her temperament especially), she probably won't take to it. But she might. I would just hate to not have given her the chance.

Well, if you'll excuse me, the nutcracker just turned into a handsome(?) prince, and I want to get back to seeing the adventures he shares with his beautiful princess. The Chinese dance is my favorite.



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