Backstage before performance. Stretching. Made up. In costume. Ready to dance. This image was captured early in Eden's career as a photographer, well before the ten thousand hour mark that is reputedly the magic point at which mastery occurs in any field of endeavor. I loved the photo when it was taken and it remains a favourite out of all the beautiful work that Eden has done over the years. It hangs, blown up to poster size in our home. The graphic quality, the subject, the mood - it touches me in a way that I find difficult to articulate.

Merin was 13 and totally in love with classical ballet. I wasn't in the audience the night that she danced the pas de quatre from Swan Lake. I have always wished I had been. I don't know where I was or why I wasn't there but I  love these images from that night - I can feel like I was almost there.

They were such adorable little cygnets and good friends. I have lost track of two of the girls but Merin and Alex were close friends always. Never ugly ducklings - although perhaps coltish - they grew into beautiful women. Talented, confident, and happy. Elegant even. Both of them swans in the very best way.

Eden, Merin, and Alex have met and surpassed the ten thousand hours - each of them true artists. I am proud of them and feel it a privilege to have been there for at least some of those hours. We seldom see where the road ends when we set out on it and motherhood is no different than any other occupation in that. Many hours were committed to nurturing this talent and love. I am content with the destination.

Alexandra MacDonald is currently dancing as second soloist with The National Ballet of Canada. Eden's photography speaks for itself and her talent. Merin achieved her desires.


Eden Lang said...

I miss her so much. This post, your words are sweet and powerful. They uplift me and make me ache at the same time.

thank you for being such an amazing mother.

love you.

ec said...

this is so beautifully written. i love how you speak of motherhood. it really inspires me to be the best that i can.

thank you.

Elizabeth Cranmer said...

So beautifully put. The sentiments of true love and admiration. Just right.

Thank you for sharing,

Anonymous said...


Look at those faces! I remember how joyful they were to dance this part. Eden's photography is, as usual, exquisite, as are your words.

I bet I know exactly where you were that night - backstage putting the finishing touches on one more costume, or pinning on a hairpiece, or doing any one of a multitude of jobs that you did so selflessly!