Thriving. It is, as I’ve noted before, even more important during times such as ours -- difficult times, to say the least -- to feed the soul.
Last night, I saw the National Ballet of Canada do Swan Lake at the Kennedy Center. It was, in a word, unforgettable. Beautifully and richly costumed and gorgeously and creatively set, this Swan Lake emphasized the male dancers as much as the ballerinas. In the fourth and final scene, the flock of swans were all dressed in black, echoing the black always worn by Odile in the third scene. They were gorgeous and made a perfect contrast to the flock of white swans that attends the lovers’ meeting in the second scene.
The dancers were excellent, really as good as I’ve seen in several seasons of ballet.
Mary Oliver, one of my favorite poets, wrote about Swans and, I think, about thriving, as well:
Did you too see it, drifting, all night, on the black river?
Did you see it in the morning, rising into the silvery air -
An armful of white blossoms,
A perfect commotion of silk and linen as it leaned
into the bondage of its wings; a snowbank, a bank of lilies,
Biting the air with its black beak?
Did you hear it, fluting and whistling
A shrill dark music - like the rain pelting the trees - like a waterfall
Knifing down the black ledges?
And did you see it, finally, just under the clouds -
A white cross Streaming across the sky, its feet
Like black leaves, its wings Like the stretching light of the river?
And did you feel it, in your heart, how it pertained to everything?
And have you too finally figured out what beauty is for?
And have you changed your life?
What will you do this weekend to feed your soul? How will you thrive in these difficult times? Have you figured out what beauty is for and, if so, how has it changed your life?
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