365 photo challenge: luckiest

My daughter feels like one of the luckiest girls in the world right now. She’s been cast as the Dew Drop Fairy in her ballet company‘s upcoming Nutcracker. One of the treasured roles, it signals a dancer’s “arrival.” She is considered capable of taking on the challenge of a lead role in a performance. My daughter is “over the moon,” and feels up to the task.

…a little luck…and a lot of hard work…and dreams can come true…

………hugmamma.¬† ūüėČ

365 photo challenge: rake

According to my dancer-daughter, some stages are “raked.”¬†A raked stage is one that slopes upward from the footlights towards the back, so that all the performers are visible to the audience.

In the past, my daughter has danced on such a stage¬†when the ballet company she was with at the time, toured¬†smaller theatres in surrounding locales, in and out of state. As you can imagine, maintaining one’s balance while twirling around is a tricky feat. Until a dancer becomes accustomed to a raked stage, it can be a stressful experience.

My daughter is grateful not to have to add¬†dancing on a raked stage¬†to the list of¬†nervous moments that already await her on opening night, and all the nights¬† thereafter. But if she were to come across another raked stage in her career, she’d do what all dancers do. She’d get on with the show!

I’ve no idea if these dancers who entertained on the Queen Mary II, performed on a raked stage. But if they did…

…i’d never have known…for they were excellent………hugmamma.

“i know i can be happy,” the homeless

My daughter recently danced a contemporary solo in a piece by choreographer Sarah Slipper, entitled “Postcards from the Boys.” The entire number was a fabulous aggregation of vignettes, a solo, a pas de deux, a pas de trois, and corps work. The¬†work was accompanied by an orchestral ensemble for some of the movements, and a trio of country singers on guitar and percussion for the solo my daughter danced as well as some of the other choreography. Performed as the show’s finale, Slipper’s brilliant creation garnered a standing ovation on each of the 3 days it was performed.

Having worked with Slipper in Portland, Oregon, for a couple of summers,¬†in the Northwest Professional Dance Project,¬†my daughter was already known to the choreographer before she staged her piece on the dancers in my daughter’s company. I’m sure both were delighted to be working together again.¬†As inspiration for¬†her interpretation of Slipper’s solo, “Homeless,” my daughter reflected upon¬†the words of a poem in a street newspaper.

I Know I Can Be Happy
by Deisaray Lovelace (former Homeless Poet)

I used to feel so empty
Nothing seemed to matter
I used to feel like I was lost
I used to believe I was nothing at all
Now I walk the streets all day
Now I look as joy fades away
Now I long for brighter days
My cup is broken
My soul still searching
Oh why is my eyes still cryin’

No one seemed to care
No one seemed to understand my fears
I’m not a bad girl
I’m just lost behind the hurt
I fight to earn respect
When all I want is a friend
I was told I’m nothing
That I was impossible
I want to prove them wrong
But can’t because they label me
All I am is homeless
But to them I’m just a nobody

Trying to make it
I have no place
No family of my own
Everyday I walk through town
I see all who laugh
Yet inside I’m broken up
Loving like I’m last
I need someone who understands
I need someone who sees all I have inside
All I need is someone to notice
Someone to know why I cry

No one knows the pain I feel
No one sees the scars
All they notice is fragments
If they’d only see the heart
I need a chance to live
A chance to be found
But every time I look
Hopes turn to tears on the ground

So take my pride
Take my every worth
If only you’d take the time
Try to learn my pain
You could try to take that away too

I can’t stand
When my knees are weak
When I can barely breathe
My nights consist of darkness
My days are the same
I need that glimpse of brightness
So that I can say…

I’m good
I’m brave
To still be standing today
Through the tears
and through the pain
I know I can be happy again
I know I can be happy

the human spirit can overcome…as long as we have hope…hugmamma.

in the moment, “live-life-large”

In one of our many chats, my daughter spoke of the¬†guest¬†who has been assisting with company rehearsals for the ballet,¬†Swan Lake.¬†When the¬†woman¬†was younger, she danced¬†with another company and had¬†performed the lead roles of¬†Odette, the white swan and Odile, the black swan. Throughout her coaching, she has earned the respect and admiration of all the dancers, including my daughter, who¬†has often remarked that the woman could still perform the leads in Swan Lake despite her age. “She’s still technically strong and artistically beautiful.”¬†One day during morning ballet class,¬†she advised¬†the dancers that they should work “in the moment,” focusing upon the step they were doing, not the one before, nor the one after.¬†She¬†also explained¬†that they should immerse themselves completely in a role,¬†so that when¬†they’re done they can put the performance behind them, knowing they did their best. My daughter felt this was very sound advice, as did I.

The life of¬†a ballet dancer seems the perfect metaphor for living life. Find¬†one’s passion, be disciplined in working toward achieving a goal, be flexible in¬†allowing for “detours” that will undoubtedly occur, formulate new resolutions accordingly, relish the journey for its as important as the¬†“pot-of-gold” at the end of the rainbow. If¬†the “pot”¬†is not reached,¬†the trip will¬†still have been worthwhile¬†because¬†of the¬†“nuggets” gathered along the way.

I try to “live-life-large” in the moment, savoring¬†it with all 5 senses. Some days I’m more successful than others. I try not to think of what I might have done better in the past, or what I¬†might¬†accomplish in the future. If I’m blogging then I¬†focus¬†upon the subject¬†at hand, bringing all my thoughts to bear. When I’m cooking, I’m Julia Child celebrating food¬†with abandon. As housekeeper I’m my mother’s daughter,¬†cleaning every nook and cranny with determination. When out walking Mocha,¬†she sets the pace, sniffing every blade of grass, running¬†freely through¬†ground cover up to her chest or low-lying bushes,¬†where she often does her business. When¬†Sitka or Juneau decide to use my lap, I’ve learned to¬†sit-a-spell¬†reveling in their contented purrs.¬†When I crawl into bed,¬†usually in the wee hours of the morning, I’m grateful to have had another day of¬† good health,¬†for¬†it¬†enabled me to “live-life-large” in the moment.

Outstanding adults¬†who influence my daughter for the better are¬†¬†a gift.¬†She will have them¬†in her life¬†to reinforce the values with which she has been raised. At¬†24,¬†my husband and I are no longer the center of her world, nor should we be. She is already¬†striving to “live-life-large” in the moment,¬†gathering “pearls of wisdom”¬†as she¬† matures.

hugs for living “big”, in the moment…hugmamma.