This last weekend, I went to the ballet with my ballet buddy and her niece and my mom. We saw “ALICE (in Wonderland)” at the Colorado Ballet. It was a wonderful performance— beautifully done. I enjoyed so much about the way they set it and characterized things. Alice grew, she shrunk, she floated on a pool of tears, she fell down the rabbit hole. At intermission, I was chatting with my companions about it, and my ballet-buddy referred to “Beauty and the Beast” as possibly her favorite of the ones we had seen. I had the sense that I saw B&theB, but I don’t have any specific recollection of it. Of many of the ballets and theater/opera performances, I have a prevailing mental image— a particular set or costume, a particular moment that stands out. I just don’t have one for B&theB. She seemed surprised. She’s a few years older than I am, and remembers specific ballets better.
The last time I saw my grandfather, a few years before he died, he sat down with me and a little black, three-ring binder that had newspaper clips from my family history. My grandfather wasn’t, prior to this, that interested in me. My mother told me stories about him, when my brothers were little, arriving with armloads of shellfish (to which my mom and one of my brothers was allergic), unannounced, and telling her to put my brothers to bed because they were there. He’s the only person in my baby-crazy family who really said things like “Children should be seen, not heard.” And that was my experience of him, until that point, when I was about 12. We would go there, and he and my grandmother would talk to my parents and I would play alone in the backyard or the living room. I’d sit quietly in the backseat. I’d watch TV and play solitaire and wait for my parents to pay attention to me.
I am naturally a pretty wildly emotional person. I’ve struggled my entire life to get to the point that I don’t cry when people raise their voice. For most of my life, I’ve cried when people raised their voice, regardless of whether they were raising it at me.
So— are you waiting with baited breath to see if I’ll spend forty-ish days talking about household chores again this year?
I’m sorry to disappoint. I’m not gonna. I’m still working on my New Year’s resolutions, I’m observing Lent, but my challenges will be in different forms. I went to Women of Faith with my eldest niece last weekend. My youngest brother and I are reading The Brothers Karamazov together, as part of our Lenten observance. I’m imperfectly doing some devotions on my own. My confirmation class is doing a special opening ritual, where small groups take a single mystery of the rosary and help us to meditate on it, as our opening prayer. But I’m not feeling the need to spin additional plates. The dog and I will start physical therapy, we’ll have out-of-town company, and I have a business trip before we get to holy week. I’ve got several hundred dollars of car repairs scheduled for next week and I don’t know the full extent of them— I think I’m set.
But feel free to tell me what your Lent is about this year.
When I made my beef stew, a few months ago, I had gotten a pack of beef stew meat at Costco. We really loved how tender and high quality the meat was, but it was much too large a portion for the two of us, so I subdivided it.
Sorry for the radio silence! I survived my busy stretch without the horrible illness I was sure was awaiting me. I’ve been on another trip and launched an initiative and we should be good for a bit.