Sunday, December 09, 2007

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Yesterday, as I watched a performance of The Nutcracker by my grand-daughter’s ballet school, it brought to mind Keats’ famous statement that “a thing of beauty is a joy forever” – for the performance by these girls was utterly beautiful They were just youthful, amateur performers, ranging in age from 4 to perhaps 17, but they performed with a poise and exuberance that was astonishing to witness. The smallest ones twirled and swirled with the appealing grace of pre-schoolers, and the older girls carried themselves with a dignity that comes from years of dancing. Kaylee, as lovely as any of them, looked like a little princess as she charmingly moved around the stage. Actually, odd as it may sound, the performance brought tears to my eyes. I couldn’t help but think of all the pain and ugliness across the world, from Iraq to anywhere in America, and of how this small performance of total and magnificent beauty in Millbury, MA, somehow canceled it all out. Somehow, as Keats put it, “in spite of all [the pain], / Some shape of beauty moves away the pall / From our dark spirits” – and yesterday the beauty came in the form of 50 or so girls giving an audience a gift of great charm and elegance. I felt lucky to be there.

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