went to the ballet
Last night I went to the ballet. Madame Butterfly was the ballet, Alberta Ballet was the company. The performance was wonderful and the plot well-expressed through the choreography, Pucinni's compelling music, the sets and gorgeous costumes. I was thoroughly there and thoroughly enjoyed it. But more than the beauty of the ballet I was able to relax into the memories of Merin that so flood any experience that touches dance. To relax into those wonderful memories was a welcome joy.
Merin loved going to the ballet. Even though it almost always entailed rushing home from class to dress and primp - in a flurry and fluster - and finally arrive breathless at the theatre to sit in less-than-desirable seats on the third balcony (or to stand for the entire performance at the Paris Opera House when in Paris) she loved the ballet. She loved anticipating the show and, when the night arrived, dressing up to meet the occasion. She loved meeting her friends, going with her sister, sometimes with me, or going solo. She loved the atmosphere that attends the event, the music, the dancers, the dancing - she loved the dancing!
Last night's ballet - centered as it was on Japan - was colored with another layer of memories of Merin. Memories of finding a studio and teacher that met her standard and need the year she was in Tokyo with us. Teaching her the long and multi-change train route to that studio once we found it. Sitting in the heat and humidity of the studio while she took class. And then knowing that she could easily go on her own but going with her anyway just for the joy of sharing time together.
Ballet memories are so very heavily loaded for me. Three years have passed and I miss my Merin more intensely than I can say. Time has mellowed the pain of loss in a way and I hope that mellowing will continue but I am realizing that I will always yearn for Merin and grieve her loss, even as I anticipate our eventual reunion. Being in a ballet setting brings precious memories to the very front of my mind and heart in a way that demands I pay attention to them. Until last night the intensity and sheer volume of those memories teetered on the edge of too sharp. It was wonderful to remember and feel the warmth of all that my daughter was as I relaxed into those precious memories last night. Once again, I know that life is good.
image from the Alberta Ballet website